Located approximately midway between Aspen and Vail or 160 miles west of Denver, Glenwood Springs is set in the canyons of the majestic Rocky Mountains at an altitude of 7,000 feet. It is known for its natural hot springs and the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Glenwood Adventure Park is the perfect day trip from either the Vail or Aspen areas when looking for an exciting family outing.
As the park boasts, your biggest challenge will be how to pack it all in. Located on top of Iron Mountain in beautiful Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Glenwood Adventure Park features cave tours, a gondola ride, the longest alpine coaster in Colorado, a giant swing, laser tag, mountain-top dining and much more.
You can explore stunning caverns and formations or fly down the mountain on Colorado’s first alpine coaster. And the thrilling 4D Ride Theater is the perfect spot to cool off and be swept away to a fantasy adventure. The peaceful gondola ride up to the park and many of the thrilling rides showcase stunning views of Glenwood Springs.
Rides at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The past two years our daughter has foregone a birthday party to instead take a couple of friends for an exciting outing to the park. We arrive right as the park opens to fly down the mountain on the Alpine Coaster before the lines get long. Then we head over to the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride for a couple of turns soaring over the canyon like an Eagle.
Next up is the small coaster, before going inside for a couple of games of laser tag and some food and water. We always try to squeeze in one of the cave tours, and then both of the mazes, the mine wheel and then the 4D Ride Theater. The theater is also the perfect spot to cool off after a warm day of rides. The girls just haven’t been quite big enough for the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster or Giant Canyon Swing yet. But I am sure they are looking forward to that day.
Our favorite rides include the alpine coaster, laser tag. We always end with a short film at the 4D motion theater.
Cave Tours at Glenwood Adventure Park
Although the rides were probably the highlight for the group of girls we took, the cave tours are a must. Discovered in the 1950’s the caves weren’t accessible except to a few hardy cavers. Cavers had to be willing to crawl and wiggle through tiny spaces to see the caves.
The Fairy Caves became a thriving tourist destination in the 1890s. This was thanks to Charles W. Darrow opening them to visitors. At that time the known extent of the cave was about 800 feet. Today Glenwood Caverns accesses more than 16,000 known feet of caves.
When the Fairy Caves first opened to the public, visitors could only get to the caves three ways. 1. By walking up a trail; 2. By riding a horse or burro; 3. By being transported in style in a horse-drawn carriage. Today, visitors access the historic Fairy Caves via the scenic gondola on the Iron Mountain Tramway.
Insider Tip: Colorado has many unique caves worth visiting.
Mining for Gemstones at Glenwood Caverns
Our last visit to Glenwood Caverns & Adventure Park our six-year-old son really enjoyed mining for gemstones. He made sure even the tiniest one did not slip through his sluice. And, was super excited to get to take them home.
Note: Glenwood Adventure Park installed a new gondola in 2019 for speedier access to the park.