Glenwood History

Glenwood’s legendary hot springs history

In 1897, Sheriff Bob Ware opened the West Glenwood Health Spa on the Colorado River at the site of the current Iron Mountain Hot Springs. The property changed hands several times over the years, and was known as the Wash Allen Bathhouse, the Gamba Mineral Springs, the Glenwood Health Spa and the Fort Defiance Bathhouse. Visitors came from far and wide to soak in the iron-rich mineral waters until it was closed in 1966.

Glenwood’s legendary hot springs history continues with the opening of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs in 2015. You can experience the soothing mineral waters that have drawn people to Glenwood Springs for centuries at the newest hot springs in Colorado. We’re located alongside the Colorado River, just across from the tram base at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Glenwood Springs is located midway between Aspen and Vail, about three hours west of Denver, at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers. USA Today and Rand McNally named Glenwood Springs “The Most Fun Town in America” in 2011. In addition to relaxing at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, today’s travelers can take cave tours, ride a tram, enjoy thrill rides and mountain-top entertainment at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park; soak in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool; ski, ride and snowmobile at Sunlight Mountain Resort and six other ski resorts located within an hour; go whitewater rafting or kayaking in a whitewater park; fish in Gold Medal waters; get active in the White River National Forest and on hiking and biking trails; laugh at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue; take a tour on horseback, Segway or ATV; and shop and dine in Glenwood’s historic downtown district.


Known for centuries as premiere mineral hot springs destination, Glenwood Springs will soon have another option for travelers wishing to experience the area’s geothermal wonders. The area’s history started long before the first settler came to the area in 1860; Nomadic Ute Indian tribes originally inhabited the area and frequently bathed and soaked in the hot mineral waters.