If you’re looking for a relaxing spot for your next getaway and want to enjoy nature, there’s no better place than Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, you can enjoy the natural healing powers of the hot springs, spend some time on the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers, or take a hike on the Hanging Lake trail.
Glenwood Springs isn’t just a great place for the 50+ crowd; it is a wonderful destination for a multigenerational trip, too, since there is so much to see and do. There is something for everyone in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
What To Do In Glenwood Springs
There are so many delightful things to enjoy in the city, which feels like a small town. It is hard to narrow it down to just a few things, but, if you are like most people, you probably want to enjoy the therapeutic hot springs. If heading to Glenwood Springs for a long weekend, you will have time to soak in the hot springs and enjoy other activities, too.
Here are Glenwood Springs’ don’t-miss activities, including hot springs and beyond.
1. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort
The “Spa of the Rockies” is a historic attraction and home to the world’s largest hot springs pool — think the size of a football field — with water temperatures in the mid-90s (Fahrenheit). Glenwood Hot Springs Resort also has a large soaking pool with 104-degree water.
The Hot Springs Resort recently added a splash pad and pool for children, including two child-sized water slides in the Sopris Splash Zone. Tweens to adults will enjoy Shoshone Chutes, a white-water rafting tube ride.
2. Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Colorado’s newest hot springs, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, opened in 2015. It features 25 soaking pools and a family pool alongside the Colorado River.
The pools’ temperatures range from 98–108 degrees, allowing you to customize your wellness experience in 100 percent pure thermal mineral water. The pools are surrounded by the mountains and river, and soft music helps you relax and rejuvenate in the quiet zone.
They also have an experimental pool that replicates Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs is currently in the process of a huge expansion to add several adult-only soaking pools and ten additional experimental pools. Currently, reservations are required for Iron Mountain and only permits 3-hour time slots for soaking.
Pro Tip: The early morning time slots are the least crowded.
3. Vapor Caves
One of Glenwood Springs’ most unusual attractions is the unique underground vapor-filled caverns at the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves. It is one of a few places in the world where you can experience a natural geothermal steam bath and the only known collection of natural vapor caves in North America. The Yampah Vapor Caves were first used by the Ute Indians who visited the caves often and thought they were sacred places of healing and rejuvenation.
We visited for the first time this past summer and it was a unique experience. Once you descend the stairs, the hot spring bubbles through the cave at 125 degrees, creating natural geothermal steam that helps you sweat out the impurities in your body and mind. There are several rooms at different temperatures and you can move from room to room to adjust to your comfort.
The Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves also offers other spa services. All visits are by reservation only and I would allow at least 2 hours for this unique and rejuvenating activity.
Pro Tip: The vapor caves have stairs to navigate with low lighting, so if vision or mobility are problems for you or anyone in your group, you might want to opt for a different spa treatment.
Outdoor Adventures In Glenwood Springs
4. Glenwood Canyon
Enjoy a ride through the canyon overlooking the Colorado River. Bike rentals are available and the bike trails are paved and mostly flat. The trail has plenty of overlooks where you can stop, rest, take photos, and enjoy a picnic. There are bathrooms along the trail, too. This is a great morning or early evening activity. You will need a few hours to enjoy it.
5. Hanging Lake Trail
This strenuous hike delivers you to the edge of Glenwood Canyon’s cliffs, where the waterfalls spill into a crystal blue lake. Allow a half day or all evening for this hike.
If you are not up to something so strenuous, there is a nice flat hike leading to the foot of the mountain. There are two picnic tables where you can enjoy a packed lunch or just sit and relax.
Reservations are currently required to hike the trail.
Other Fun Things To Do In Glenwood Springs
6. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The only mountaintop amusement park in America, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park provides beautiful views and thrilling rides that swing you out over the canyon and down its steep walls. The Alpine Coaster was named one of the 10 Best Roller Coaster Rides of Your Life by USA Today and Park World Magazine.
My favorite rides were the Alpine Coaster and the swings flying out over the edge of the mountain to view the canyon below.
Tickets for the Adventure Park include a gondola ride up to the park and your return fare, plus educational cave tours and all rides.
