Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Glenwood Springs – The Gateway to Western Colorado
Nestled in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley, Glenwood Springs is the gateway to Aspen and Colorado’s high country. Located conveniently between Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Canyon’s 2,000-foot-high limestone walls and towering rock formations open into the Roaring Fork Valley, creating a natural boundary between mankind and wilderness.
First marketed as the “Spa in The Rockies” by the Rio Grande Railroad, this small town rose to fame with help from the historic Hotel Colorado and the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, both built in the late 1880s. The architecture in the downtown district is a mix of turn-of-the-century brick buildings, modern split-levels, and Victorian homes. Now the home of many local small businesses, shops, and boutiques, Glenwood Springs serves as the main shopping and family entertainment hub for the Roaring Fork Valley.
The geography making up the “Coolest Small Town in America” is as a big reason thousands of people each year visit this beautiful little town. The Colorado River and Roaring Fork River meet downtown. And a pedestrian bridge, connecting North and South Glenwood, turns every cross-town stroll into a scenic river walk.
In the winter months, Sunlight Mountain Resort offers powder-fresh ski days with a welcoming and distinctly local, non-intimidating vibe with over 680 skiable acres and 67 trails to choose from. Glenwood Springs is also the home of the largest natural hot springs pool in the world, which has attracted some of Glenwood’s best-known visitors, including Teddy Roosevelt, Al Capone, and the infamous Dr. John “Doc” Holliday.
Glenwood Canyon and the Roaring Fork Valley
During the summer months, Glenwood Springs residents and visitors take to the water and are often seen floating down the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon. Viewing Glenwood Canyon from the Colorado River’s point-of-view is one not to miss on your next visit to Glenwood Springs.
Floating past Glenwood Canyon Resort is always a pleasure as well. Watch overhead as the ziplines above the Colorado River soar participants from one side of the river to the other, listen for the music and fun being had above at the No Name Bar & Grill, or wave to campers of the resort catching a little shade in the midday’s heat.
Defiance Rafting Company is a new member of the resort’s family and offers Colorado rafting trips for everyone in your family, including Defiance’s popular half-day experiences. The Glenwood Canyon Half-Day Rafting experience offers a little something for everyone with the thrill of class III(IV) whitewater run down the Shoshone rapids coupled with a scenic cruise down Glenwood Canyon. The family-oriented Scenic Canyon Half-Day Float trip lets you kick-back and relax, while the thrilling advanced Double Shoshone Half-Day rafting trip reintroduces you to the Shoshone rapids for a second round of splash and just the right amount of scenic float to Defiance’s HQ @ No Name.
For the adventure crammed, Defiance offers a quick dose of Shoshone and the scenic charms of Glenwood Canyon with its Shoshone Short rafting tour. It’s a fun and done experience that gets you on and off the Colorado River in about an hour. Or try out two of Defiance’s newer experiences – the hard-charging High-Five advanced whitewater rafting adventure or the great times had on one of its guided kayak (duckie) adventures. If you’re going for the full-immersion experience, you can’t go wrong with Defiance’s intimately focused Full Day rafting trip.
Glenwood Springs’ accolades also include a top ranking in the 100 Best Small Towns in America, Money Magazine’s Survey of the 50 Great Small Towns with Great Jobs, Rand McNally’s Best of the Road, Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Towns in America, and the Travel Channel’s Hottest Place to Cool Off. As the major gateway to Aspen and Colorado’s high country, as well as being the link between Denver and Grand Junction along the I-70 corridor, Glenwood Springs is arguably the Heart of the Rocky Mountains, and its beat is loud and clear.