Glenwood Springs is one of the best weekend getaways in Colorado, and for good reason. But while many have visited the famous Hanging Lake or the relaxing hot springs, there is another attraction getting a lot of buzz these days that is more than worth your time.
Glenwood Caverns offers up one of the most unique adventures in Colorado and should definitely be a part of your summer plans this year. A consistent 52 degrees year-round, this popular spot can be a respite from both cold and hot temperatures alike. There really is no bad time for a visit. What was once only available to a few experienced and brave cavers has been artfully excavated for maximum viewing today.
Dating back to the late 1890s, these caves were one of the first to have lights installed, where candlelight was the previous lighting method of choice. In homage to their roots, the cave’s History Lane is still lit in this way with replica Edison and Marconi-style bulbs, transporting you back in time.
There are three different tours to choose from, two of which can accommodate most abilities.
The longest tour available, the two-hour Wild Tour also requires the most amount of gear and preparation. Considered to be the most extreme caving adventure found at Glenwood Caverns, you will be given coveralls, elbow and knee pads, a helmet and headlamp to make your journey through the caves as safe and enjoyable as possible. Squeezing through tight spaces, crawling on your stomach and navigating the dark caves requires a creative, but necessary game of telephone beginning with the tour guide, winding its way all the way to the last person on your tour. This is an effective way to pass on crucial instructions for the best way to make your way through the sometimes narrow openings and passageways that run as small as 18 inches square.
King’s Row Tour
The most highly decorated cave room in Colorado, King’s Row takes you down a 150 foot descent through large, well-lit passageways that are suitable for most fitness levels. The room that waits at the bottom is truly spectacular. With a ceiling height rivaling that of a five-story building and running nearly as long as a football field, it is filled with breathtaking formations including stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws and “cave bacon.” The specially designed lighting system beautifully highlights the most prominent formations and makes for really great photo opportunities.
Historic Fairy Caves Tour
The newest addition to the tour lineup at Glenwood Caverns, is the Historic Fairy Caves Tour. Running for about 45 minutes, this tour is suitable for most fitness levels. Back when this section of the caves was excavated, more than 1,000 tons of debris were painstakingly removed bucket by bucket to reveal a whole new side to the caverns. This route will take you through some of the most recently excavated passages and the most famous rooms including: The Cloud Room, famous known for its subaqueous calcite ceiling that actually retains, and subsequently drips, water, The Head Office room, where you’ll find deeply penetrating tree roots, and the Back Passage room, which is explored exclusively by candle light. Be sure to check out the Exclamation Point on this tour, as it will give you panoramic views of Glenwood Springs, Lookout Mountain and the surrounding area.
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If the thought of subjecting yourself to room after room of caves brings out your inner claustrophobia, the Adventure Park is sure to have something for everyone. With adrenaline-pumping rides and plenty of attractions including things like the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, Alpine Coaster, laser tag, and a 4D theater it is hard to get bored in a place like this.