History

Glenwood Springs History

Originally inhabited by nomadic Ute Indian tribes, this area of bubbling hot springs has long been a destination for the health seeker. In the early 1880's, James Landis homesteaded the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Grand Rivers that would become Glenwood Springs.

Early settlers Isaac Cooper and Walter Devereux saw the potential for Glenwood Springs to become a highly regarded destination and developed these amenities into a world class resort. The arrival of the railroads in 1887 brought the first trainloads of tourists to enjoy all that Glenwood had to offer. The addition of the Vapor Caves, Hotel Colorado and Fairy Caves provided a total package for travelers. The local economy was not only fueled by tourism but also by coal mining, farming and ranching, commerce and outdoor recreation. A visit to historic Glenwood Springs will take guests back in time to enjoy all of the amenities that were formerly reserved for the well-to-do.

Explore all of the things to do, learn and see in Glenwood Springs; there is something for everyone and a new adventure to be had every day!

Building the Glenwood Colorado Hot Springs Pool

As far back as the nomadic Ute Indian tribes that once inhabited the area, Glenwood's hot springs have long been a destination for health seekers. Discover the healings powers of the water today!

Men in the Glenwood Springs Fairy Caves

High above Glenwood Springs on Iron Mountain lies the entrance to a vast cave network known as the Fairy Caves. Explore the caves on your next visit to Glenwood Springs Adventure Park!

Hotel Colorado from Afar - Historic Glenwood Springs Hotels

Since almost day one, Glenwood Springs has been a resort town. The history of the local hotels goes hand in hand with Glenwood Springs long history. 

Ute Indian Babies - Ute Indian History

Long before the West was settled, Glenwood Springs was inhabited by nomatic natives who also enjoyed Glenwood Springs' geothermal wonders. The Ute Indians even named the springs Yampah or Big Medicine.

Glenwood Looking South

Right from the start Glenwood Springs was destined to be a world-class resort town, but one with a western flare. Explore what has brought so many to the area!

Cardiff Colorado Mining Town

Like much of the Western Rockies of Colorado, Glenwood Springs was also impacted by mining booms and busts. It all started with silver in Leadville and moved to coal in Redstone.

Post Card of the New Glenwood Springs Train Station

Glenwood Springs a railroad driven town then and now! There was fierce competition to bring train travel to the area by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and the Colorado Midland Railroad.

Flappers Dinner Party in the 1920's

During the 1920's Glenwood Springs in many ways stuck to its roots as a "wild west town" with rowdy crowds and speakeasies. With gangsters secretly entering area hotels the time was as exciting and dangerous as ever!

Strawberry Days Parade Float

Glenwood Springs has been celebrating Strawberry Days since 1898, making it the oldest, continuously held civic celebration west of the Mississippi. Visit in June to enjoy!

Tom Mix Films in Glenwood Springs

Over the years Hollywood has featured Glenwood Springs in everything from westerns to action films. Discover what movies and celebrities have visited the area over the years!

Red Mountain Ski Hill Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs has been home to two different ski resorts over the course of history. Both have since closed however Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort provides locals with tons of fun and excitement each winter!

Glenwood Springs Fire Near Town

Glenwood Springs has suffered two devastating fires in recent history, one of which resulted in the tragic loss of 14 firefighters' lives. Glenwood has memorialized their heroic effort in Two Rivers Park.

Glenwood Springs History Museum

In addition to their sell-out October Ghost Walk, passing on the stories of Glenwood’s past to curious new generations is what the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and Frontier Museum.

Glenwood Springs Railroad Museum Exterior

Glenwood Springs’ historic train depot is also the home of the Glenwood Springs Railroad Museum and houses artifacts from the seven rail lines that have served the Roaring Fork Valley.

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