Looking around Glenwood Hot Springs Pool—the biggest Hot Springs Pool in the world—the visitors that come to soak and play are beautifully varied. There are retired folks that have come to the pool nearly every day for years to relax and meet with their friends. There are young kids playing in the new Sopris Splash Zone, and young couples splashing one another. For more than 130 years, the pool has brought generations together for a chance to unwind. This year, a major remodel, from DHM Design, has made Glenwood Hot Springs Resort and Pool even more family-friendly.
Sopris Splash Zone
Named after Captain Richard Sopris, a prospector that explored the area around Glenwood Springs in 1860, this new splash zone is separate from the big pool, but still uses the signature warm water from the Yampa spring. It has three distinct areas:
» Hanging Lake
Hang out and relax in this small pool that features waterfalls to play under and walk behind. The lake also features three kiddie slides, partial shade thanks to a large pergola, and a slip-resistant surface that stays cool in the heat.
» Grand Fountain
By day, this feature is a fun splash pad that shoots water seven feet in the air. From sundown to 11 p.m., the fountain becomes an illuminated show fountain with water that reaches heights of 17 feet.
» Shoshone Chutes
Don’t call this river lazy. On the Shoshone Chutes, riders in one or two-person tubes race through the course, gliding around quick turns, obstacles, and contours in what feels more like a fast-moving Colorado river rapid. At the ride’s halfway point, riders can exit if they’ve had enough excitement, or continue through the second half with another steep drop and more rapids. Riders must be 36 inches tall. Kids between 36 and 42 inches must be accompanied by an adult in a double tube. Life jackets are provided for those that wish to use them.
Long Weekend Guide
Ready for a break from soaking? Explore the pleasantly walkable downtown Glenwood Springs that is filled with spots to dine as a family, play, and learn more about the city’s most famous outlaw.
Spa of the Rockies offers age-appropriate treatments for kids and teens that need their own “me time.” Kids and teens ages six to 17 can choose from a variety of age-appropriate treatments (from a same-gender staff member) like chocolate, strawberry, or s’more body treatment—starting with a sea salt exfoliation, followed by a warmed body mask, and a Shea butter massage to hydrate skin—or a choice of four scented massages. Younger guests can enjoy facials perfect for their skin, with choice of avocado, yogurt, honey, and oatmeal mask, or a facial that specifically targets breakouts.
Head into historic downtown for a bite at one of Glenwood’s many family-friendly spots. Enjoy a burger at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub while parents try one of nine beers made in-house. Kids can choose from 10 meal options that come on a Frisbee to take home, while sipping on house-made root beer. For a sweet treat, head to KaleidoScoops, conveniently located next door to a coffee shop, for a scoop of rocky road or birthday cake ice cream.
All ages can try their hand at escaping from one of three rooms at Glenwood Escape Room. Families choose from Aunt Edna’s condo where players have to find her fortune, a mad scientist room where guests have to solve their way to the cure for a deadly disease, or an Egypt tomb escape, where teams must discover the inner tomb to escape.
A gaggle of happy kids climbed along with me as I made the trek up Doc Holliday Grave and Trail, to the gravesite of the famous outlaw, known for his turn from a dentist into a gambling gunfighter and his participation—along with lawman Wyatt Earp—in the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The hike is 0.7 miles roundtrip, making it an easy stroll with impressive views. The trailhead begins at 12th Street and Bennett Avenue, and parking is available in the residential neighborhood.