About

  • GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO

A Great Place to Visit

Colorado Vacation

The City of Glenwood Springs is the county seat and the most populous municipality in Garfield County, CO. It is located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and the Colorado River, threading together the Roaring Fork Valley and a series of smaller towns up and down both rivers.

Glenwood Springs is best known as a historic destination for vacationers since the late 1800’s with diverse natural amenities, most particularly hot springs, but gentrification and development have introduced modern cultural, dining, and recreational activities as well. It is also home to the administrative offices and two of the campuses of the Colorado Mountain College system.

Glenwood Springs in 2015 was named the “Most Vibrant Small Town Arts Environment in the United States” by Southern Methodist University and the 5th Best Place to Live in America by Outside magazine. It was named the “Most Fun Town in America” by Rand McNally and USA Today in 2011.

0
Founded
0
Population
0 '
Elevation
0
Miles from Denver
Glenwood Canyon
Sunlight Mountain Resort
Hanging Lake

Four Season Paradise

Climate

Glenwood Springs has a generally mild and semi-arid climate, much more consistently stable than that of the Front Range and most of Colorado, though still decidedly continental and prone to periods of extreme weather. Microclimates dominate Glenwood Springs, with areas close to the rivers often much more damp and cool than hillsides. On average, there are 239 sunny days per year in Glenwood Springs, with the average July high around 87 degrees and the the average January low around 13. Typically, Glenwood Springs receives an average of 19 inches of rain and 46 inches of snowfall during an average year.

The weather enables locals to thrive of the cultivation of a variety of food. Apples and peaches from the nearby town of Silt won first place at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, and strawberries thrived so well that Glenwood Springs’ largest festival was inaugurated as Strawberry Days in 1898. Just a few miles upvalley, Carbondale became legendary for its potatoes.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado in winter
Play Video

What’s in a Name

History

Glenwood Springs was originally known as “Defiance”, a name sometimes still used by local teams or businesses. Defiance was established in 1883, a camp of tents, saloons, and brothels with an increasing amount of cabins and lodging establishments. It was populated with the expected crowd of gamblers, gunslingers, and prostitutes. Town Founder Isaac Cooper’s wife Sarah was having a hard time adjusting to the frontier life and, in an attempt to make her environment somewhat more comfortable, persuaded the founders to change the name to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, after her beloved hometown of Glenwood, Iowa.

The location of Glenwood Springs, as well as gaining a stop on the railroad, rapidly made it a center of commerce in the area. The city has seen famous visitors, including President Teddy Roosevelt, who spent an entire summer vacation living out of the historic Hotel Colorado. Doc Holliday, a wild west legend from the O.K. Corral gunfight, spent the final months of his life in Glenwood Springs and is buried in the town’s original Pioneer Cemetery above Bennett Avenue. Kid Curry is buried in the same location. Infamous serial killer Ted Bundy was imprisoned in the Glenwood Springs jail until he escaped on the night of December 30, 1977, an escape which went undetected for 17 hours.
 

Glenwood Springs was one of the first places in the United States to have electric lights. The original lighting was installed in 1897 inside of the Fairy Caves in Iron Mountain. Later, a dam was built in Glenwood Canyon providing water for the Shoshone power plant. The plant began producing power on May 16, 1909, and retains the largest and oldest water rights to the Colorado River. The “Shoshone Call”, which is now far more valuable for the protection of Colorado River water rather than the minimal electricity produced.

A Place for All Seasons

Vacation in Glenwood Springs

Geology

Glenwood Caverns had millions of years of water carved into Iron Mountain, where today you can tour amazing cave formations and spectacular rooms of caves. Hundreds of years ago, the Ute Indians used the Yampah Vapor Caves to heal their bodies and minds. Now, you can soak in the healing powers of these natural steam filled caves formed by the mineral hot springs that flow through them.

Teddy Bear

According to legend, the teddy bear was first created at the Hotel Colorado to cheer up Theodore Roosevelt after an unsuccessful day of hunting. Maids presented him with a stuffed bear pieced together with scraps of fine material. Later, when he did bag a bear, his daughter Alyce admired it saying, “I will call it Teddy.” The term caught on and became the name for the popular toy known today.

Summer of Music

Coming to Glenwood Springs during the summer? Don’t miss the free concert series at Two River Park every Wednesday night July to mid-August. A favorite outing for the locals that brings families together for a picnic dinner, socializing and music by local and state-wide musicians.

Farmers Market

Glenwood Farmers Market offerings range from farm fresh produce to locally made bread, honey, and wine. Crafts, music, flowers, and cooking demonstrations create a festival atmosphere on a weekly basis. Every Tuesday from late spring through early fall visitors can find fresh produce and unique goods at the Downtown Market on 7th Street. Also, on Saturday mornings there is a farmers’ market in front of Rite Aid on Grand Avenue where local growers congregate to sell in-season fruits and vegetables.

Strawberry Days Festival

Celebrating its 120th Anniversary in 2017, visit Glenwood Springs the 3rd weekend in June every year for the oldest festival west of the Mississippi River.

John Henry "Doc" Holliday

John Henry “Doc” Holliday, gunman-gambler-dentist, headed north to Glenwood Springs after the famous shootout at the OK Corral (in Tombstone, Arizona), where he hoped that soaking in the hot springs would cure his advanced tuberculosis. Doc Holliday died at the Glenwood Hotel in November 1887.

Music on the Mountain

Another popular event during summers and fall in Glenwood Springs is the Music on the Mountain event at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on top of Iron Mountain. For several years, the Caverns has teamed up with Lift Up to offer a free tram ride (after 4pm) for a can of food to fill our local pantry. “Can for a Tram!” Guests can upgrade the tram ride value to a Funday pass which include two cave tours and unlimited rides on the attractions. Two Sundays provide a Salsa night and a Christian night which is popular with locals in the Roaring Fork area.

4th of July Fireworks

Fourth of July is a favorite time at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood. Depending on a seasonal weather conditions, you might just see an outstanding display of fireworks over the Colorado River. Folks bring their bbq favorites for dinner and stay for the works. Good time to be had by all!

Skip to content