Written by El Gallo on 19 Sep, 2000
The World's Largest Natural Hot Pool. But that doesn't even cover it. As I mentioned, this is one of the world's all-time swimming holes (right up there with Lover's Beach in Cabo, Barton Springs in Austin, Jeremiah Johnson Hot Springs up Lolo Pass).…Read More
The World's Largest Natural Hot Pool. But that doesn't even cover it. As I mentioned, this is one of the world's all-time swimming holes (right up there with Lover's Beach in Cabo, Barton Springs in Austin, Jeremiah Johnson Hot Springs up Lolo Pass).
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.
Written by c_rau on 21 Feb, 2003
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has got to be the world’s largest hot tube. An oasis in the mountains, this natural spring is open year round with something for kids and adults alike. The shear size of it is overwhelming. You can get the full scope of…Read More
Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has got to be the world’s largest hot tube. An oasis in the mountains, this natural spring is open year round with something for kids and adults alike. The shear size of it is overwhelming. You can get the full scope of the size of this place by walking on the pedestrian bridge that spans I-70 from the hot springs to the business district of Glenwood Springs.
Even though the public use of the springs goes back over a hundred years, the facilities at Glenwood Springs are thoroughly modern with modern shower rooms, fitness center, and spa. There are two pools, the smaller one located on the eastern side where you exit from the locker rooms. It’s the warmer of the two and is more for adults. You can sit on the steps that border the pool and just soak in the warm mineral water and relaxing water.
The main pool is huge! It includes lap lanes for serious swimmers, a kids’ play area, diving boards, and water slides. After spending the day on foot window shopping, these warm comfortable waters made me feel like jello.
We arrived at sunset and stayed until they kicked us out at closing. That’s a lot of soaking. Rates were $10 for adults, but they do offer discounted rates after 9pm. Even though we were there in May, it gets chilly after dark in the mountains, which made us want to stay even longer. All that soaking made for a deep sleep that night. Check out their website for excellent information here.
Written by El Gallo on 20 Sep, 2000
Where Indiana Jones meets the Godfather to take some steam? Seriously, the Yampah Vapor Caves have been a tourist site for millenia. The local Indian tribes considered them sacred (or course, what Indian in his right mind…Read More
Where Indiana Jones meets the Godfather to take some steam? Seriously, the Yampah Vapor Caves have been a tourist site for millenia. The local Indian tribes considered them sacred (or course, what Indian in his right mind wouldn't?) and came to them for the obvious reasons--permanent organic Sweat Lodge. The three big caves are heated to 115 degrees by the same mineral hot springs that flood the pools outside, and humidity is generally 100 percent--which is to say: fog. You go in (for $9), you sweat. You wander around, you marvel, you creep out, you detox. You start hallucinating "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" videos. You stumble out like mole people into the glassed in Solarium or refreshingly open-air sundeck and crash. If you don't feel sufficiently healed, cleansed, and exalted at that point, there is a potpourri of spa service at your command (for prices running up to like $100) Gettcher Reki therapy reflexology, cranial-sacral therapy massage, earwax therapy--pretty much whatever your heart (or cranium, sacrum, feet, face or earwax) desires.
