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Note: Parts of the following are
reproduced with permission by
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
Little did visionary and silver magnate Walter Devereaux know that when he came to Glenwood Springs in the late 1800’s to build a great healing spa from the Yampah Springs of the Ute Indians that it would have such a lasting impact on this small mountain town.
In Victorian Times, Glenwood Springs became known worldwide as the “Spa in the Rockies,” attracting the rich and famous of the day. Today, a wide array of spas, fitness centers and contemporary health and beauty treatment centers complement Glenwood Springs’ natural spa atmosphere. Leading the way is the Hot Springs Pool – the world’s largest hot springs pool. The years have seen many reincarnations of the hot springs, from a sacred Indian site to an exclusive Victorian enclave to a modern family vacation destination. This mineral-rich water, combined with the stunning Rocky Mountain scenery, relax tired muscles and bring peace of mind.
The pool is over two blocks long and contains natural mineral waters heated at 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) in the large pool and 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) in the smaller, therapy pool. At it's source, the Yampah Spring flows at 3,500,000 gallons per day at a temperature of 122 degrees F (51 degrees C), one of the hottest in the world. The Ute Indians were the first to discover these mineral rich waters calling them "Yampah" meaning "Big Medicine". In the 1880's, explorer, Captain Richard Sopris, was the first white man to lay claim to Yampah Hot Springs. Walter Devereux and his two brothers purchased the springs in 1886 with grand plans to build the largest hot springs in the world. The first pool and red sandstone bath house and lodge were completed in 1888. Glenwood Springs then became a world renowned resort destination, playing host to presidents, senators, movie stars and European dignitaries.
Today, a wide array of spas, fitness centers and contemporary health and beauty treatment centers complement Glenwood Springs’ natural spa atmosphere. The Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves are said to purify body and spirit as they soothe away aches and pains. They are the only known natural vapor caves in North America, in which hot mineral waters flow through the cave floors at 125 degrees to create a natural geothermal steam bath. The Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, also offer a full range of contemporary health and beauty treatments, including massage, facials, European herbal body treatments, mud baths, private hot tubs and salon services.
Whether you need a healing touch or simply want to unwind, Splendor Mountain Spa offers a variety of services to suit you, including therapeutic massage, Starflower facials, an herbal wrap, La Stone massage or Watsu warm water, a special form of bodywork, incorporating water therapy and Shiatsu Massage.
Sunlight Mountain Resort opened for business in 1966 with one chairlift and a handful of trails. Today, Sunlight packs a mountain of fun all year round with hundreds of acres for skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, mountain nature tours, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, mountain biking and more. (Click Colorado Skiing for more links to Colorado Ski Slopes.)
When the snow melts, the action doesn’t stop at this friendly, unpretentious resort. Sunlight Stables offers guided horseback rides through the sun-dappled forests and alpine meadows abundant with wildflowers while your guide regales you with tales of the Wild West, tidbits about the flora and fauna, and interesting town history. Private group tours and children rides are available. Sunlight provides a beautiful, secluded setting for all occasions, including weddings, reunions, conferences/meetings and parties. A roomy lodge seats 200 people, and the more intimate bar area seats 45. For a quintessential mountain experience, hold your gathering outside – a spacious tent seats up to 500 guests.
One of Glenwood Springs’ oldest tourist attractions, the Glenwood Caverns and Fairy Caves, has expanded its activities and reopened in 2003 as Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. A living cavern system, the Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves is an astounding variety of nature’s handiwork, featuring intricate drapery deposits lining the halls in cascades of naturally colorful calcite. Thousands of stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone formations continue to grow and decorate the cathedral-like chambers.
Touted as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” in 1887 when it first opened to the public, the extent of the Fairy Caves was about 800 feet. Today Glenwood Caverns comprise more than 16,000 feet, including the historic Fairy Caves and the more recently opened caverns, called “King’s Row” and “The Barn”, whose ceiling extends higher than a five-story building. The caves are located deep inside Iron Mountain, overlooking the town of Glenwood In 1887, visitors accessed the caves on foot or by horse.
Today, the caves are accessed via the 4,300-foot Iron Mountain Tramway, which features stunning panoramic views of the entire Roaring Fork Valley. Then and now, lights illuminate the bizarre underworld, glistening with unusual crystal formations. Two types of cavern tours combine breathtaking underground beauty with a delightful mix of fact, legend and folklore. The Cave Tour is suitable for all ages and most abilities and includes the original Fairy Caves and the newly discovered sections of the cave, where formations have remained untouched by man. The tour is highlighted by a visit to "Exclamation Point", a cliff-side balcony boasting panoramic views of the Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River The tour culminates with a view into King’s Row, a paradise filled with glittering stalagmites and stalactites lining its entire length
The Wild Tour is a physically demanding, on-your-belly excursion into rarely visited areas of the caves, preserved in their natural, undeveloped state. Visitors are supplied with a lighted helmet, kneepads and gloves. Away from the commercial lights and trails, visitors are awarded an experience much like the original discoverers of the Glenwood Caverns, heading into the unknown.
Here is a link to more information for the year round activites and festivals in Glenwood Springs. Here is a link to more Colorado Festivals.
Glenwood Springs has amusement parks, bed and breakfasts, resorts, motels and cabins, RV parks and camping, vacation homes, autos, shopping, fishing and hunting, therapies, clothes, jewelry, schools, website designers, photographers, electronics, architects and engineers, medical supplies, rafting, gear and clothing, airports, museums and history, real estate, and restaurants.
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