“America’s Most Fun Small Town” has lived up to its name in my book. Yes, there are soooo many fun things to do in Glenwood Springs for adults and kids. Think rafting the Colorado River, hiking, fishing, ziplining – the list goes on. My kids are still fairly young, both under the age of six so our hikes are limited as are many of our outdoor adventures but in Glenwood Springs it didn’t matter. There were so many options for different ages and abilities everyone was happy. Here’s my MUST list of things to do in Glenwood Springs with kids.
Top Three Things to do in Glenwood Springs with Kids
1. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
The Glenwood Hot Springs have been a focal point in the town since it was founded in 1888, bringing in tourists, celebrities, royalty and American presidents for years. Before that it hosted the Ute Indians who used the pool for “Big” medicine. The hot springs are more than BIG – it is the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world. It measures over two blocks long with more than one million gallons of water.
There are three pools at Glenwood Hot Springs. One is a smaller therapy pool with a temperature of 104 degrees and the larger swimming/play pool at a temperature of 90 degrees as well as a smaller, kiddie pool. I personally preferred the therapy pool. There were less children playing here, which means quiet and no splashing. Soaking in the 15 healing minerals in the therapy pool really did tend to my aches and pains. (If I could soak in this pool every day for a month I think I might just be able to run again…)
The larger pool is designed more for swimming, playing and kicking back. While it may look overly crowded at times, you can easily find a spot to lean back and enjoy the water. If you just want to swim, there are a few designated swimming lanes available to jump into. The kiddie pool is only open during the summer months (Glenwood Hot Springs is open year around). In addition to the three pools, Glenwood Hot Springs has added two water slides. Note, the rides on the slide are not included in the ticket price to the pool.
- Water slide four rides – $6
- Water slide eight rides – $8.25
- Water slide all day – $19.50
- Admission to the Glenwood Hot Springs – $10.25-$12.25 for kids under 12, $15-$20 for teens/adults. Prices change based on the season. Kids under the age of three are free.
- Hours– 7:30am – 10pm (opening hours may change during the seasons, check in advance.)
You really can spend an entire day at Glenwood Hot Springs – if you wanted to. There is pool-side grill that serves both breakfast and lunch items. Think cheese burgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps, ice cream, etc. You can also bring your own picnic items and grab a shady spot in the large grassy area off to the side of the pool. Bring a Frisbee and make a day of it.
2. Doc Holliday Hike
Mix in a little history with a hike to Doc Holliday’s gravesite. Doc Holliday was a famous gambling gunslinger who moved to Glenwood Springs to try and cure his tuberculosis in the healing waters of Glenwood’s hot springs. He is buried in Glenwood Springs. It’s about a mile walk, on a paved trail with stunning views every way to turn.
3. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
A morning gondola ride up the side of the mountain is a beautiful way to start the day. But what awaits at the end of the ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park brings an entirely new experience.
The park is located atop the Iron Mountain complete with America’s highest elevation roller coaster; the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster is 7,100 feet in elevation. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is also home to the first Alpine Coaster in the United States, which races visitors down 3,400 feet. Quite the ride!
My favorite – the Soaring Eagle Zipline, which takes you up then soars you 625 feet down the mountain. Talk about wind in your hair!
Parents take note, kids have to be at least 56 inches tall to take a ride alone. If they’re at least 38 inches tall (and threes years old) they can ride with an adult. There are a few rides designed for smaller kids, the Ferris wheel is a great one. My kids LOVED the Giddy Up, which essentially bounces you up and down a few times. My girls referred to the ride as the Giggle Up, they could NOT stop giggling the entire ride. (Kids have to 36 inches tall to ride this alone.)
The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is not all fun and games. You can get a great geology and history lesson on one of the two guided Cave Tours. The Historic Fairy Caves was named by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Places to go Underground”. The 50-minute guided Cave Tour takes you on a quarter-mile-long underground stroll through the Iron Mountain to view flow stone, stalagmites, rock cauliflower, and more. It’s a very easy walk but I do suggest bringing comfortable shoes and a light jackets as the cave is about 54 degrees inside. There is another tour you can choose to take as well. The Kings Row cave tour takes you deeper in the mountain to a highly decorated cave. The formations in both tours – stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws and cave bacon – are stunning…
The guides do an excellent job explaining the history of the cave and the rock formations you’re walking through. Parents take note: Kids cannot touch ANYTHING inside. The guides are very serious about this as touching the rocks actually hurts the cave and causes significant damage.
- Summer Funday Pass includes everything – the gondola ride, cave tours and all the rides at the park $48 (adult) / $43 (child)
- Skip the rides at the park, enjoy the gondola and cave tours – $25 (adult) $20 (child)
- Simply catch a ride on the gondola – $13 (adult) $8 (child)
I’d love to hear what your favorite things to do Glenwood Springs is – with or without kids.
Elaine Schoch (pronounced the German way – Shock) is the editor and founder of Carpe Travel as well as an award-winning travel writer, wine judge, certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 and certified American Wine Expert. She is married to The Husband and has two kids, Princess One and Two – who’s interest and knowledge in wine is quite extensive. Not to mention the stamps in their passports.