709 6th St, Glenwood Springs 81601 (970) 945-0667
Okay, it's just an Amtrack station. IF you are that kind of person. It might also be a very poetic spot, an old-style railroad station in stone and wood and brass, with that sturdy comforting architecture you've seen in so…Read More
Okay, it's just an Amtrack station. IF you are that kind of person. It might also be a very poetic spot, an old-style railroad station in stone and wood and brass, with that sturdy comforting architecture you've seen in so many movies. You detrain here and there is no question you are in The West. You look at the view and take a deeper breath. Just walk over the footbridge across the freeway and you're at the Hot Springs. This is where Teddy Roosevelt, Doc Holiday, and Al Capone stepped down on the platform. I used to go up there hours early to meet trains, just to sit on a bench and read, looking across the valley at the Lodge and Hotel and Springs..oh yeah, and the mountains. It's like a trans-century time pod. But if you've got to be practical about it, it's a transportation terminal--you can go west to Frisco through the cream of the Rockies, or east to Vail up some of the most scenic canyon cruises in America. I think there's something important here: cool towns have cool ways to arrive. Close
There are two types of skiing available to people staying in Glenwood: mini-local and mega-international. Right outside of town (and served by free shuttles) is Sunlight Mountain (the Sun doesn't actually Dance here, but it is light, fantastic),…Read More
There are two types of skiing available to people staying in Glenwood: mini-local and mega-international. Right outside of town (and served by free shuttles) is Sunlight Mountain (the Sun doesn't actually Dance here, but it is light, fantastic), a prototype of the smaller, local Colorado ski areas that are the best way to ski these hills, in my book. Well, "small" is relative--200 foot vertical drop with 450 acres of runs and trails wouldn't be so tiny back East, would it? But, as in other areas of human pleasure, what makes more difference than size is attitude. Instead of Texas divorcees in shades, cowboy hats and crotchless underwear (or worse, Kennedys) running around with expensive gear, but actually just shopping and schmoozing like in Aspenvail, you get skiers. Real people imbedded in a matrix of Colorado community. You notice the difference right away. Breckenridge was like that in the sixties--no condos, but we would ski in our old army jackets and leather gloves and jeans. (And not store-bought cowboy hats--REAL cowboy hats, stolen from REAL cowboys.) But now AspenCorp bought it out and it's full of "atmosphere" (replacing the obsolete "oxygen") and "guests" (replacing the previous term "assholes"). But anyway, Sunlight is a nice place for a day of skiing, the air and snow dry, the people great, the runs 25% advanced, the views spectacular and uncluttered by "development" (you know: "trashing"). And afterwards...splash down in the Hot Springs.
Sunlight Mountain Resort 10901 County Rd. 117, Glenwood Springs CO 81601
(970) 945-7491 (800) 445-7931
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.
Hiking Glenwood lies in a deep bowl with either mountains or canyons in every direction--you should be able to find a hike to suit you. Warm up with a walk up to the cemetery (sat hi to Doc and The Kid) and continue…Read More
Hiking Glenwood lies in a deep bowl with either mountains or canyons in every direction--you should be able to find a hike to suit you. Warm up with a walk up to the cemetery (sat hi to Doc and The Kid) and continue on to the Colorado River, as nice hike as you'd want. I kind of like the Boy Scout Trail--it just sort of seems so clean and straight. Red Mountain Trail leads up to the old Glenwood ski area, where the solemn skeletons of lift towers still stand vigil. The west is full of ghost towns, how many Ghost Lifts are there? Hanging Lake is a great place to hike too, a beautiful site perfect for fans of Roger Dean's old Yes album covers. If this all sounds too tame, ask around, you can get pretty vertical pretty quick if you work at it. Specifically, ask around in Summit Canyon Mountaineering (doesn't Summit Canyon sound a little oxymoronic? Oh well, in Denver there's a Lakeside Lake). They can also outfit you. Get yourself an outfit and you can be a hiker, too. (970)945-6994.
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.
They brag about Roosevelt and Taft over at the Hotel, but don't make much mention that Al Capone liked the place, too. Yet, they make a big fuss over Doc Holiday, certainly as criminal and vicious. Ah the stuff of…Read More
They brag about Roosevelt and Taft over at the Hotel, but don't make much mention that Al Capone liked the place, too. Yet, they make a big fuss over Doc Holiday, certainly as criminal and vicious. Ah the stuff of legends. The doctor is in at Linwood Cemetery, a short saunter out Cemetery Road. His tombstone says "died in bed" (easy to make a crack like that when he's six feet under and not lurking behind you with a sawed-off ten guage) . Ol' Doc, well known as a consumption-wracked walking cadaver (the Val Kilmer Doc is the one that sticks with us, no?--"I'm your huckleberry"), came to Glenwood for the obvious reason--physician, cure thyself. Hard to say if the waters helped, he died there in Glenwood and there he still is. Outlaw fans might also enjoy scanning Linwood Cemetery for the resting place of Kid Curry, member of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang, and portrayed in, among other oaters, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
Don't let winter stop you from paying your respects to these famous criminal scum; the half-mile trail to the Cemetery gets used as a crosscountry ski route..
