Glenwood Springs, Colorado

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Friday, February 12th, 2010

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Glenwood Springs is where the mighty Colorado and the Roaring Fork rivers meet. It has long been a resort town, with many Glenwood Springs attractions to entertain visitors.

A bird's eye view of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Staying in town is easy and fun thanks to all the great options for Glenwood Springs accommodations.

The town was originally named Defiance and was established in 1883. Back then it was just a camp of tents, cabins, saloons, and brothels, which was populated by a motley crowd of gamblers, gunslingers and prostitutes.

The town’s founder, Isaac Cooper, brought his wife Sarah, but she had a hard time adjusting to the Wild West. To ease her transition to frontier life, she persuaded the townspeople to change the name to Glenwood Springs, after her beloved hometown of Glenwood, Iowa.

The town is now famous for its hot springs, a geothermal blessing that results in the world’s largest outdoor mineral pool. Its over two city blocks long and has been celebrated for its healing thermal waters since 1888.

A trip to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will have you touring the amazing crystalline formations in the area’s mountain caves. The park has activities for everybody, from panning for gemstones to throwing yourself around on a giant swing 1,300 feet above the Colorado River.

A day at the close by Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves will melt the knots in your back and soothe any and all muscle aches. The underground caverns create a natural steam bath that has been enjoyed by residents since the days of the Ute Indians.

Fishing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting are other fun summer water activities in the area, along with exploring the scenic paved recreation roads through the Rockies. Hiking, golfing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and paragliding are all also possible in or near Glenwood Springs.

History buffs should hike to famous O.K. Corral gunslinger Doc Holliday’s memorial and visit the Hotel Colorado, which Teddy Roosevelt once stayed in.

Glenwood Springs’ location, between Vail and Aspen, on the Western Slope of Colorado, is a blessing in and of itself. The closest skiing near Glenwood Springs is at Sunlight Mountain Resort. This small mountain has a nice variety of trails and a seriously laid-back atmosphere.

Shopping opportunities can be found in downtown Glenwood Springs, the mall or at Glenwood Meadows complex.

Wind down after all this activity with a spa treatment like a hot stone massage or a tasty Colorado microbrew. Restaurants in Glenwood Springs are diverse and include Mexican, Cajun, and French cuisine, not to mention a few traditional western steakhouses.

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