Best Time to Visit Glenwood Springs, Colorado


Glenwood Springs’s mild climate, daily sunshine, and various experiences make it an appealing destination regardless of the season.

This article explores the best time to visit Glenwood Springs based on weather, peak tourist seasons, events, and activity availability. With insights across 12 months, it is an in-depth guide for travelers to maximize their Glenwood Springs vacation.


  • Spring and fall feature pleasant weather, smaller crowds, and lower prices than the summer peak season.
  • The summer months promise endless outdoor recreation, festivals, events, and fantastic Glenwood Springs weather.
  • Winter unlocks snow sports while the Glenwood hot springs remain a relaxing refuge year-round.

Weather and Crowds by Month

Glenwood Springs enjoys a high percentage of sunny days annually thanks to the rain shadow effect of surrounding mountain ranges. While weather varies somewhat by season, Glenwood’s climate is relatively mild compared to other alpine towns.

The peak tourist season spans from June through August. Glenwood Springs lures visitors with summer weather and a full slate of attractions and activities. Expect daytime highs around 80°F and nighttime lows of 50°F. Afternoons may see short-lived thunderstorms.

Spring and Fall

Visitors to the Glenwood Canyon area can enjoy pleasant weather with fewer tourists and more affordable lodging. September still reaches 70°F during the day, while October has a mix of 50s and 60s. April sees highs in the 60s, while May jumps into the 70s.


In the winter, Glenwood Springs experiences cold temperatures and snowfall. Daytime highs in December through February range from 30-45°F, with lows dipping below freezing. Snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches per month are typical. The ski resort opens in mid-November.

Hot Springs Pool

The crown jewel of Glenwood Springs is the Glenwood Hot Springs. These hot spring pools maintain a year-round temperature of 90-94°F.

During peak visitor months in June, July, and August, the pools open at 7 am to accommodate demand. Arrive early or late to avoid crowds.

September and May offer fewer tourists while maintaining pleasant weather, making these months ideal for a relaxing soak.

Glenwood Hot Springs stays open and popular even in winter. The contrast between the Rocky Mountain air and steaming waters creates a surreal experience. Visit during snowfall for an authentic alpine immersion.

Hiking Trails

Surrounded by the White River National Forest and nearby Iron Mountain, Glenwood Springs serves as a hub for hiking trails spanning beginner to advanced.

Summer and early fall provide the best window for high-country treks. Trails like Hanging Lake, Grizzly Creek, and the stunning Maroon Bells Scenic Area fully open in mid-June, depending on the snowpack. They all provide breathtaking mountain views, and wildflowers bloom from July through September.

Spring and fall offer moderate temps on the lower elevation trails. Hikers should prepare for muddy conditions.

Winter takes the high country trails out of commission, but snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on groomed tracks around Glenwood Canyon opens up.

White River National Forest

Blanketing vast wilderness around Glenwood Springs, the White River National Forest provides endless outdoor recreation.

Most areas become accessible by mid-June once the snow melts. July and August are ideal for boating, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and peak trail access.

September still sees warm weather and fall colors emerging, though some roads and trails may close. Check conditions for specific areas.

Access to the national forest becomes very limited during winter. It opens primarily for snow sports at designated ski resorts like Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek, and Sunlight Mountain Resort. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and Nordic areas are also open on a limited basis.

Glenwood Canyon

This stunning canyon along the Colorado River features towering red rock cliffs, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife.

The scenic drive and trails are the most accessible and have the best weather during the summer months, but visitors should be aware of potential afternoon thunderstorms.

Spring brings moderate temperatures and greenery, though trail conditions vary greatly based on precipitation and melt timing.

Fall offers pleasant weather but typically smokier skies due to forest fires across the west.

Winter takes Glenwood Canyon’s trails out of commission, but the highway remains open for those hoping to glimpse snow-dusted vistas. For anyone traveling I70 from Denver or Colorado Sprints to Grand Junction, the stretch of interstate that winds through Glenwood Canyon is some of the most scenic among the United States interstates.

Rafting Season

Rafting the famed Shoshone Rapids on the Colorado River is a rite of passage in Glenwood Springs. The rafting season runs from mid-May through September as spring meltwaters swell the river. The most intense rapids come in June.

Rafting is not recommended outside the regular season, but avid rafters can find specialty outfitters offering winter trips depending on water flow. These outings require wetsuits and advanced skills.

Strawberry Days Festival

Glenwood Springs’ beloved community festival, Strawberry Days, takes place over three days in late June and celebrates the town’s agricultural heritage. Visitors enjoy free live music, carnival rides, parades, food, and entertainment.

Ski Season

Sunlight Mountain Resort is the closest and most local resort and caters to skiers and snowboarders every winter. Lifts open by Thanksgiving weekend and typically operate into early April.

Festivals and Events

Beyond Strawberry Days in summer, Glenwood Springs hosts festivals and events across seasons:

  • Winter: Snowshoe Tournaments, Polar Plunge
  • Spring: Mountain Fair, Bicycle Tour, Whitewater Festival, 9Health Fair
  • Summer: Ride the Rockies Bicycle Tour, Brewgrass Festival, ArtWalks
  • Fall: Oktoberfest, Hogback Hustle, Taste of South Canyon


Glenwood Springs offers varied lodging options, from hotels and motels to vacation rentals year-round, and is located both downtown and along the interstate. Popular choices include Glenwood Hot Springs Resort and other hotels in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Peak demand occurs in summer when rates surge. Spring and fall provide savings, while winter sees another surge due to ski traffic.

Unique stays, such as tiny homes, cabins, RV parks, lodges, and bed and breakfast inns, offer affordable alternatives to mainstream hotels.

Travel Itinerary

Constructing an itinerary mixing relaxation, activities, and culture will maximize your Glenwood Springs experience:

  • Mornings: Enjoy smaller crowds at the hot spring pools and breakfast at a local eatery downtown.
  • Afternoons: Partake in an outdoor excursion like hiking, biking, rafting, or visiting a scenic area.
  • Evenings: Unwind with a soak at the Hot Springs at sunset, then dinner at a restaurant along the river or a beer at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub. During summer, enjoy free live music and entertainment, like the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.


What is there to do in Glenwood Springs in the winter?

Winter activities include skiing and snowboarding at Sunlight Mountain Resort, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, soaking in the steamy hot spring pools surrounded by snowfall, and browsing downtown shops.

When are hotel rates the cheapest in Glenwood Springs?

Lodging rates dip during the spring and fall shoulder seasons compared to peak summer pricing. Winter sees lower demand outside of ski weekends.

What is the best month to visit Glenwood Springs?

While Glenwood Springs shines year-round, May, September, and October typically enjoy ideal weather, smaller crowds, lower prices, and availability of activities compared to the popular summer season.

What is there to do in Glenwood Springs when it rains?

The Hot Springs Pool remains a relaxing and scenic refuge on rainy days. Visitors can also duck into shops and restaurants downtown, tour the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, view installations at the Defiance Gallery, learn history at Frontier Historical Society Museum, and see regional exhibits at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.


About the author

Ransom Patterson

My expertise in Colorado life extends beyond just residing here; it’s also about living actively within the community. I spend my time cycling through Denver’s trails, experimenting with local cuisines, and immersing myself in the local music scene. These activities give me a unique perspective on the cultural and outdoor offerings of Colorado. This hands-on approach allows me to provide insider tips and personal recommendations that resonate with both locals and visitors alike.