Pro Tips for Navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

You wouldn’t visit the Magic Kingdom without a having plan; similarly, for a 5-star experience, use these strategies for navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park during the peak summer season.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a top activity choice for visitors to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It rates right up there with soaking in hot springs, rafting in Glenwood Canyon and hiking to Hanging Lake, all of which reach the pinnacle of visitation during the summer months when kids and families take time off to travel. Having a strategy for navigating our theme park will help ensure a satisfying experience.

Our Best Insider Advice for Navigating the Park

Purchase tickets in advance.  Buying tickets ahead of time is convenient and you’ll spend less time waiting in the line to take the Glenwood Gondola to the mountaintop theme park. You can also save 5 percent using promo code BUYONLIN5P.

The best value. Our Funday Pass hands-down offers the biggest bang for your buck. It includes everything—the Glenwood Gondola, unlimited turns on rides and attractions and both cave tours.

Know height requirements. All of the thrill rides require riders to be a minimum height  to ensure safety and we’re sticklers about it. Family attractions also have restrictions. We’d rather see you back next year when your child easily meets the height requirement than have to tell you sorry after you’ve stood in line on a hot day.

Check for ride closures. For a variety of reasons, we sometimes we have to close rides. Sometimes it’s a short delay, perhaps due to a thunderstorm passing through. In the event it’s a longer closure we let guests know by posting it to the website under Park Info>Rides & Attractions Status. If you’ve been dreaming about riding the Alpine Coaster, rather than be disappointed that it’s closed, we recommend checking the status page before arriving.

Dress code. Wear comfortable clothing and non-flip-flop shoes; bring a light jacket for cave tours and a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.

Visit early or late. To avoid the crowds, come when the park opens at 9 a.m. and head straight for the rides you most want to enjoy. The Park stays open until 9 p.m., seven days per week, until August 11 when we will start closing at 6 p.m. on weekdays. Until then, evenings after 5 p.m. are another great way to miss the midday traffic.

Eat early or late. Avoid the lunch rush hour at the Lookout Grille by eating before 11:30 a.m. or after 1:30 p.m.  Alternatively, enjoy a lighter meal outside at Snack Shack.

Beat the heat. The sun’s rays are strongest in the afternoon. Cool off with midday cave tours.  On a hot summer day, the caverns internal temperature is a refreshing 52°F. Other ways to beat the heat include attending a 4-D Theater show which takes place every 15 minutes. The misters will cool you off outside while the air-conditioned interior of the theater will keep you comfortable inside.

Use our free stuff. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is located at an elevation of 7,100 feet. At higher elevations like ours the chances of getting sunburned or dehydrated increase. Complimentary sunscreen is available at the guest services shack in the plaza, and there is free ice water available at the Lookout Grille. We encourage you to use both as often as necessary.

Rain, rain, go away. Afternoon thundershowers are a regular part of summers in the high country. The good news is they roll through quickly. Many people choose to leave when it starts raining, but we advise sticking it out as the storms tend to pass quickly.

Leave it outside. Caring for our caves is another top priority at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Contact with the outside air, detritus, food, drinks, bumping or dropping things inside the caves can create irreparable damage. That’s why we ask you to leave your backpacks, handbags, snacks, water bottles, toys, strollers, etc. outside the cave entrance. If you’re not comfortable with that, we offer lockers where you can store your belongings.

Now that you have a handle on navigating Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, make plans to visit today.

Let the Fear Be Part of the Fun!

Cliffhanger Roller Coaster
Cliffhanger Roller Coaster

Conquer your fear and experience the fun of adrenaline-pumping thrill rides at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Let the Fear Be Part of the Fun!

When it comes to roller coasters, the fear is part of the fun—unless it keeps you from taking the ride. Many people want to join the thrill ride—or at least not just stand and watch their friends at the park—but can’t overcome that fear, so Harvard Medical School professor Brian Newmark and clinical psychologist Michael Otto developed the Coasterphobia Stress Management Program nearly 20 years ago.

Coasterphobia is not a medical diagnosis— reluctance to ride won’t cripple your life like other fears— but it often bears traces of other recognized fears such as acrophobia (heights),  illygnophobia (vertigo), claustrophobia (tight spaces), social phobia (embarrassment), mysophobia (contact with germs), emetophobia (vomiting). Sometimes the fear results from a childhood experience. The fear, anxiety, panic, and/or dread can lead to shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, and nausea.

One of the 15 members of the first Coasterphobia Stress Management Program class, Erik Minton, wrote about his experience for Psychology Today. Participants were encouraged to trust the engineers who had designed the rides, then were put through some preparatory routines: “We tensed and untensed muscles to learn to relax. We did breathing exercises. We circled our heads to induce dizziness. We rocked back and forth in our chairs to simulate a coaster’s motion. Then we circled our heads while rocking. We screamed, which Otto pointed out not only forces you to breathe on the coaster but is part of the ride’s fun. We watched a passenger perspective video of The Incredible Hulk, rocking as we did so.” For graduation, the group rode The Incredible Hulk at Universal Orlando Resort— and each one went on at least twice.

Free advice online will suggest taking baby steps or starting with the biggest coaster you fear, closing your eyes or opening them, staying in control of whether your ride or telling your friends to carry you on if necessary. Here are Otto’s professional tips:

  1. Make sure you are not being pressured or pushed into riding the roller coaster; this will only add to the feeling of not being in control.
  2. While waiting in line, try relaxation exercises. Practice tensing and slowly releasing your muscles as you breathe in for four counts and out for eight.
  3. It is important that you picture yourself enjoying the strange sensations involved in riding roller coasters. Anticipating fear and anxiety will only make it happen faster and stronger.
  4. Outsmart the “scare factor.” Remember that the loops and sudden drops are part of the roller coaster and are perfectly safe.
  5. During the ride, scream. Screaming stops you from holding your breath and helps relieve tension.
  6. Keep your eyes open. Being able to see what is happening actually helps terminate fear and nausea.

Let the fear become part of the fun at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!