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5 Reasons Glenwood Springs is Colorado’s Most Relaxing Mountain Town

With hot springs, Hanging Lake, heaps of history and delectable restaurants, a visit to Glenwood Springs promises luxuriant relaxation.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Historic Glenwood Springs train
Historic Glenwood Springs train
Glenwood Springs dining
Glenwood Springs dining
Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves
Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves
Glenwood Springs at night
Glenwood Springs at night
Glenwood Hot Springs pool
Glenwood Hot Springs pool
Glenwood Springs Vaudeville Revue
Glenwood Springs Vaudeville Revue
Glenwood Springs gondola
Glenwood Springs gondola
Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake
Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Iron Mountain Hot Springs

No matter the season, pair outdoor adventure with wellness activities for the ultimate Glenwood retreat. And, as a 100 percent Green Energy community, visitors can feel good about not affecting the carbon footprint.

1. Glenwood Springs has geothermal hot springs perfect for a wellness retreat.

Three Glenwood hot-springs attractions, along with world-class spa amenities, offer the perfect vacation for your mind, body and soul.

Home to the world’s largest hot-springs pool, historic Glenwood Hot Springs Resort has drawn wellness-seeking visitors to its toasty waters since 1888. Up the relaxation factor with a state-of-the-art rejuvenation facial and couples’ massage at the on-site Spa of the Rockies.

Or, immerse yourself with a steaming soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. A relative new kid on the block, Iron Mountain opened in 2015 and features 16 natural-mineral pools, along with a freshwater family pool by the Colorado River.

Feeling adventurous? Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves feature mineral-rich geothermal steam in subterranean chambers, creating naturally occurring steam baths — just for you — underground. Yampa is one of the few known vapor caves in North America. It was originally used by Ute Native Americans for healing and rituals.

2. You can experience a National Natural Landmark by hiking to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon.

A Colorado treasure, Hanging Lake’s dreamy emerald waters attract visitors from around the globe. Located in the heart of Glenwood Canyon and surrounded by the lushness of White River National Forest, the lake — bedazzled with trickling waterfall tendrils — is a rare example of a travertine geological formation.

You won’t experience instant gratification visiting this cliffside gem, however. The rewarding 1.2-mile trail to this Natural National Landmark is steep and rigorous. To help visitors enjoy Hanging Lake’s beauty without the crowds, a new reservation system was launched in 2019. Reserve your Hanging Lake permit here.

3. This historic mountain town beckons with top-notch entertainment, arts and culture.

Originally named Defiance, history buffs will be captivated by stories of Glenwood’s rowdy and rebellious early days. Delight in the town’s colorful characters and events with museum visits, historical tours and lots of entertainment.

For stories of yore and old-time facades, stroll through downtown on a self-directed historic walking tour; use this guide to see where outlaw Kid Curry is buried, visit the train station where presidents stopped to greet citizens and more.

Be sure to relish more Old West history with a replica of a typical pioneer household at Frontier Historical Museum; or head to Doc Holliday Museum (the site of his death in 1887) for photos, drawings, Doc’s pocket watch and the derringer that may have been gifted to him by his lover. Every October, the Glenwood Springs Historical Society offers a popular ghost walk at Linwood Pioneer Cemetery, where Holliday’s memorial marker resides.

Or, tour historic Hotel Colorado, a true “Grande Dame” built more than 125 years ago. Discover where Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Al Capone and Molly Brown stayed over the course of history and enjoy a Doc’s Old Fashioned at the Polo Bar.

Glenwood Springs entertainment opportunities abound as well. Don’t miss the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, a dinner-theater comedy and musical show with Vaudeville-style skits. The Riviera Supper Club & Piano Bar offers classical, jazz, show tunes and contemporary favorites almost every night of the week. Its neon sign has been gracing downtown Glenwood Springs since 1947.

4. Indulge in a lively dining and brewery scene.

It’s good news for foodies: There is a vibrant mix of culinary expressionism in Glenwood Springs — from pan-roasted Colorado trout to Hanging Lake Honey Ale and everything in between at area restaurants and breweries.

For a full and happy belly, start your perfect day with fluffy doughnuts at Sweet Coloradough before indulging in baked brie and macaroni-and-cheese with sriracha-bacon at Riviera Supper Club & Piano Bar. Other nosh-worthy delicacies include Nepal Restaurant’s saag paneer and the crab cakes at CO. Ranch House. Or, taste-test delicious, award-winning brews at both Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company and Casey Brewing Tap Room.

5. Glenwood Springs runs on 100 percent renewable energy, so your trip is sustainable.

Shrink your carbon footprint with a trip to Glenwood Springs! In 2019 it joined an elite group, becoming the seventh city in the United States to be powered entirely by renewable energy. All of its electricity comes from clean wind power, plus the town offers and promotes energy efficiency with its residences and businesses by offering rebates. 

The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park — known for cave tours and thrill rides — installed LED lighting within the caves as one of the first businesses to participate in the city program. It’s also one of the first amusement parks in the nation to use 100 percent renewable energy. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort additionally uses geothermal energy to heat its lodge, sidewalks and water.

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