Glenwood Day Trips
Cultural Heritage in Glenwood
Formerly named Defiance, and later Glenwood Springs for the area’s hot springs, the town has always been a destination for the health seeker. The Ute Indians recognized the healing powers of the hot springs and visited regularly. Founded in the 1880s as a health resort and spa, the town was built around natural hot springs of the Grand (now Colorado) River. The Hot Springs Pool opened in 1888. Pioneer Walter Devereux saw potential in the springs and built the Hotel Colorado as well as the Hot Springs Pool and Bathhouse to cater to the rich and famous. With the coming of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1887, the hot springs resort and the town were on the map.
Glenwood Springs is still a well-loved destination for generations of traveler who come for the pool and caves as well as skiing, rafting, hunting, biking and hiking.
Take the Tour
1. Hotel Colorado
A world-class amenity centered on the Hot Springs Pool, this hotel opened in 1893 and catered to the wealthy tourist. It drew visitors of all stripes, including President Teddy Roosevelt, while on a hunting and sight-seeing trip. In 1943, the hotel was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Convalescent Hospital, aiding in the recuperation of thousands of World War II veterans. After de-commissioning at the end of the war, it returned to its use as a hotel.
2. Doc Holliday Grave
In 1886, the Glenwood Springs Cemetery Association chose a scenic location for the city’s departed: gambler, gunfighter and dentist John Henry “Doc” Holliday (best known for his participation with Wyatt Earp and his brothers in the gunfight at the OK Corral). Today a stone memorial commemorates his resting place.
3. Frontier Historical Museum
This late-Victorian home and medical office was built in 1905 by Dr. Marshall Dean, a physician to the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Later, George Edinger a private investment banker bought the property, and upon his death, the home passed to his daughter Stella. She and her husband Churchill Shumate bequeathed the home to the Frontier Historical Society in 1971.
4. Vapor Cave No. 3
The Ute Indians found the heat and humidity within the area’s cave would sweat away bodily aches and pains. Early settlers followed suit and developed this cave which opened to the public in 1896. Today the cave’s healing history is carried on by the Yampah Spa.
5. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park /Fairy Caves
Local entrepreneur, Charles W. Darrow, opened the Fairy Caves, deep in Iron Mountain in 1895. Early visitors to the cave rode horses or burros up a winding trail. Colored electric lights were added in 1897, giving it a fairy-like appearance. Today visitors can ride the Iron Mountain Tramway to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
6. Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot
Beginning in 1904, Denver & Rio Grande train travelers heading to the health spa resort disembarked at this depot. Its design and materials complemented the Hotel Colorado and the bath house at Hot Springs Pool—the style used continues to shape the look and feel of the community.