04 Mar Our 3 Favorite Glenwood Springs Hiking Trails
With spring on the way and the days warming up, we’re lacing up our hiking boots and hitting our favorite hiking trails in Glenwood Springs.
Include some trail mix on your next visit to Glenwood Springs! In addition to relaxing in the geothermal waters at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, we recommend getting some fresh air on area trails to feel truly rejuvenated. All three of these trails offer a unique view of Glenwood Springs.
Doc Holliday Trail. John “Doc” Holliday is best known for participating in the famous shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Stories have been written and movies made of this dramatic event that took place in1881. Over in seconds, the gunfight killed several members of The Cowboys, an outlaw gang. Sick with the final stages of tuberculosis, Doc arrived in town hoping the dry climate and hot springs would provide relief. Sadly, they did not. Doc spent the last 57 days of his life in Glenwood Springs. He died on Nov. 8, 1887, at the age of 36. He is buried in Linwood Cemetery along with many of Glenwood’s pioneer residents. A short and satisfying trail, the trail is steep and rocky in spots.
- While You’re There: Look for Kid Curry’s grave as well. Curry was a notorious killer and train robber who rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s Wild Bunch gang.
Cross Trail. Part of the trail system on Red Mountain, the Cross Trail is so named because it leads to a huge metal cross at the summit. During Christmas and Easter seasons, it is illuminated at night. These days Red Mountain draws hikers and mountain bikers, but in the 1940s it was the site of Glenwood Springs’ first ski area. As you hike the trail, notice the abandoned ski lift towers. Unpredictable snow accumulations forced the in-town ski hill to close in the mid-1960s.
For a cardio workout that takes you through lush wooded areas with multiple viewpoints overlooking the Roaring Fork River, follow signs for the Cross Trail. At the summit, take a breather and panoramic photos of the whole valley, all the way up to Aspen. On the way down, go easy on the knees by following the road, also known as the Jeanne Golay Trail, back to the trailhead.
- While You’re There: Before heading back down, walk a little further south on the road at the summit to see where paragliders launch themselves off the mountain!
Rio Grande Trail. Forty-two miles long, the Rio Grande trail is a rails-to-trails project that follows the former route the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RGW) from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. The railroad began operations in the valley in 1887, gradually tapering off services and abandoning the Aspen to Glenwood route entirely in 1981. While there was some discussion about using the corridor for light rail transportation, it proved to be too costly in the end. Instead, work began in 2002 to create a multi-use paved path that served all the communities in the Roaring Fork Valley. It was completed in 2008 and has become a favorite trail for visitors and locals alike.
Hop on the Rio Grande Trail for a long walk or a short stroll, the gentle incline allows people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the beauty of nature at their own pace.
- While You’re There. The Rio Grande Trail offers several river access points. Tote along a rod to fly-fish for Rainbow trout or dip your toes in the cold water for an invigorating pick-me-up on a summer day.
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