10 Ideas for the Perfect Glenwood Springs Day

March 25, 2020

Glenwood Springs is a town of right around 10,000, nestled at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers just a few hours west of Colorado’s Front Range. But for such a small town, there’s no shortage of things to do! Here’s just a taste of what Glenwood Springs has to offer for your next weekend trip.

Scenic Hikes to Get You Moving

No trip to the mountains of Western Colorado would be complete without a hike up into the fresh air, forests, and sweeping vistas of the local peaks.

1. Hanging Lake Trail

One of the most famous hiking trails in the state, the Hanging Lake Trail climbs 1.2 miles of steep terrain to the hidden gem of western Colorado — Hanging Lake and Bridal Veil Falls. Access to the lake is restricted in order to preserve this delicate environment, so make your reservations ahead of time.

2. Red Mountain

Located just to the west of the town of Glenwood Springs, Red Mountain looms 1800 feet above our little city. A mix of dirt trails and switchbacked dirt roads leads seven miles round trip to the top of the mountain, offering views of the town, the majestic Mount Sopris to the south, and the Elk Range in the direction of Aspen. You might even see paragliders taking off!

3. Boy Scout Trail

A multi-use trail that starts at the top of Eighth Street, just a stone’s throw from the shops of downtown, this single-track trail climbs the ridges to the east of the city through juniper and scrub oak until you reach the high meadows above. If you follow the trail east to Artist’s Point, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas of Glenwood Canyon.

4. Glenwood Canyon Overlook Trail

About 20 miles east of Glenwood Springs, at the other end of the canyon, is the exit for Dotsero. From there, this trail climbs 3.2 miles to a dead end at the top of a ridge that overlooks Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River.

5. Thomas Lakes

For a more challenging excursion, you can drive about an hour southeast of town to the base of the “Monarch of the Valley,” Mount Sopris itself. From there, you’ll climb toward the peak, through aspen groves and lodgepole pines, to the beautiful waters of Thomas Lakes. The hike is about eight miles round-trip.

Biking for All Skill Levels

Glenwood Springs was one of only 23 Colorado communities to be named “bicycle-friendly” by the League of American Bicyclists, and our network of paved and dirt trails certainly do justice to that title.

6. Rio Grande Trail

If you prefer to stay on the paved trails, the Rio Grande Trail follows the path of the old railroad track from Glenwood Springs all the way up to Aspen, through Carbondale and Basalt along the way. The whole trail is 42 miles long, but you can ride as little or as much as you want!

7. Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail

For a short but scenic outing, the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail follows the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon for 16 miles to the east. You’ll be surrounded by birds, gentle breezes, the slowly flowing river, and of course the towering red cliffs of the canyon itself.

8. Boy Scout Trail

Yep, this is the same Boy Scout Trail we mentioned before! You can ride all the way from Glenwood Springs, up the Roaring Fork Valley to Cardiff, then up a series of dirt roads and doubletrack trails, then descend the Boy Scout trail to the heart of Glenwood Springs. It’s a challenging 20-mile loop, but the views are well worth it.

World-Class Fly Fishing

We’re not exaggerating. Of the 9,000 miles of river in Colorado, only about 300 of it is considered Gold Medal Water — and the biggest piece of Gold Medal river is right here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a rank beginner, there’s an outfitter in the valley who can help you find the equipment you need. For more on fishing options, permits, and outfitters, click here!

Soothing Hot Springs

There’s a reason our town got its name. Some of the most famous natural hot springs in the whole state are right here, just a short walk from downtown.

9. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool

The world-famous Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is the largest naturally-heated pool in the world, at nearly 30,000 square feet in size! This pool offers fun for the whole family, from therapeutic massage chairs in the smaller hot pool to the brand-new Sopris Splash Zone, featuring a river ride and waterfalls.

10. Iron Mountain Hot Springs

For a more low-key hot springs experience, head just a mile west to Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Instead of one big pool, this facility offers 16 different pools, each at its own temperature and about the size of a large hot tub. It’s the perfect place to unwind at the end of a busy day.

Eating and Drinking

All of this adventuring is going to leave you with quite an appetite! Luckily, Glenwood Springs has dining options for any occasion and preference. There’s the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, with its hearty pub fare and locally-brewed beers, right on the ground floor of the Hotel Denver. Along Seventh Street is a row of eateries known as Restaurant Row, featuring the Pullman, Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse, Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar, and Colorado Ranch House. And Glenwood Springs boasts dozens of others, from pizza to coffee shops and from burgers to doughnuts.

Hotel Denver — Your Glenwood Springs Hub

At the center of all this excitement is Hotel Denver, nestled snugly in the heart of downtown Glenwood Springs. Our hotel offers views of the river and surrounding area, and we’re located within walking distance of all the amenities that Glenwood Springs has to offer. So the next time you’re looking for a mountain getaway, get in touch! We’re the perfect home base for all your Western Slope adventures.