Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The Historic Fairy Caves, an attraction within Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, was a thriving tourist destination in the 1890s, thanks to Charles W. Darrow, a pioneering Glenwood Springs attorney. Darrow and his family homesteaded the top of Iron Mountain, including the cave entrance. Darrow opened Fairy Caves to visitors in 1895 and his sons operated the cave until 1917. On the eve of America’s entry into World War I, the Darrows closed the caves to the public. The Historic Fairy Caves were closed for 82 years until the current owners, Steve and Jeanne Beckley, opened them to the public in 1999.
Today, visitors flock to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park to experience a unique mountain-top adventure. Take a walking tour or an on-your-belly Wild Tour of Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, recognized as one of the country’s leading show caves. Ride the longest alpine coaster in Colorado, with individual cars on tracks that race down the mountainside. Enjoy the only 4D ride theater in Colorado, a 70’ bungee jump, a zip ride, breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains from the Iron Mountain Tramway, bungee trampolines, a climbing wall, sluice box gemstone mining, a giant maze and more. The Lookout Grille serves lunch on the deck or inside by the fire, with a great kids’ menu. The park is open year-round and is perfect for groups, birthday parties and family reunions.
Visit www.glenwoodcaverns.com or call 800-530-1635 for information and seasonal hours.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
Sunlight Mountain Resort is a unique Colorado winter playground that is affordable and family oriented. Sunlight has hundreds of acres for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snow-shoeing.
The Sunlight Ranch Company opened for business in December of 1966 with a handful of trails and one chairlift with 15,000 skier days. During the first years of operation, Sunlight operated on a shoestring budget. Part-timers and volunteers managed the lift. A second chair was installed in 1973 to provide service to newly cut trails. In 1981 the name was changed to Ski Sunlight, Inc. In 1987 improvements were made to the existing lift and a new one added, doubling the uphill capacity. From a skier standpoint, these improvements eliminated lift lines, even while they increased the skier days. In 1993 Sunlight Extreme was added with 12 new black and double black diamond trails. In 1996, a snowmaker was installed on the lower lift trails from midway to the base area. At this time the name was changed to Sunlight Mountain Resort to reflect its evolution into a year round resort, including summer activities for the whole family. In 1998 Sunlight’s skier days climbed to 102,000.
While the buildings and trails surrounding Sunlight have changed and continue to improve, the groundwork that was laid by Sunlight’s founding fathers in 1966 remains today. Sunlight’s philosophy remains to provide premier Colorado skiing and snowboarding to visitors and area residents at affordable rates.
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool & Spa
No visit to Glenwood Springs is complete without a stop at the Glenwood Hot Springs, home of the world’s largest hot springs pool. The hot mineral water has been drawing visitors from all over the world since 1888, when the resort and original spa officially opened for business. But even before that, the Ute Indians made yearly pilgrimages to the springs which they considered to be sacred.
Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park
The first whitewater park built anywhere on the entire length of the Colorado River, Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park has become a destination for paddling enthusiasts from around the globe. The park river improvements and the creation of the wave were completed in 2008, to the delight of the local and regional paddling and stand-up surfing communities. Depending on river flows, there is the G-wave, and also a “hole” at the feature. It is most popular with users from May through September. It was selected as the site for the 2009 U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials and has been getting rave reviews from paddlers ever since.