SPA TOWN IN UNITED STATES
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO
The City of Glenwood Springs is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Garfield County, Colorado, United States. Glenwood Springs is located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and the Colorado River, threading together the Roaring Fork Valley and a series of smaller towns up and down the Colorado River. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 9,614.
Glenwood Springs is best known as a historic destination for vacationers with diverse natural amenities, most particularly hot springs, but gentrification and development have introduced modern cultural, dining, and recreational activities as well. It is also home to two of the campuses and the administrative offices of the Colorado Mountain College system.
The primary draw of Glenwood Springs for over a hundred years has been the numerous hot springs in the area. Colorado is making a broader effort to advertise its hot springs after surveys demonstrated the high value visitors place on hot mineral waters.
Glenwood Hot Springs is the largest hot springs facility in town, centrally located across the Colorado River from downtown. The large pool is kept at 93 °F (34 °C) year round and is the world's largest hot mineral springs pool. The smaller "Therapy Pool" averages 104 °F (40 °C) year round, preferred by some for its higher mineral content. There is a 107-room lodge, which includes unlimited access to the hot springs and a full hot breakfast for all guests. Spa of the Rockies is an award-winning mineral spa that specializes in natural, mineral based treatments. Other amenities include a full-service athletic club, gift shop and restaurant. Two waterslides, mini golf, and a cold water kiddy pool are open during the warmer months.
Yampah Hot Springs vapor caves are historic underground steam baths. They are over 100 years old and were used by the Ute Indians as a source of rejuvenation and healing. Today, the vapor caves consist of three adjoining underground rock chambers. Cave temperatures average 110 to 112 °F (43 to 44 °C). The hot springs and mineral caves are tourist attractions and were a main reason for the settlement of Glenwood Springs.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs offers a complimentary experience with smaller pools in a more intimate setting. The underlying geothermal resources and land have been developed and closed several times. The present business opened in 2015.
Sunlight Mountain Resort is the hometown hill for Glenwood Springs, operating a brick and mortar store for lift tickets, rentals, repairs, and equipment in downtown Glenwood. The ski resort itself lies 12 miles (19 km) south of town on County Road 117, also known as Four Mile Road. Sunlight Mountain Resort is most well-known to families due to a variety of terrain that all leads to a single main base. It offers excellent cross-country skiing in a large groomed Nordic area, sharing the spectacular scenery and dense aspen trees that mark other, better-known resorts in the area. There are multiple very steep open grove runs for experts who enjoy tree skiing and powder.
Other ski areas such as Aspen, Beaver Creek, and Vail are farther away, but Glenwood Springs is still frequently selected as a home base for visitors to these other resorts due to the hot springs, cultural and dining options, and cheaper lodging in the winter.
Glenwood Springs in 2015 was named the "Most Vibrant Small Town Arts Environment in the United States" by Southern Methodist University and the 5th Best Place to Live in America by Outside magazine. It was named the "Most Fun Town in America" by Rand McNally and USA Today in 2011.