From relaxing in hot springs to zip lining across the Colorado River, Glenwood Springs specializes in fun for the whole family.
This hot springs haven has everything tourists and locals need for a day mixed with adventure and relaxation. From the Vapor and Fairy Caves to an abundance of activities and trails for the whole family, Glenwood Springs sparks joy in the Roaring Fork Valley.
From tandem skydiving to zip lining across the Colorado River, this town provides breathtaking views from all angles. For something a little closer to the ground, spend the day fishing along the river for finds like brookies, browns, cutthroats and rainbow trout. Or for something the whole family would enjoy, jump in a raft and go downstream with whitewater rafting or casual kayaking.
For the ultimate day trip, a look at Glenwood Springs’ travertine geological formation on the Hanging Lake Trail is an absolute must. Going over 1,000 vertical feet, the intensive 1.2-mile hike is well worth the steep steps, with breathtaking waterfalls and cool mountain air awaiting you at the finish line.
For this spot, reservations are required, and a shuttle service is available in the summer months for access to the trail. For those looking to take it easy, guided tours are also available around the valley where guests can learn about the town and its history on horseback.
As for when the snow starts to fall, fear not. This mountain town effortlessly shift s gears and offers major attractions like snowshoeing through the mountains, snowmobile excursions, Nordic skiing, fat-tire biking and shredding the mountains on a snowboard. For whatever the weather, Glenwood Springs uses the outdoors to its advantage and offers adventures for the whole family to enjoy. From relaxing in the hot springs to conquering the mountains, there’s never a dull moment in the valley.
General Manager of Hotel Colorado Christian Henny
GLENWOOD SPRINGS INSIDER: CHRISTIAN HENNY, General Manager of Hotel Colorado
When asking the Hotel Colorado’s, Christian Henny, what he loves most about working in Glenwood Springs, he quickly responds, “The amazing community, without a doubt.” Continuing, he explains, “This community really cares about each other. I love recognizing people around town. It doesn’t feel transactional like bigger cities I’ve lived in; it’s friendly and more personal. I think this is what helped us all get through the past couple of years.” As general manager for the past four years, his responsibilities include building the leadership team and service culture, as well as leading the hotel’s ongoing renovations. “There’s never a dull moment. Every day brings a new challenge and opportunity—and I enjoy finding the solutions.” From whitewater rafting in the summer to snowshoeing in the winter, Glenwood Springs has just the thing for everyone.
Snowshoeing in the winter.
What will surprise visitors the most about Glenwood Springs?
The historical significance Glenwood Springs has in Colorado. This was one of the first cities in the U.S. that provided hydroelectricity to its streets and houses, and the Historic Fairy Cave was one of the first to have electric lighting. We have the world’s largest hot springs pool, and the springs for which the city was named have been sought out for their healing properties dating back to the nomadic Ute Indian tribes.
What is your mantra when it comes to your business?
My business mantra is crawl, walk, run. You have to build the foundation for sustained growth and success.
Sunrise to sunset, describe your perfect day in Glenwood Springs.
My perfect day starts with a walk with my dogs on the Rio Grande Trail along the Roaring Fork River, followed by a coffee on the veranda here at Hotel Colorado. Next, I take a motorcycle ride to Marble. Then I spend a relaxing evening under the Grand Avenue Bridge at Seventh Street eating dinner and listening to live music.
It’s been a long week and you’re looking for some R&R... where are you headed?
To the Flat Tops to camp with my dogs. Smelling the fresh air and trees, taking in the views and getting off the grid helps me recharge for the week ahead.
Where can we find you grabbing your favorite meal?
It depends on the time of day. For breakfast, it’s Rosi’s Little Bavarian. I like to have lunch here at the Hotel Colorado Restaurant & Bar. The menu changes seasonally, which keeps it fresh with new choices. I have a couple of favorites for dinner, the Riviera Supper Club and Colorado Ranch House. For a city this size, we have an incredible number of excellent restaurants.
What is the number-one place tourists have to check out?
Well, I can’t pick just one because it’s the variety that makes this such a great place to visit. Top choices are Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves, Hanging Lake, Glenwood Hot Springs and Iron Mountain Hot Springs.
Finally, what are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
Riding my motorcycle, hiking, snowmobiling and camping. We really do live in a wonderful place.
Photography by: PHOTO: BY MAEL BALLAND/UNSPLASH; PHOTO: COURTESY OF HOTEL COLORADO; PHOTO: COURTESY OF HOTEL COLORADO; PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHRISTIAN HENNY