Fun Things to do in Glenwood Springs Colorado
If you’re in Denver and looking for things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, you’ve come to the right place! Hello, friend. Stay a while.
My family and I traveled to Glenwood Springs from Denver during the pandemic and a couple of weeks after the Grizzly Creek fire. The I-70 closures were lifted a couple of weeks before we arrived. The Grizzly is about five miles east of Glenwood Springs and had been contained, but some attractions remained closed for safety reasons including Hanging lake and Glenwood Canyon.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see Hanging lake and Glenwood Canyon.
Why Glenwood Springs?
Glenwood Springs is a captivating resort town in Colorado. It’s a true vacationers dream. Glenwood Springs is the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Grand Rivers and is located between Aspen and Vail.
Hot springs, caverns, rivers, golf course, amusement park, scenic hikes, waterfalls, and shopping, all in one place. There is an activity whether you are 5 or 50 years old.
How to get to Glenwood Springs?
From Denver, Glenwood Springs is about a 3-hour drive through I-70.
Where to stay?
I would recommend this place over and over because of their quality service and convenience of the location relative to everything. Hotel Glenwood Springs is just a couple of feet from the Gondola ride that takes you up to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which is so convenient.
There are a couple of walkable restaurants nearby, but the downtown area is less than 10 minutes away.
One of my favorite amenities was the pool area. If you go to the front desk, they will provide pool towels. The pool is open from 9am- 11pm, but you are required to make a reservation due to covid-19. But when we went, the hotel was pretty empty, so we didn’t need one. We had the pool to ourselves for a bit at one point.
Everyone respected social distancing and took precautions. The pool water goes up to about 3 and a half ft. There’s a basketball hoop and the most fun of them all—a water slide! I know I’m almost approaching 30, but let me tell you that with all the quarantining I have done during these pandemic times, I have been deprived of socialization and fun. I probably went down the water slide at least 100 times. Do not judge me.
In addition, there is a jetted hot tub which was a huge plus.
There is a dining area by the lobby, but it was closed due to Covid-19.
What are fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado?
1. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Out of all the fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, you can’t miss this.
I was so excited and this place did not disappoint.
This might be the most fun thing to do in Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a family friendly mountain-top amusement park in Colorado. It’s ideal for families, children, and those who are children at heart (aka me).
Gondola Only (Admission to the Park)
- Adult $20.00
- Child (3-12) $15.00
Gondola and Cave Tour
- Adult $33.00
- Child (3-12) $28.00
FunDay Pass – Gondola, Cave Tours & Attractions (This is what my family purchased)
- Adult $59.00
- Child (3-12) $54.00
My family and I went in September while the pandemic was still happening and felt very safe (it’s still currently happening). The employees were very meticulous and sprayed and sanitized the rides, seats belts, and anything that people might be in contact with.
All the employees and guests wore masks at all times. There were also very few people, so we were all able to spread out.
The gondola transports guests from the valley floor to the mountain-top theme park entrance. You can enjoy some amazing views during this 5 minute ride.
Alpine Coaster: If you love speed, heights, thrill, and rollercoaster rides, this ride is for you. The track itself is 3,400 feet long with lots of sharp turns, waves, and fun. This ride is affixed to the track, so you are fully secured. The ride relies on momentum and you can control the speed.
This was my favorite ride!
Haunted Mine Drop: This is a drop ride of 110 ft, and the first drop ride I have ever been on. It is inside a building which adds a bit of suspense. I am not going to spoil what happens, but I did not expect the direction it would go. Talk about a thrill ride. Another ride that you cannot miss for sure.
Soaring Eagle Zip Ride: I really thought this was going to be a relaxing zip ride where you can enjoy the mountain views. I was so so so wrong! I was so terrified because it pulls you backwards 600 feet up the mountain while your feet are just dangling. It pauses for a second then shoots you back to the beginning and ends in the most abrupt stop. Not for the faint of heart.
Apparently, you’re supposed to feel like a soaring eagle. Sure, an anxious one maybe.
The Glenwood Canyon Flyer: This is not your regular swing flyer ride that you typically see in amusement parks. It is sitting on the edge of the mountain. When the canyon flyer slowly begins to spin, you can still see the platform underneath you. As you reach the maximum speed of the spin, you are taken to the edge of the mountain where you swing over the cliff and suddenly, you feel like you have no control over your life anymore.
As dramatic as it sounds, it was equally as terrifying and fun. You cannot miss this one.
Giant Canyon Swing: I did not ride this one because I don’t do well with rides that swing back and forth, but I have included some photos.
The rest of the rides were either for children or closed due to the season and/or maintenance.
Other Amusement Park Attractions
4D Motion Movie Theatre: This was surprisingly fun. It makes you feel like you are a part of the movie with the moving seats coupled with physical special effects in the theatre.
We watched the Monkey Madness. 4D rides are super ideal for people who don’t like riding actual roller coasters, but want to experience the fun.
Laser Tag: As mentioned above, we went during the pandemic, so the people inside were limited per family. I am sure it would be more fun with other people, but we still made the best of it. This is ideal if you have a large group.
