Following the Colorado River as if flows into Glenwood Canyon, the terrain abruptly shifts from green valleys and rolling hills to severe rock walls with the thundering river below. Rafters and kayakers bob in the water, steering their craft through the boulders and white water. This is the last section of the highway before entering Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Glenwood Springs is a great getaway from the Denver area. There are plenty of low cost and no cost activities to experience in and around the town. Take the family and try some of these.
Hiking. There are many miles of hiking trails in the Roaring Fork Valley. From the paths along the river to those up Storm King Mountain, there are trails for every level of adventurer. For those who like to climb mountains, the 12.6 mile round-trip track to the top of Mt. Sopris is not a technical climb, though it is for the advanced hiker and can be done in a day. The 4-mile round-trip hike up Storm King Mountain ends at a memorial to the firefighters who died in 1994 fighting a wildfire.
Biking trails. Biking is a great family activity and there are trails for every skill level. For the hardcore mountain biker, there are steep, technical trails on Red Mountain. For a bit tamer ride, the Glenwood Canyon track follows the river and has stops at the rest areas along the highway including Bair Ranch, Hanging Lake, No Name, and Grizzly Creek. The Rio Grande trail connects Glenwood Springs and Aspen and follows the old railway between the two towns. For those who prefer a downhill ride, catch the RFTA Bike Express for a ride into Aspen. Then unload the bikes and ride the mostly downhill 44 miles back into Glenwood Springs. The Bike Express runs on weekend mornings from May to early September. For more visitor information about the bike trails around Glenwood Springs, check out Visitglenwood.com.
Tubing and rafting on the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. Tubing on the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers is a whitewater lovers dream. Put in your craft at Two Rivers Park and float down the river in the slow current. For kayakers, the town has one of the few locally supported whitewater parks. Rent tubes in town for about $16 each, bring your own boat, or take a professionally guided rafting trip with one of the many tour providers.
Fishing. For those who like to cast lines, Glenwood Springs is a great choice. With both the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers home to many different varieties of trout, it’s never a bad day to go fly fishing. The river is accessible, with many different locations where it’s possible to park and walk down to the water for wading and shore fishing. There are many different streams that feed the major rivers in the valley, including No Name Creek accessible from the exit about 1.5 miles east of Glenwood Springs. If brook trout are your quarry, try Grizzly Creek. This is also an exit off I-70 east of town. Visitors can park in the main lot and hike back to find your spot. If you prefer company, there are guides and outfitters available to rent equipment and find an out-of-the-way fishing hole.
With the rivers spilling out the canyon and the sun shining, Glenwood Springs enough activities to keep an entire family busy without breaking the bank.
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