Top Glenwood Springs Tourist Attractions


Known for its world-famous hot springs and cavern system, Glenwood Springs has developed into a premier four-season destination that appeals to thrill-seekers, families, foodies, culture vultures, and wellness seekers alike.


  • Glenwood Springs is home to exciting attractions like Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, a variety of outdoor adventures, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, a vibrant downtown Grand Avenue with shops and restaurants, and stunning natural scenery.
  • Its mild climate, mountain access, rivers, and proximity to ski resorts allow for year-round recreational activities suited for all interests and ages.
  • Accommodations range from hotels and BandBs to campgrounds and RV parks, with vacation planning resources available through the city's tourism board.
  • Nearby attractions like Rifle Falls State Park and the Roaring Fork Valley extend your exploration and showcase more of Colorado's incomparable beauty.

A Playground for Thrill-Seekers

For adventure lovers, Glenwood Springs is a dream come true. Start at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which takes you deep inside Iron Mountain via cable cars. This subterranean world features extensive cave formations, mining history exhibits, and adventure activities like cave tours, thrill rides, a 4D motion theater, laser tag, and a ropes course. Above ground, you’ll find more heart-pumping fun with two alpine coasters, giant swings, a zip line, a climbing wall, and the Haunted Mine Drop – the first drop ride to go underground.

If you prefer your adventures to be wet and wild, sign up for a whitewater rafting trip along the Colorado River. With rapids classified from I to V, there are options for all skill levels. Test your nerves plunging down Shoshone rapids or take a more relaxed paddle downstream suited for families. Too tame? Try ziplining across canyons, racing down rivers while fly fishing, or even skydiving over the Rocky Mountains for the ultimate adrenaline rush.

For two-wheeled exploits, Glenwood Springs has become a world-class mountain biking destination with over 100 miles of scenic singletrack. Rent a bike, head to the New Ute Trail System, or find thrills at Tilman Bishop Bike Park’s jumps and technical downhill trails. Road cyclists can challenge their endurance by circling through Glenwood Canyon and beyond. Hiking trails also abound, including the stunning Hanging Lake Trail that rewards exertion with emerald waters and waterfalls.

Family-Friendly Adventures

While hardcore athletes test their skills, little ones and less daring family members can still delight in Glenwood Springs. Kids love the Fairy Cave and King’s Row Cave Tour at Glenwood Caverns – meandering passages lit with colorful lights. Above ground, the amusement park’s rides, maze, and mining scene entertain ages 2 to 92. Families also flock to the scenic gondola for panoramic mountain views.

When it comes to water activities, rafting outfitters offer kid-friendly floats perfect for families. Try stand-up paddleboarding on the Colorado River or kayaking across scenic lakes nearby. For more relaxed swimming, the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge has a large family pool kept at a comfortable 92°F fed by the town’s therapeutic mineral waters.

If you bring toddlers or teens, check out the recreational facilities and parks around town. Try the skate park, batting cages, summer camps, disc golf, recreation center with indoor courts and pools, or the ropes and climbing course at Veltus Park. When kids need a break from the outdoors, they’ll appreciate hands-on activities like pottery painting, cooking classes, and arts and crafts.

Glenwood Springs Golf Club is a family-friendly 9-hole public golf course with a golf shop and on-site restaurant, and Glenwood Adventure Tours offers a wide array of experiences to choose from.

Hot Springs and Wellness

Since the 1880s, people have flocked to Glenwood Springs to soak in the restorative waters that made it famous. Two landmark hot springs anchor wellness tourism today. At the Hot Springs Pool, visitors immerse themselves in relaxation with therapy pools, water slides, and family areas surrounded by gardens and vapor caves. Since 2015, Iron Mountain Hot Springs has added 16 mineral-soaking pools terraced on the Colorado River. This spa-like environment utilizes the latest technologies, featuring amenities like massage jets, water features, and sand volleyball.

In addition to hot springs, today’s wellness seekers also come for yoga studios, spas, and wellness retreats. Enjoy massages, body treatments, guided meditation, sound baths, and outdoor adventures designed to heal the body and awaken the spirit. Visitors looking to relax, recharge, and reconnect for a few hours or a few days have endless options to choose from.

Four Seasons of Adventure

One of Glenwood Springs’ biggest assets is its mild, four-season climate coupled with plentiful mountain access. Ski buffs hit the slopes at Sunlight Mountain Resort, just 20 minutes away. This laid-back, family-friendly resort has over 700 acres of varied terrain perfect for all abilities – plus one of the longest runs in Colorado.

As spring arrives, snow transforms into rapids for whitewater rafting, and waterfalls rush with snowmelt, creating a completely different adventure. Wildflowers emerge along hiking trails that become accessible, like the hike to Hanging Lake. Mountain bikers take advantage of dry conditions to challenge cross-country and downhill trails. By summer, lakes and reservoirs reach peak capacity for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming. It’s easy to play outside, from river floats to scenic chairlift rides.

