Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Trip Report
When I was in Denver, I had the great opportunity to travel through the Rocky Mountains and experience the small but growing Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Glenwood Caverns is a small, privately owned, theme park themed to bears, caves, and wildlife. It’s actually over seven thousand feet in elevation. It’s a park that everyone should experience once, especially for the newest attraction which opened July 31: Haunted Mine Drop!
Before I go into Glenwood Caverns itself, I wanted to share a couple pics of the drive from Denver. The views of the Rockies made the five hour drive to Glenwood Springs totally worth it.
In order to reach Glenwood Caverns, you must take a sky lift up the mountain. The sky lift ride was in a capsule that fits four to six people. The ride was approximately eight minutes to the top.
Yes! All rides are open!
Haunted Mine Drop had a delayed opening, so the first ride of the day was the Alpine Coaster! In fact, it was the first alpine coaster I’ve ever experienced, and one of the first in America, opening in 2005. There was an interesting sign at the beginning of the ride:
Check out our POV from the Alpine Coaster as well:
Next was the Haunted Mine Drop. Creepy music was played outside the ride. For a park like Glenwood Caverns, it was very well themed. The queue house was actually very small compared to a regular Florida park, but the park doesn’t need a queue line any larger. The ride is six riders per ride cycle, which is a fair amount for a small park like this one.
The ride starts is themed to an abandoned mine, and the ghostly miners start the ride by telling you about a mining accident that happened a long time ago. While they are telling the story, the floor quietly disappears and then you drop 110 feet into the mountain!
I won’t lie, it was terrifying, especially because I was on the drop ride by myself and didn’t know what to except, having watched no POV’s or read much else about the ride (also I was the first rider of the day). Once you reach the bottom, the ride story continues with skeletons of the brother and the brother’s friend, who fell into the mine many years ago. The brother’s ghost then tells the story about how he was unlucky but the riders survived the fall.
After the Haunted Mine Drop, I then experienced the Giant Canyon Swing, one of the scariest rides I’ve ever ridden. It was an S&S swing ride over the cliffs. I literally thought I was going to fall off the mountain and lose my life, which was the best part of the ride!
After the Giant Canyon Swing was the Glenwood Canyon Flyer, a basic swing ride but over the canyon. It was not as scary as the Giant Canyon Swing, but I was still getting scared when I flew over the mountain.
One of the record breaking rides at Glenwood Caverns is the Cliffhanger roller coaster, the highest elevated coaster in America. So it’s not the tallest like Kingda Ka or Superman: Escape from Krypton, but it is the highest. I preferred the Alpine Coaster over Cliffhanger, since Cliffhanger was a basic coaster not built into the mountain like Alpine was. (This coaster was a relocation from Celebration City in Missouri).
Check out some more theming around the park:
One of the more interesting parts of Glenwood Caverns is not the riders, but the caverns themselves. The park has three cave experiences; two are free (40-50 minutes each), and the third is a two hour upcharge tour. I experienced one of the two free ones. Guests are not allowed to touch any of the cave walls, open food and drink are not permitted, and there is no cell phone reception under the mountain.
My last ride of the day was one of the more interesting rides: the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, a typical zip line bringing you back a certain distance over a high point, then coming back t a very fast speed. It was actually my first zip line since this was not an upcharge!
I totally enjoyed my visit to Glenwood Caverns! If you are in Denver or eastern Utah, it is definitely worth a visit. It’s one of the more unique parks I have been to, mostly because it’s located on a mountain and you must take a skyway to the park. My favorite part was experiencing the rides being integrated into the mountains, especially the zip line and Canyon Swing. All of that plus the Haunted Mine Drop were what brought me here (along with seeing the Rockies), and I will definitely make a visit again next time I’m in Denver.
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