Located in the Rocky Mountains at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers, picturesque Glenwood Springs is a paradise for hikers, rafters, kayakers, bicyclists, and fishermen. Whether you’re a day-tripper, vacationer or just passing through, here’s what you can see and do in Glenwood:
World class rafting
Both the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers are excellent rafting venues, but the Colorado, which rips through the dramatic Glenwood Canyon, is perhaps the more exciting choice and is Class III-IV in sections. Rafting outfitters usually start their season around June first, after the snow melt is mostly finished, and continue well into autumn. The rafting outfitter I’ve had good experiences with over the years is Blue Sky Adventures. They have an assortment of trips ranked by difficulty and distance and will transport you to the “put in” and bring you back from the “take out”. All equipment provided. Family friendly. All major credit cards accepted.
Hiking and biking
There are several hiking trails in the immediate area. In Glenwood Canyon, three well-maintained trails spur off to the north, all easily accessed from Interstate 70:
> No Name trail, intermediate difficulty, about nine miles round trip, use No Name interstate exit.
> Grizzly Creek trail, intermediate difficulty lower, difficult upper, about twelve miles round trip, but many hikers turn around at mile four or so, use Exit 121.
> Hanging Lake trail, the most popular canyon trail, intermediate difficulty, about three to four miles round trip, depending whether you hike further on to Sprouting Rock, use Hanging Lake Exit.
To the south of town is Mt. Sopris at 12,000 plus feet, and a very hike-able “walk up” using no climbing gear. Consult locally about trail conditions. This is a long and vigorous hike and should be started in very early morning, before daylight, so you can safely descent before afternoon thunderstorms.
Bicyclists often use the sixteen mile paved Glenwood Canyon hiking and biking trail for a quick ride, or head over to the steep Jeanne Golay trail that scales Red Mountain. Big views of the valley and Mt. Sopris from here.
The famous Hot Springs
The Hot Springs are Glenwood’s namesake and perhaps its most popular attraction, especially for kids. With the world’s largest hot springs swimming pool — and with a huge water slide at one end — it’s easy to see why this place is a favorite. Besides the actual pool there is a work-out gym, hotel and the recently opened Spa of the Rockies, which emphasizes a holistic approach to natural wellness via its extensive treatments, massages and treatments. This is a beautiful facility.
World class fishing
A 42 mile section of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers is certified Gold Medal water. If you’re a fly fisherman you know what that means: high quality Rainbow and Brown trout, and lots of them. Several fishing outfitters and guides are located in Glenwood.
Most major airlines serve Denver International Airport (DEN), located about two and a half hours east of Glenwood Springs; rental cars available on-site. Take Interstate 70 west, Exit 116 to Glenwood Springs. Some major airlines serve the smaller Eagle County Airport , about one hour east of Glenwood, just off I70, and the Aspen / Pitkin County Airport , about one hour south of town on Route 82.