Depending on what in-park activities you want to enjoy, you can spend between a few hours and a full day at the Adventure Park.
Pro Tip: The caves have steps and are sometimes damp.
7. Gondola Ride
You can ride up, get off and take pictures from the top, shop, enjoy a nice meal, and then ride back down the mountain on the gondola whenever you are ready. You can purchase this ticket — without Adventure Park admission — for $25. The view is worth the cost of the ticket!
I would allow an hour or two for this since you might have a wait in line and you might decide to spend more time at the top.
Pro Tip: The gondola’s operation is weather dependent. Should a storm with lightning pop up, the gondola closes down for approximately 60 to 90 minutes.
8. Explore The Caverns
Colorado’s largest show cave, Glenwood Caverns was named One of the Top 10 Places to Go Underground by USA Today.
Go underground and view the natural wonders inside Iron Mountain. You can visit both the Historic Fairy Cave and King’s Row. The caves are especially great on hot days since the temperature is a cool 52 degrees year-round.
Tours are included in a Glenwood Caverns Funday Pass and the Gondola & Caves Pass.
Pro Tip: Take a jacket since it is cool inside the caves year-round. Wear appropriate footwear.
Where To Eat In Glenwood Springs
There are a few don’t-miss places to visit if you’re a foodie and want to experience some fine cuisine in Glenwood Springs. And if you have an insatiable sweet tooth, don’t worry, there’s something for you, too!
9. Riviera Supper Club And Scratch Food
This top pick among TripAdvisor reviewers has it all: divine atmosphere, exceptional service, and great food. They were a recent winner of 18 Locals’ Choice Awards including Best Chef, Best Place to Take a Date, and Best Restaurant in 2022. Riviera Supper Club boasts unique scratch food, outdoor seating, a romantic environment, and a variety of cuisine options including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
It’s rumored that you’ll find the owner playing piano for his guests when he’s not busy making sure they’re taken care of. Riviera is only open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, so it is an evening must!
10. Hotel Colorado Restaurant & Bar
The Hotel Colorado Restaurant and Bar is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It features an array of options that will delight your taste buds. There is also a gorgeous patio and courtyard that is open for lunch and dinner during the warmer months.
When we visited, we ate on the patio near the fountain. It was a peaceful and relaxing place to enjoy delicious food and tasty desserts. Reservations are recommended.
11. Sweet Coloradough
There are lots of great places to eat, but Sweet Coloradough stands out. It is my favorite. It might be the name or the fantastic food, but either way, I promise you won’t be disappointed if you visit.
Here, you can find any kind of donut you can imagine. They also have delicious fritters, cakes, deli sandwiches, and breakfast cocktails.
The Sweet Coloradough is busy, but they have great service and a good-humored staff. Stop by for a sweet treat and a cup of coffee or something stronger any time of day.
Where To Stay In Glenwood Springs
There are lots of places to stay, but I will highlight three of my favorites.
12. Hotel Colorado
The Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs is known for legendary service, modern amenities, and well-appointed rooms, all in the middle of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Located just a few steps from Glenwood Hot Springs, the Hotel Colorado is close to other attractions as well.
13. Hotel Denver
The Hotel Denver is a downtown boutique hotel with touches of the past mixed with modern amenities; it is a truly unique stay. The rooms are spacious and include a table and chairs, a sofa, a fridge, and a microwave. Our king-size bed was very comfortable and the hotel was very quiet.
The hallways are graced with gorgeous artwork and stained-glass windows.
14. Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge
Located on the grounds of Glenwood Hot Springs, the lodge is just steps from the pool. This 107-room lodge with both rooms and suites provides overnight guests with unlimited pool access and a full breakfast.
15. Hotel Glenwood Springs
Hotel Glenwood Springs is the hotel closest to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and is close to Iron Mountain Hot Springs as well. They have an indoor water park and pool area the whole family will love.
The rooms have two queen beds, a microwave, a mini-fridge, and a desk and chair. The hotel is family and pet-friendly.
Whether you come for an adventure or for relaxation, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for when you spend a weekend in Glenwood Springs. Have more time? Make sure you don’t miss any of the best things to see and do in Glenwood Springs.