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North America > United States of America > Rocky Mountains (United States of America) > Colorado > Northwestern Colorado > Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs

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Glenwood Springs is located in the western half of Colorado, United States of America, right where the south central, Front Range, and northwestern regions meet. It is in Garfield County roughly halfway between Vail and Aspen. Resting at about the same elevation as Denver, Glenwood Springs is famous for its hot springs pool.

Understand[edit]

Glenwood Springs is located at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River, in the Roaring Fork Valley. The two rivers shape the town. They provide world-class fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, and now kayaking.

Originally named Defiance, in the late 1800s, the name was changed by white men arrived from an Iowa town called Glenwood. Many of the nearby towns (Aspen and Leadville) had their booms while Glenwood Springs was yet in its infancy. Glenwood Springs was difficult to reach due to the canyons to the east and west; it was also located on Ute land. The town grew in part thanks to its location on the railroad and the Colorado River.

The local area is surrounded by public lands, especially the White River National Forest, which attracts hunters and campers from great distance. The Grand Mesa is to the west and the Flattops Wilderness area dominate to the North. The Flattops is a very large area offering unlimited high-country exploring. The Four Mile recreation area (to the South-west)offers easier day mountain access favored by locals. Glenwood Springs is a truly great place to access all the Rocky Mountains have to offer.

In terms of culture (and ski-appeal) it is hard to overestimate the role of Aspen. Glenwood Springians may not want to actually live in Aspen, but they do appreciate being able to commute to a cultural mecca.

Up the valley are Carbondale, Basalt, Snowmass and Aspen. To the west are New Castle, Silt and Rifle.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

There is city airport in Glenwood Springs, but it only accommodates small private planes. The Garfield County Airport, between Silt and Rifle is about 40 minutes away. It accommodates larger planes, but does not offer commercial flights.

The closest cities with airports that accommodate commercial flights are:

  • Eagle-Vail (35 minutes... recommended) - this airport is located between Gypsum and Eagle. It offers free parking and is easy to get to from the highway (I-70). In the winter, there are direct flights to some hubs, such as Minneapolis and Dallas.
  • Aspen (45 minutes, tough in traffic and common weather issues) paid parking and not much of it.
  • Grand Junction (80 minutes by car)- this is convenient for travelers heading south and west.

By car[edit]

Driving from:

  • Grand Junction. An hour and a half drive east on I-70.
  • Vail. Just over an hour's drive west.
  • Aspen. An hour's drive north.

By train[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States

Amtrak serves Glenwood Springs with the California Zephyr, which runs daily between Emeryville (in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Chicago. The journey from Denver takes about five and a half hours. The scenic route is timed to pass through Glenwood Canyon during daylight hours both eastbound and westbound, and passes through parts of Colorado inaccessible by road. 1 Glenwood Springs Amtrak is located on 7th Street.

By bus[edit]

  • Bustang links Glenwood Springs with Denver, Frisco, Vail, and Eagle. Bus stops are located at the 2 South Glenwood BRT Station (Glen Ave/Hwy 82 at 27th St) and the 3 West Glenwood Park & Ride (Wulfsohn Rd at Midland Ave, west of the Glenwood Meadows shopping center).

Get around[edit]

Ride Glenwood Springs circulates throughout the town every 30 minutes. RFTA Valley buses also traverse most of the town at separate 30 minute intervals. Both buses cost $1.00 in fare.

VelociRFTA, America's first rural bus rapid transit system, is under construction with an estimated opening of September 2013. There will be a stop in South Glenwood.

See[edit]

  • Glenwood Canyon. Accessible by car or by bike path. Fishing, rafting, hiking, biking, rollerblading. all within a gorgeous canyon

Do[edit]

  • Colorado Backcountry Biker. All inclusive self-guided mountain biking tours and adventures in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.
  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. A family adventure park with a focus on caving. A fun tram ride, restaurant, rides and cave tours makes this a MUST for family travelers. Plan on at least 1/2 a day here if you are visiting. maybe more!
  • 1 Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, 401 N. River St., Glenwood Springs, CO, +1 970-947-2955. 9am-10pm. A huge hot spring pool that is the signature attraction of the town. The colder and more inclement the weather, the better. Established in 1888, Glenwood Hot Springs includes the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world. The "big" pool is about 90° F / 32° C and the therapy pool is about 104° F / 40° C. $10.75-$21.00.
  • Glenwood Adventure Company, 723 Cooper Ave Glenwood springs (Down Town Glenwood springs), +1 970-945-7529, e-mail: . Rafting, Unimog off road tours, Bike rentals and Glenwood Canyon shuttle, Horseback rides, ATV tours, Paragliding, Segway adventures, fly fishing and more. Glenwood Adventure Company is your one stop shop for all the fun things to do in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
  • Rock Gardens Rafting. Offers a variety of local trips on the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers - choose from whitewater thrills to scenic family trips. They also offer Jeep tours and fly-fishing trips. Glenwood Springs is a popular rafting destination due to its location at the confluence of two major Western rivers. The Colorado River is notable for its 12 month flows, which bring in rafting outfitters from all over the state during low-water months.
  • Sunlight Mountain Resort. A really local nice ski area for family skiers. Not as professional and huge as other nearby resorts but much more affordable with a lot of mountain to ski.
  • Yampah Spa and Salon. Has vapor caves and a spa. It is recommended you try the caves themselves for an hour. This involves sitting in a natural cave (on benches spread throughout a series of chambers) that is hot and steamy hot. Cold water and buckets are available to splash yourself with cold water.
  • [dead link] Snowmobiling Glenwood Springs Area. Colorado is home to some of the best snowmobiling in the country. Glenwood Springs is surrounded by two areas, White River National Forest and the Grand Mesa. Trail riding on groomed trails, hill climbing, deep powder carving, scenic views, with a mixture of trees and meadows. These areas get an average of 35 feet of snow a year.
  • 2 Iron Mountain Hot Springs, 281 Centennial Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, +1 970-945-4766. 9am-10pm. Opened on July 18, 2015, Iron Mountain Hot Springs is a new addition to Glenwood Springs. There are 16 mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with water temperatures ranging from 92°F to 108°F. Also located on site are a bathhouse and café. $9-$20.

