Fun Things To Do In Glenwood Springs Colorado – “America’s Funniest Small Town” lives up to its name in my book. Yes, there are plenty of fun things to do in Glenwood Springs for both adults and children. Think Colorado River rafting, hiking, fishing, zip lining, the list goes on. My kids are still pretty young, both under six, so our hiking is limited and so are many of our outdoor adventures, but that’s okay in Glenwood Springs. There were plenty of opportunities for people of all ages and abilities and everyone was happy. Here is my list of MUST see things to do with kids in Glenwood Springs.
Glenwood Hot Springs has been a focal point of the town since its founding in 1888, attracting tourists, celebrities, royalty, and US presidents over the years. Previously, it hosted the Ute Indians, who used the pool for “great” healing. The hot springs are more than BIG – it is the largest mineral thermal pool in the world. More than two blocks with more than a million liters of water.
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There are three pools at Glenwood Hot Springs. One is a smaller, 104-degree therapy pool, a larger, 90-degree lap pool, and a smaller children’s pool. I personally preferred the therapeutic pool. There were fewer children playing here, which means quiet and no splashing. Soaking in 15 healing minerals in the therapy pool really eased my pain. (If I could soak in this pool every day for a month, I think I could run again…)
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The larger pool is intended more for swimming, playing and relaxing. Although it can seem crowded at times, it is easy to find a place to sit and enjoy the water. If you just want to swim, there are several designated swimming lanes that you can jump into. The children’s pool is open only in the summer months (Glenwood Hot Springs is open year-round). In addition to the three pools, Glenwood Hot Springs added two water slides. Please note that the ride on the slide is not included in the entrance fee to the pool.
You really can spend a whole day at Glenwood Hot Springs – if you want to. Breakfast and lunch are served at the poolside grill. Think cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps, ice cream and more. You can bring your own picnic supplies and reserve a shady spot on the large grassy area by the pool. Bring your Frisbee and make a day of it.
Incorporate a little history into the journey to Dr. Holliday’s grave. Doc Holliday was a famous player who moved to Glenwood Springs to try the healing waters of Glenwood Hot Springs to cure himself of tuberculosis. He is buried in Glenwood Springs. About a kilometer hike on a paved road with amazing views in all directions.
Morning meditation on a mountainside is a beautiful way to start the day. But what awaits at the end of the road at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers a whole new experience.
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The park sits atop Iron Mountain along with America’s tallest roller coaster; The Cliffhanger roller coaster is at 7,100 feet. Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park is also home to the first alpine coaster in the United States, which takes visitors up to an altitude of 3,400 feet. A wonderful trip!
My favorite the Soaring Eagle Zipline which takes you up and then down a 625ft mountain. Talk about wind in your hair!
Parents note that children must be at least 56 inches tall to travel alone. If they are at least 38 inches tall (and three years old), they can ride with an adult. There are a few rides designed for smaller children, the ferris wheel is great. My kids LOVED the Giddy Up, which basically jumps up and down a few times. My girls referred to the ride as Giggle Up, they couldn’t stop giggling the entire ride. (Children must be 36 inches tall to travel alone.)
Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park is more than just fun and games. You can get great geology and history lessons on one of two guided cave tours. The historical cave of fairy tales is one of them
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One of the “top 10 places to go underground”. A 50-minute guided tour of the cave takes you on a quarter-mile underground walk through Iron Mountain, where you can see sinter stones, stalagmites, rocky cauliflower and more. It’s a very easy walk, but I recommend bringing comfortable shoes and a light jacket as it’s about 54 degrees inside the cave. You can also choose another tour. The Kings Row Cave Tour takes you deeper into the mountains to a very ornate cave. On both hikes, the formations – stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws and cave bacon – are amazing…
The guides do a great job of explaining the history of the cave and the rock formations you walk through. Note to parents: children are not allowed to touch ANYTHING inside. The guides take this very seriously because touching the rocks actually damages the cave and causes significant damage.
I’d love to hear what your favorite things to do in Glenwood Springs with or without the kids.
Elaine Schoch (pronounced Shock in German) is the editor and founder of Carpe Travel, an award-winning travel writer, wine judge, Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) 2nd Certified and Certified American Wine Expert. She is married with two children, one and two princesses, whose interest and knowledge of wine is quite extensive. Not to mention stamps in passports. Located in the Roaring Fork Valley where the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers meet, historic Glenwood Springs Resort welcomes visitors looking to explore the Rocky Mountains. We planned to stay here overnight from Denver to Moab but ended up staying almost a week because we loved it so much.
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Ready to visit Glenwood Springs? Here are over 9 things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado that are sure to knock your socks off. And you, like us, may not want to go!
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Glenwood Springs is home to several hot springs; just select the design style you want and go!
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One of the things to do in Glenwood Springs is to find some great mineral hot springs and enjoy a swim. The most popular is the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, Lodge and Spa. They are home to the largest warm water pool in the world. You don’t have to live on the property to access the pool; Day tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
We decided to visit Iron Mountain Hot Springs because it’s right on the Colorado coast and it looked beautiful. Reality meets hype. During our 2.5 hour visit, we dipped into about 5-6 of the 16 different pools in the hotel. Each of them offers a different view of the water and different temperatures.
The boys preferred the large family pool, which had a hot tub with jetted tubs on the edge, where Dan and I could sip Bloody Marys and keep an eye on the boys. It was still cold when we visited so the warmer pool was perfect for us. If you are traveling with children, please note that tickets are only for adults at night. It’s a great family-friendly option during the day.
The third option is the steam caves in Yampah Baths and Vapor Caves. I’ll be honest, these looked really good! In fact, they looked so cool that even though it’s okay to bring the kids, I’d rather visit my childless husband for a date. The caves are natural underground hot mineral steam baths, where hot mineral water flows through the bottom of the cave, creating natural geothermal steam baths. You can visit the three interconnected cave chambers, but you might want to take a break to chill in their cool rooms.
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Funny. Buy your ticket online and then take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain where all the excitement is.
We went in the winter on a windy day so not everything was available, but even with the reduced activities (for a discount) we had a fantastic time. The alpine coaster overlooking Colorado was our favorite. It can also be ridden
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