Home sweet home, Colorado. The concept of home is odd as I feel more connected with California than I do with Colorado, but I still find myself in love with Colorado and the beautiful Rocky Mountains as my first home. As summer time approaches in Colorado, the snow melts leaving for great outdoor activities such as hiking to white water rafting. A Glenwood Springs weekend is one that any outdoor driven person can enjoy!
So, here it is, a Glenwood Springs weekend! During Memorial Day (last weekend of May, the actual holiday falls on the last Monday of May), I took off to Colorado to be with family. In the spirit of traveling, we tend not to stay very long in the Denver area and go somewhere else. We took the car on I-70 and drove to Glenwood Springs. Famous for its sulfur hot springs, Glenwood Springs was an escape for many Coloradans into the mountain to get a good soak in. To describe Glenwood Springs, the city itself is a nice mountain town with one main street through downtown. Maybe Glenwood Springs is not what most people envision of a typical mountain resort town (thinking of Vail and Aspen), but Glenwood Springs has a down-to-Earth quality to it that I find refreshing.
During our stay on Memorial Day Weekend, we stayed at the Hanging Lake Inn. There are not a lot of lodging accommodations unless you stay in Glenwood Springs proper at a chain hotel near the hot springs, but we decided on this modest place. Owned by Mike and his family lives on the premise, I find that staying in these Mom-and-Pop type of establishments more of my pace.
Hot Springs: With so many pools and places to go, you cannot go wrong with any places that you visit. There are a lot of choices from Iron Mountain Hot Springs to Yampah Vapor Caves. For your Glenwood Springs weekend, definitely treat yourself to a relaxation.
Hanging Lake Hike: The grand activity of Glenwood Springs is Hanging Lake. See the link for more details, but below outlines my opinion about Hanging Lake. This hike is considered one of Colorado’s most popular, so it is definitely worth going early to beat the rush. My recommendation is to show up at 6:00 AM-7:00 AM. Since it was a holiday weekend for us, there were more people, but the earlier you go, the more you can enjoy without the crowds. Even showing up at 6:00 AM, we got the last parking spot.
The hike is overall pretty moderate, but can be steep. An overall short hike of 2.4 miles round trip, you are gaining about 1,000 feet (for those in metric, that is roughly 300 meters). Overall though, the hike is quite scenic and can be taken at a pretty leisurely pace as the path is well marked and wide.
When you get to the top, you will be greatly rewarded with this view.
But wait, if you still have a little bit more hiking in you, you can hike behind Hanging Lake and hike Sprouting Rock. If you do not know it is there, you could easily miss it. Behind the trail, you can see the waterfall that supplies Hanging Lake with its water.
TIP: If you go early, you can get the rising sun and the light refracts well on the lake giving great quality shots. The other best time to visit is late in the afternoon to get a similar effect.
ANOTHER TIP: If you can’t get there since the parking lot is a zoo, I recommend going on the Grizzly Creek Trail, which is one exit farther down on the highway and then walking on the trail to the start of the Hanging Lake hike.
Glenwood Springs has a good restaurant scene. Your gastronomic experience will be more affordable than what you can get in New York or San Francisco, but the quality is not compromised.
The Pullman – Featured in Esquire, The Pullman focuses on a farm-to-table New American cuisine. A place where a reservation is not a must, but would be very helpful to ensure you get a spot, especially on a busy weekend.
Slope & Hatch – A laid back eatery in Glenwood Springs featuring non-traditional tacos and hot dogs.
Have you spent a nice Glenwood Springs weekend before? Have you been or have any other recommendations? Comment below!