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Take a Scenic Bike Trip through Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon

Colorado is filled with some of the most scenic views in the country. It is also dotted with little towns that all offer something unique to be experienced.

Located roughly 65 miles west of Vail is Glenwood Springs. It is best known for its hot springs and mineral pools. However Glenwood Springs also is home to the impressive Glenwood Canyon. It is so amazing that it will instantly have you mesmerized when driving through it. You are going to struggle to keep your eyes on the road while driving in the middle of this canyon. Pro tip, set aside some time to get out of the car and enjoy the Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path.

The picturesque trail is 16.3 miles one way.

While this trail can be utilized for a nice leisurely walk or run, it can be done on wheels. And that goes for either biking or rollerblading. It stretches from Glenwood Springs and the trailhead is located right past the entrance to Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves. If you don’t have time to bike the whole trail there are designated rest areas along the interstate. They are built to run parallel to the path where you can park. These rest areas are called No Name—ironic right? —, Grizzly Creek, and Bair Ranch.

This winding yet fairly flat trail is perfect for a relaxing yet awe inspiring bike ride. It is breathtaking when you realize you are weaving through the middle of the canyon. The canyon walls towering above are something to behold as you navigate your way along this trail. The earth tones of the rock contrasted with the vivid green trees make for scenery straight out of a painting. While there are portions of this trail that run parallel to the road, the rushing river on your other side is captivating and makes up for any vehicle distraction. The faced that this path is nicely paved makes it ideal for bringing small children, who are either being pulled in a carrier or pedaling themselves.

Make an all-day trip out of this ride and pack a lunch to stop for a riverside picnic.

You’ll want to factor in time to stop along the to snap photos and experience the different areas you’ll pass.

For those who have their own bike, it is an easy trail to park your vehicle, unload your bike, and hop right on the trail. If you’re visiting the area and don’t have a bike of your own, there are several companies that do hourly or daily rentals, allowing you to enjoy the trail at your leisure. Interested in riding through the whole canyon, but not too crazy about making the return trip back to the starting point? No problem! There are companies that offer bike rentals that pick you up at the end of your ride and shuttle you back to your starting point, if you’d rather not bike the return trip back. The smooth conditions of this paved path make it accessible for everyone to enjoy. If biking isn’t your thing, try rollerblading, running, or walking this scenic trail.

This scenic trail is not to be missed on a trip to Glenwood Springs.

And, if your muscles are in need of some TLC after this trail hit the hot springs. Soaking in hot springs in order to heal ailments dates back to the Ute tribe in the area. They have been credited to be the earliest group to do so.

While there are numerous natural hot springs in secluded areas that you can hike to if you want a more natural and isolated hot springs experience, there are also more developed mineral pools in the town. Said to be the world’s largest and also one of Colorado’s hottest mineral pools, Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is the first-ever developed mineral pool in Glenwood Springs. Other options include Iron Mountain Hot Springs as well as Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, which is one of the few geothermal steam baths that is not man-made. These steam baths are in underground chambers containing steam filled with minerals.

Hanging Lake Trail is also an amazing hike to check out in you’re in the area for a few days. This hike requires a pre-reserved permit, so make sure you plan accordingly to secure it in advance.

If you’re coming from towns like Vail or Breckenridge, the town of Glenwood Springs are the perfect spots to stop en route to places on the west side of the state like Colorado National Monument. Take some time to explore the stunning Glenwood Canyon Recreation Path for what’s sure to be a memorable ride.  

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