Fairy Caves: This is a 40-minute guided cave tour. You will learn about stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, cave bacon, carrots, and how the cave was found. If your tour guide is Becca, she is a ball of energy and will make the tour feel like a musical because she will literally sing you some songs about the cave. She is amazing.
Kings Row: Unlike Fairy Caves, this attraction has 120 stairs which you will have to climb down and back. Might not be suitable for everyone. Fun fact: they have held several weddings here.
Lookout Grille: This is one of the restaurants in Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. They had tacos, nachos, and beers, but the best factor of this place is the panoramic view of the mountains and gondola rides. Absolutely breathtaking. You have to eat here.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Iron Mountain Hot Springs is one of the Glenwood Springs hot springs in the area.
Why Iron Mountain Hot Springs?
This is one of the fun things you can do in Glenwood Springs and Colorado in general. We chose Iron Mountain Hot Springs over Glenwood Hot Springs Resort because Iron Mountain Hot Springs had multiple smaller pools instead of one huge pool.
There are 16 different mineral pools overlooking the gorgeous Colorado river and the mountains. In addition, there are also a jetted spa, family pool, rejuvenation station, a shopping area by the entrance, and a bar.
This is the part of the trip that would really make you feel like you’re on vacation. I can’t even imagine how much more awesome it would be during the wintertime with the snow and the views.
You are required to make a reservation for a 2-and-a-half-hour time slot for your visit and masks are mandatory at all times except for when you are in the water. I found the 2-and-a-half-hour time was plenty enough to enjoy everything.
They give you a bracelet with a specific color, and the staff will make an announcement which color bracelet will be asked to leave every 30 minutes.
You are no longer allowed to store things in lockers, but they provide little cubbies outside by the pools. We ended up setting our things on a bench near the bathhouse.
There are towels and other essentials for purchase at the desk as well as Iron Mountain Hot Springs and Glenwood Springs related souvenirs.
I was so impressed by the staff here. Everyone was very compliant of all the rules, and I would recommend this to anyone visiting and looking for fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
The Sandbar serves a variety of beers, wines, and mixed drinks. Prices were reasonable, and the drinks that we ordered were delicious!
I personally did not use the showers because I just quickly changed. My family did and reported back that everything was clean, and they provide shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
- Entry: $25 per person
- Towels: $5, the towel is for you to keep
Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Falls is surrounded by lush trees and flowers. I did not expect much, but it was truly breathtaking. Campsites are available.
It’s so beautiful that you can also hold a wedding here.
We did the Cayote Trail for some hiking. It is a pretty easy hike. This trail leads you to views at the base and at the top of the falls, to mysterious limestone caves, and through cotton woods trees. We some people fishing. It takes about an hour to hike the entire trail.
Pets are allowed and must be on leash.
Where to eat in Glenwood Springs?
If you’re a foodie, one of the fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is to eat eat eat. That is really one of the main reasons I travel.
Not going to lie, we were pretty exhausted and ended up at fast food restaurants for a couple of the meals, so I don’t have a ton of food recommendations.
There is free breakfast at the Hotel Glenwood Springs. They only had packaged muffins, pastries, and bananas as a precaution to keep everyone safe and keep their germs to themselves. I’m assuming they used to have an actual breakfast buffet before the pandemic.
Daily Bread: This is a café located downtown. They have both indoor and outdoor seating. Super cute and trendy with the brick walls inside. They serve omelets, skillets, eggs benedict, and a variety of sweet choices.
I ordered the Scandinavian Skillet with poached eggs. The salmon was fantastic. Everyone else ordered some type of egg variation! I recommend this place.
Village In: If you live in America, you probably have already been to one, so I’m not going to go into detail. It’s very similar to IHOP. Our server ended up being so helpful and nice and she gave us some hiking recommendations.
Lunch and Dinner
Kedai Pho and Japanese Cuisine: This place was so good and is located in downtown Glenwood Springs! We ordered so many things. My parents and I had sushi, my husband ordered the pork katsu, and we all had the edamame and Takoyaki for appetizer. Everything turned out so delicious.
Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant: This restaurant is very close to Hotel Glenwood Springs. We ordered carne asada, carnitas, and this dish in a pineapple. The servings are massive, but the rice was on the dry side. Other than that, the meats were packed with flavors and enjoyable.
Chocolate Moose Ice Cream Parlour: Awesome ice cream selection! My most important travel rule is that you always end the day with ice cream (even if it’s cold outside), and this place did not disappoint. They also sell a variety of chocolates, pastries, and wine.
Other fun things to do in Glenwood Springs
If you are visiting Colorado soon, there are definitely a lot of fun things to do in Glenwood Springs. Too bad we were not able to do everything we wanted to do due to the fire, but we made the best of it.
Other popular fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado:
Need another destination in Colorado?
Check out my blog post about St. Mary’s Glacier and if you need help packing for your trip, I have some tips here.
I’m going to use this to plan a trip, thank you girl. Side question, what kind of hiking boots do you have? They look nice and I’m overdue for some new ones hehe
I’m so sorry just seeing this now. They are Cabela’s! I got them from goodwill for $15.