Written by evansmichaelj on 26 Jul, 2003
I boarded the "California Zephyr" at Denver's classic Union Station and headed west. It was 8am and I was prepared for a fantastic rail voyage. I was not let down. The north side of the train offered spectacular panoramas as we climbed into the rockies.…Read More
I boarded the "California Zephyr" at Denver's classic Union Station and headed west. It was 8am and I was prepared for a fantastic rail voyage. I was not let down. The north side of the train offered spectacular panoramas as we climbed into the rockies. I was spellbound by mountain lakes, streams, and wildflowers. A fly fisherman pulled a large trout out of a stream as we eased to a stop near Granby Colorado. I couldn't believe the scenery as I relaxed in the train's viewer car.
An old man told me that these cars were specially made for this route through the Rockies. The "Zephyr" soared above Colorado River kayakers while still being towered over by the world famous Glenwood Canyon.
For you penny smashers, Glenwood Springs has two locations, one at the Glenwood Caverns gift shop and information center and the other at the mall. Glenwood Caverns is at 508 Pine Street, which is straight up the hill (north) from the traffic light that begins…Read More
For you penny smashers, Glenwood Springs has two locations, one at the Glenwood Caverns gift shop and information center and the other at the mall. Glenwood Caverns is at 508 Pine Street, which is straight up the hill (north) from the traffic light that begins Highway 82 to Aspen. The shop is small, but filled with all kinds of stuff from spelunking books to t-shirts. They also have a cart filled with polished rocks from the area. The penny machine has only one design and says Glenwood Caverns. The young woman minding the store let us take our time looking around and getting our pennies. I asked her about the cave tours and she said they have all kinds, from two hour tours to all day trips, family outings, and adventurous treks through caverns so tight you have to crawl on your belly to get through them. Yikes! The cost was around $45 for a tour, and you meet at the gift shop and they bus you to the cave site. Sounded like fun, but we were only on an overnight trip so I will save the cave crashing for another time.
The second location is at the mall, which is at the west exit to Glenwood Springs off of I-70. It has a K-Mart and a JC Penny’s so you can’t miss it. It took a while to find the machine in the mall since the people at the customer service desk didn’t even know what a penny smashing machine was. They suggested the arcade, but pointed us in the wrong direction so we wandered around the mall for about a half hour. We finally found it outside the K-Mart against the wall next to one of those machines with a crane to get stuffed animals and prizes. It turned out to be quite a find. There were two designs, both said Colorado. One had a picture of mountains and the other had river rafting. It was a three penny day in Glenwood Springs!
One of the great things about Glenwood Springs is that it’s only a thirty minute drive up Highway 82 to Aspen, the skiing mecca of the rich and famous. You can stay in Glenwood Springs at bargain prices while window shopping and dining at…Read More
One of the great things about Glenwood Springs is that it’s only a thirty minute drive up Highway 82 to Aspen, the skiing mecca of the rich and famous. You can stay in Glenwood Springs at bargain prices while window shopping and dining at all the posh places Aspen has to offer. And with Highway 82 following the Blue River to Aspen, the drive has great views. However, they are doing road construction here. They are widening the two-lane highway to a divided four-lane highway, which will add to the safety of the area when it’s done.
When in Aspen, beware the parking fees. They don’t have meters in the parking spaces because that would be considered an eye sore. Instead you have to deposit money in boxes in the center of the city blocks, and they are so hard to see that we missed them and received a ticket. However, on the ticket it says that if you were new to Aspen and didn’t know about the parking laws, you can simply sign the ticket and mail it in to the city with no penalty. Not a bad policy. I’ve been going to Aspen for several years now (see journal entry, The Motherlode) and street parking used to be free so the ticket came as quite a shock. Learn from my mistake and have a great day walking the quaint streets of downtown Aspen.