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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: Glenwood Springs, Colorado


Coordinates: 39.553513° N, -107.33261° E
Distance from Baton Rouge to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: 1,463 miles
Flying Time: 4 hours, 48 minutes
Driving Time: 19 hours, 45 minutes
Why Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park? Our country is brimming with amusement destinations from coast to coast, but have you ever been to one that’s located 7,100 feet above sea level? That’s just one reason to visit–it’s the only mountain-top theme park in America. You’ll travel by state-of-the art gondolas, starting from Glenwood Springs then traveling to the top of the magnificent Iron Mountain. Your choices of activities range from cave tours to zip lines to an awesome, giant, thrilling swing ride. Let’s go!

Where to Stay
The Hotel Glenwood Springs is just steps away from the excitement at Glenwood Caverns. A variety of room choices include double queen beds, king whirlpool rooms, king master suites, and rooms with a kitchenette. The hotel also offers pet-friendly rooms complete with hardwood floors. The fun begins at the hotel with an indoor water park, complete with a 1,600-square foot pool, two-story water slide, and a toasty hot tub. 

Where to Eat
Glenwood Canyon Brewpub

Stop off at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub that offers more than standard pub grub. Start your meal off with wings topped with buffalo sauce, then dig into one of their burgers and sandwiches, like the Canyon Burger–an angus beef patty with all the fixins, or a Turkey Club topped with cheddar cheese and chipotle aioli. Quench your thirst with an award-winning beer or a frosty mug of homemade root beer. 

The Italian Underground Restaurant
If your taste buds are craving European fare, head to The Italian Underground Restaurant. This below-ground location is fun for everyone. Spaghetti topped with meat or marinara sauce, plus meatballs or Italian Sausage is a great choice, or dig into the Northern Italian Rotisserie Chicken. Desserts include tiramisu, New York-style cheesecake or raspberry sherbet. 

Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant
Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant is a top-notch favorite for all. Who doesn’t like tacos? They serve burritos and fajitas, too–or you can dig into enchiladas that are bursting with cheese, asada, or their other enticing entrees and treats. Or, if you have a babysitter for the evening during your vacation, you can make it a date night to enjoy a great selection of adult beverages such as tangy margaritas and ice cold imported and domestic beer.

What to Do
The gondola ride up to the Adventure Park is a thrill all by itself! Take in the magnificent views of native wildlife, including turkeys, deer and bighorn sheep. Once you arrive, head to the viewing deck where a breathtaking panorama awaits you, showcasing the Roaring Fork Valley and the Colorado River.

Get ready for the ride of your life! Strap yourself into the Giant Canyon Swing which launches four riders up and over Glenwood Canyon, reaching a height of 1,300 feet above the Colorado River. The swing takes you nearly vertical at the height of each ark, hitting an exhilarating speed of 50 miles per hour. This ride was named one of the Most Extreme Thrill Rides in America by USA TODAY.

If you have the need for speed, then take a heart-stopping spin on the Alpine Coaster, the first mountain coaster to be built in the U.S. It earned the honor of being named one of the 10 Best Roller Coasters of Your Life. Riders sit in individual cars that race 4,300 feet down the mountain on stainless steel rails, winding in and around pinion and juniper trees.

Scary! It’s the Haunted Mine Drop! Pegged as the world’s only underground drop ride, you’ll plunge 100 feet inside the mountain in total darkness, so hang on for dear life. The ride is housed in a building that resembles an old mining building, completely with ghostly miners. It’s a truly ‘hair-raising’ experience!

If you’d prefer to keep your feet on the ground, there are two walking tours located in the Glenwood Caverns. The Historic Fairy Cave tour and the King’s Row tour offer visitors views of beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations. The Fairy Cave tour is easier with very few stairs, but the King’s Row tour is a bit more challenging with 100 stairs to climb.

If you’ve ever wanted to fly high through the sky, the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride will make you feel like you’re on the wings of a bird! This is a tandem zip ride that begins by pulling you backwards, 600 feet up the mountain, and then you’re released to enjoy a thrilling zip ride back down to the ground. It’s quite exhilarating! ■

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29 Sep 2020


By Julie Engelhardt

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