Take a day ... Visit Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs.



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Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs.

Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs.



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Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs.

Swing from Exclamation Point at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.



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Swing from Exclamation Point at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Alpine Coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park



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Alpine Coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

QUICKREAD

EXPERT PICK

Given a day to hang out in Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park spokeswoman Mandy Gauldin would, of course, spend some time at the place where she works.

And then there’s the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. But beyond that, she identified biking and whitewater rafting as her preferred activities.

The Rio Grande Trail connects Aspen to Glenwood Springs via a 40-mile paved path that follows the old railroad corridor. And there are plenty of opportunities to ride the rapid or enjoy a calmer float on both the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers.



Besides being 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the most sweltering of summer days in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs boasts an abundance of reasons to hop into the car and head 90 minutes east on Interstate 70.

The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool needs little introduction: letting your muscle aches and stress melt away while soaking in 104-degree, mineral-rich water. ‘Nuff said.

Itching to strap on your hiking boots? There are plenty of ribbons of rock and dirt in the area, including the popular Hanging Lake Trail and the less-discovered Grizzly Creek Trail in Glenwood Canyon.

Whitewater rafting? Definitely. Bike riding? Of course. Or, if you just want to laze around town, Glenwood’s downtown is a pedestrian-friendly area where you can shop for hours or plop down at a sidewalk table with a cup of coffee.

But if you have one just one day to visit the city once frequented by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown and Doc Holliday, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers something for adults and children alike.

And owner Steve Beckley is in the process of adding several attractions to keep the park fresh. By Memorial Day, the park plans to have open two roller coasters and a Ferris wheel-style ride.

The Cliffhanger roller coaster features an 80-second ride with cliffside curves and sudden dropoffs. It’s located above the rest of the Adventure Park at an elevation of 7,160 feet, making it the highest-elevation full-size roller coaster in the United States, according to park spokeswoman Mandy Gauldin.

Gauldin expects the ride to draw roller coaster fans not just from throughout the country, but from around the world, noting that a newspaper in France contacted the park within 30 minutes of her sending out a news release announcing the new attractions earlier this year.

The other roller coaster is a kid-friendly, train-themed ride with hills and curves. The Mine Wheel will feature eight cars each capable of carrying six people. At 32 feet high, it provides riders with scenic views of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Gauldin said the new attractions are intended not only to offer something new and keep people coming back to the park, but reduce wait times. The trio of rides doubles the park’s capacity from 1,000 to 2,000 rides an hour, she said.

“When the mountain is full, there will be plenty to do,” she said.

The new attractions join a full slate of activities at the park, including mine tours, canyon swing, alpine coaster, “4-D” theater, zip ride, bungee trampoline, climbing wall and maze.

The park is located at 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For information, go to http://www.glenwoodcaverns.com or call 970-945-4228.

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