Buy[edit]

Glenwood has a nice shopping area downtown with lots of cute little boutique shops. There is a new mall with a Target, Lowes, Vitamin Cottage, Petco, Pier 1. Make sure you stroll down Cooper Avenue too, which has some nice consignment shops and natural foods store.

Eat[edit]

For those seeking fast-food, McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. can all be found in town. For a change, try the Charcoal Burger on the road between West Glenwood and downtown.

  • Italian Underground (Downtown). Dinner only. The locals favorite Italian. Great atmosphere. Reasonable prices. Good wine list. Very popular and rather small. Your best best is to be there when they open at 5PM.
  • Los Jilbertos, 51241 Highway 6 (Just east of the I-70 West Glenwood exit). Indoor, inexpensive, Mexican taco/burrito stand.
  • May Palace. Chinese restaurant downtown. Great lunch specials.
  • Tapei Tokyo. A Chinese restaurant near City Market.
  • Tequila's. A Mexican restaurant near the I70 exit.
  • 19th Street Diner, 1908 Grand Ave (2 blocks south of Sayre Park), +1 970-945-9133. 7-9 m-s7-3 sun. American cuisine with daily specials and soups. House smoked Ribs and Pork. Great family atmosphere. Full bar with 6 draught handles. Always playing Colorado;s Sports games. NFL Sunday ticket on 4 HDTVs. $10 +/-.

Drink[edit]

  • Glenwood Canyon Brewpub. This is a great place to drink if you like fresh brewed beer, real pool tables, games on TV, no-smoking. If you want Budweiser, cheap pool tables, and a smoky environment, go over to Doc's or The Springs.

Sleep[edit]

  • Affordable Inns of Glenwood. Specializing in King and Double Queen rooms with refrigerators and microwaves, the hotel also offers wireless internet, guest laundry, HBO and movie channels, hot tub, free local calls, and continental breakfast.
  • The Hotel Denver. The Hotel Denver offers the best of the old and new. The rooms are decorated with quilts and antiques, and have modern conveniences such as wireless internet access and movies. It is centrally located in downtown Glenwood Springs, near the Hot Springs Pool, and the Amtrak station. The Glenwood Canyon Brewpub is located in this historic hotel.
  • 1 Sunlight Mountain Inn, 10252 County Road 117, toll-free: +1-888-350-5454. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A 20 Room B & B at the base of Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort. Offers apres-ski and a full dinner menu several times a week. $69 - $179.
  • Four Mile Creek. Upscale Bed & Breakfast and cabins about 15 minutes away from town, towards the ski area. About 5 minutes from Sunlight Mountain Resort. Romantic and adult.
  • B&B on Mitchell Creek. Offers several nice suites that feel an hour from town but are only 10 minutes. If you want to be up in the mountains for a romantic stay, check them out.
  • 2 The Hotel Colorado, 526 Pine St, +1 970-945-6511, toll-free: +1-800-544-3998. The signature hotel of the area and is rich in history. It opened in 1893 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is worth a visit just to stroll through the lobby area or have a bite to eat. They serve a decent Sunday brunch and the bar is a good place to watch a game or just pass the time with comfortable seating and cable TV. $104.
  • Glenwood Canyon Resort. Offers very nice little cabins and some camping. Located right on the Colorado River in "No Name" which is one highway exit up from Glenwood proper. The Glenwood Canyon Trail is very close (for hiking and biking). They also offer rafting trips via their Rock Gardens Rafting trips
  • Holiday Inn Express. Standard, if reliable, chain lodging. Very close to the entry to the Glenwood Caverns park.
  • Hotel Glenwood Springs, 52000 Two Rivers Plaza Rd. Glenwood Springs only Hotel with an Indoor Waterpark. Just a few feet from The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Tramway and just a few blocks from the Hot Springs Pool. Nice Family Hotel. Hot Springs Pool and Adventure Park packages available.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Colorado's Wine Country - Colorado is home to over 70 wineries and its own indigenous vineyards. Wine lovers can enjoy several scenic day trips from Glenwood Springs to many of the small towns that grow their own grapes. These lovely little communities include Montrose, Palisade, Paonia, and Hotchkiss, as well as the city of Grand Junction. Palisade is about 90 minutes away by car.
Routes through Glenwood Springs
Salt Lake CityGrand Junction  W Amtrak California Zephyr icon.png E  GranbyDenver
Grand JunctionRifle  W I-70.svgUS 6.svg E  EagleDenver


This city travel guide to Glenwood Springs is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.