Fall paints the valley in golden hues, perfect for a relaxing gondola ride, while festivals celebrate the harvest. By winter, snow transforms the landscape yet again for skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating under sunny bluebird skies. Throughout every season, hot springs and spas provide the perfect environment to warm up or unwind after playing in Glenwood’s natural playground.

A Foodie’s Paradise

A vacation to Glenwood Springs also nourishes the soul with a burgeoning food scene noted for its farm-to-table cuisine. The combination of Colorado ranches, nearby orchards, and microbreweries means fresh regional specialties shine on menus. Locally-raised hormone-free meats and local produce create tasty burgers, while craft beers perfectly pair with mountain trout. Several restaurants focus on sharing plates, allowing diners to sample creative dishes showcasing regional ingredients.

Foodies appreciate the intimate atmosphere of restaurants housed in downtown Glenwood Springs in historic buildings on Grand Avenue. Choose from steakhouses, Italian cuisine, South American, Mexican, barbecue, cafes, diners, and fast-casual. Cap off the night by grabbing a locally-made craft beer, wine, or artisanal cocktail. Don’t miss the Marble Distillery Inn – an award-winning distillery, restaurant, and inn all in one. Local favorites like the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub or the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue dinner theater are sure to offer fun things to do for the whole family.

Lodging and Trip Planning

The variety of Glenwood Springs hotels and accommodations in the area match the diversity of attractions. Find relaxation and romance at cozy bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels located in downtown Glenwood Springs. Families often choose from trusted hotel chains that provide comfortable rooms, pools, continental breakfasts, and convenient parking. Several area ranches and lodges offer a taste of the Old West with horseback riding, evening campfires, and cabins in the woods. Glenwood Springs has camping spots and RV parks along the Colorado River for budget travelers.

Vacation planning is easy through the city’s tourism websites, which list upcoming events, deals, and travel tips. Visitors can search attractions, and book discounted tickets online for convenience. Since the climate varies at different elevations, the weather and conditions play a huge role in selecting the perfect time for your adventures. Spring and fall tend to be less crowded, while summers are lively. Consider the location of your hotel in relation to your desired activities as well.

Beyond Glenwood Springs

While Glenwood Springs offers plenty of attractions, visitors should also explore beyond city limits. Rifle Falls State Park is thirty minutes away, which protects a triple waterfall flowing through a rugged canyon. Hike through the unique geology and flora to the viewing platform for magical views. Continue up the canyon to explore a historic homestead site accessible only by foot.

The Roaring Fork Valley also rewards exploration with the charming towns of Carbondale and Aspen. Marble, just 12 miles from Glenwood Springs, gives a glimpse into Colorado mining history. Visit the Marble Distillery housed in a historic stone building, or soak in secluded Penny Hot Springs.

No matter which direction you travel from Glenwood Springs, the journey will showcase more of Colorado’s natural splendor through river valleys, red rock formations, alpine forests, and snow-capped peaks. Use Glenwood Springs as your base camp to experience the state’s incomparable beauty from the comfort of hot springs at the end of each day.


What are the top 3 things to do with kids in Glenwood Springs?

The top 3 kid-friendly activities are Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, whitewater rafting, and the Hot Springs family area. The amusement park has rides and activities for all ages, and rafting outfitters offer gentle floats perfect for children. The Hot Springs Pool has water slides, pools, and mini-golf, surrounded by gardens.

Where should I stay for easy access to attractions?

Downtown lodging like the Hotel Denver, Hotel Colorado, or smaller inns put you steps away from restaurants, shops, and nightlife. The Hot Springs Lodge provides direct access to the hot springs pools and spa services. For families, hotels along the highway allow quick access to attractions like Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

When is the best time of year to visit Glenwood Springs?

Spring and fall tend to be best for avoiding crowds while offering moderate temperatures for hiking, biking, leaf peeping, and seasonal festivals. Summers are lively with families playing in the water, and winters are quieter but perfect for skiing and soaking in steamy mineral pools.

What is there to do in winter besides skiing?

In winter, enjoy snowshoeing, fat biking, ice skating at the downtown rink, relaxing in hot springs, visiting the Frontier Historical Museum, shopping the downtown holiday market, taking a sleigh ride, or trying a spa treatment. Winter hiking is also popular when conditions allow.

What natural hot springs are located near Glenwood Springs?

Iron Mountain Hot Springs and the Hot Springs Pool are located right in Glenwood Springs. Other nearby hot springs are Avalanche Ranch, Cottonwood, Penny (Carbondale), and Mount Princeton. Soaking in geothermal mineral waters is a favorite regional pastime.


About the author

James Ranson

I’m an editor, traveler, and fan of the great outdoors. I’ve been to all 48 continental US states, and my drives through Colorado’s rugged peaks and snowy forests (not to mention whiskey tastings in Denver!) still stand out in my memories. I’m excited to use my ten years of editing experience to develop engaging and informative guides and articles that enhance the outdoor experiences of both Colorado residents and visitors. Whether a piece is about exploring the best ski resorts, uncovering scenic trails for hiking, or finding the most inspiring drives through the Colorado Rockies, my aim is to provide comprehensive and accessible content that encourages adventure and exploration.