A travel journal
to Glenwood Springs by El Gallo
Quote: There's lot more to Glenwood than just the Hot Springs, but there's more to the Hot Springs than you're gonna believe. I consider this one of the world's greatest swimming holes and spots for "taking the waters". And if you get monkey hands, just go skiing.
Hotel | "Glenwood Springs Hostel"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 19, 2000
Hostel Glenwood Springs
1021 Grand Ave
Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 19, 2000
526 PINE STREET
Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601
Hotel | "Hot Springs Lodge"
All rates for two persons in double room:
The High Season (March to October 1, Christmas, New Years
Standard (queen bed) $90 (Looking North) $100 South
King Bed $100
Deluxe-2 queen beds $108-115
In Slow Season, all that runs from $68-90
Hot Springs Lodge and Pool
415 6th Street
Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
There are two main pools. The big one is 405 by 100 feet. That's way bigger than two football fields--two city blocks of 90 degree water. Then there's the 'small therapy pool,' only about the size of a professional basketball court, where the water is 104 degrees--about what your average jacuzzi kicks out. If you insist on bubbles, they have an arrangement of pipes that provide local bubblization when you insert a coin in the slot--much preferred to the low-tech system of gorging on pork&beans before bathing.
The size of the place has an odd effect--you are isolated out there, an island, albeit a comfy one. Gangs of kids are using the spiral tube slide and yelping, but they're way over there (thank God). You can just Magellan around, choosing your environment and baliwick at will. In the therapy pool, you might choose not to move at all.
Spending a whole day here puts the cold-blooded world in a new perspective. You swim and sun all day, and never get chilly. If you do--you GET BACK IN THE WATER. You can swim laps in you like, play Marco Polo (not around me, if you freaking please--but that's the beauty of a hot pool bigger than a shopping center parking lot), float aimlessly under the famously unplumbable Colorado blue, staring up at the mountains from which cometh your strength, supported by the waters which sappeth it away and leave you sort of....satiated.
But you don't have to do the all-day thing (I have an extremely low threshold for boredom--I live in Mexico) just imagine coming in after a day of rock-climbing or skiing or snowmobiling or whitewater rafting or whatever else those maniacs do out there, and hitting this spot to warm up and unlax. Would 'hit the spot' cover it? And by the way, the water is full of chemicals like chloride, sodium, sulfate, boron calcium and stuff like that. This means you float more effortless, but also that it is a chemical, a medicine--even the Indians called it Big Medicine--so you're not just soaking out there, you are doing therapy, letting the healing begin. Take you medicine like a man, or whatever it is you are.
Rates are pretty reasonable, I'd say. Around $8 for the whole day--you'd pay that for two hours in a movie! Kids, for some reason, are not charged prohibitive tariffs, but actually LESS than adults, about $5. Go figure. It's like they want the place full of these little buggers.
There's no point going on about this place--you either started salivating immediately or there's no hope for your Type A butt, go take a cold chloride, sodium, sulfate, boron and calcium enema while we loll in the warm, sunlit shallows and evolve.
Snomobiling You came to a place like this instead of a place like Aspen full of noisy assholes and you want to SNOMOBILE? Send me you address and I'll come beat you up. Include any of your friends that own Jet Skis.
Rafting This is a real Coors commercial spot for whitewater rafting freaks, the Colorado is rowdy enough (and muddy), but the Roaring Fork confluence is right here, and you can tell from the name it's not a mandolin drift thru the willows. Call Blue Sky Adventures for this and other types of adventure (970) 945-8498. You can also book raft trips through the Hotel Colorado or The Lodge or Hostel.
Talk to Blue Sky. Tell em Willie Nelson sent ya.
Golf There's a very nice nine hole course in West Glenwood. (970) 945-7086. I think I did an excellent job of getting through that without mentioning what an environmentally destructive, socially moronic, psychologically diminishing, scenery-ruining pinhead "sport" golf is, don't you?
Hunting and fishing
Both are great here. Deer, elk etc. I can't advise you much (I find it unsporting to shoot at prey that can't shoot back), but anybody with a rifle rack on their pickup (it'll take hard searching for about 5 minutes to find them) will in form you to death. Also a fine fishing area, river, stream, and mountain lake. Drop by Roaring Fork Anglers 2022 Grand Ave 945-0180--or just ask anybody who will be thrilled to reveal their secret spot to you.
Jeep Tours Okay, Tarzan, get somebody to drive you around the mountains in a jeep. Crystal River Tours 963-1991. Okay, okay, if you've got to blast around the serenity in a fucking snowmobile, call Rocky Mountain "Sports" 945-8498. Hope you break your leg and freeze and get eaten by fellow survivors.
For skinny-ski fans, there is also a Nordic area with the attractively non-nordopretentious name of Spring Gulch, just out of town on Highway 82 where skiing is FREE on ten miles of lovely maintained trails. To set it up call the Colorado Mountain Club (970) 945-1238.
But if the understated charms of local areas don't appeal to you, look at a map and notice that Glenwood Springs is the only town of any size in the very heart of the Rockies ski zone. What this could mean to you is: don't pay $120 a night to sleep in Aspen or Vail, pay $25 a night in Glenwood and scoot over the biggies for a day on the slopes, then back home to the serenity and soothing soaks of The Springs. (The same goes for summer, recreation, by the way)
Colorado State Highway 82 intersects with I-70 (the big interstate plowing west out of Denver towards San Francisco) at Glenwood. And 82 is the only way to get into Aspen in the winter, since the incredible over-the-treeline drive up Independence Pass is closed due to incredible over-the-treeline snowfalls. So you end up driving up I-70 and taking a turn at Glenwood--or you could already be there, perhaps stepping off the train. It's only 40 miles into Aspen (a lot of Aspen's work force lives in Glenwood) It's a beautiful drive and there are lots of ways to get there.
Vail is only 75 miles away, back towards Denver on the Interstate. But that's 75 miles of some of the prettiest scenery in America. It's like rolling through a stack of post cards, the peaks impossibly sharp, indelibly defined through the clean, high air. This is the Rockies at their Rockiest. And, as with Aspen, Vail is a lot pricier (not to mention phonier) place to hang than Glenwood. By staying in Glenwood, you can do Aspen AND Vail in the same three day vacation, and also hit Sunlight and be up to your eyeballs in hot water every night. One more cool wrinkle--you can just grab the TRAIN to Vail. The tracks are just as scenic as the highway and you can spend more time looking. AND, you can do this whole thing without a car--Denver to Glenwood Springs, ski Vail by Iron Horse just like the old days.
709 6th St, Glenwood Springs 81601 (970) 945-0667
Monkey Junction, Afghanistan