Heading to the mountains is a popular weekend getaway year round for the city folk in Denver, the 303’s as we call them (after the area code). But during the holidays, it’s a must. Not only does the Western Slope have the best ski resorts in the country, Aspen, Vail, Copper, Breckenridge, Mary Jane, to name a few, but we also have some pretty amazing family fun right here in Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Springs is nestled directly between Aspen and Vail and during the holidays it’s a winter destination!!
Unlike the majority of full-time traveling families, we do point our compass toward Florida or Texas, instead we head straight into blizzard country and live the life of the rich and famous, only not on a rich and famous budget. We board in Aspen, Vail, Copper and our very own wonderful, yet virtually unknown ski resort, Sunlight.
Sunlight Mountain Resort
Sunlight is where families can enjoy skiing or snowboarding and actually have enough money to eat afterward! Seriously, Sunlight offers amazing terrain and snow for about half the cost of the other major resorts nearby and there are never any lines, which means no waiting AND the powder stays powdery so much longer! And for those of us with young kids, all 67 trails lead right back to the lodge! No kids ending up in different villages, no hassle, no hype. I will tell you if you are looking for luxury, this is not the place for you. But for anyone looking for epic snow, amazing terrain, and no hassles, Sunlight totally rocks! www.sunlightmtn.com
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
The Ute Native Americans long ago called the therapeutic waters that feed the Hot Springs Pool Yampah, which literally means Big Medicine. Locals today swear that the 15 minerals in the water heal a huge number of ailments and local doctors seem to back up that claim by prescribing soaks to their patients. The spring that fills the pool delivers a whopping three and a half million gallons of hot water daily and I’m here to tell you that there is nothing more amazing than sitting in the 110 degree hot pool after a long exciting day of boarding! It soothes the body, the soul and the mind. But it’s not just about soaking, for the kids, and youthful adults, there is the 94 degree pool where everyone can splash away any extra energy they may have!
If you’ve never been snowmobiling, you are really missing out. It is the most exhilarating thing ever and Glenwood Springs is a snowmobiling haven! Glenwood is home to the infamous Sunlight to Powderhorn Trail, a 120-mile groomed track that runs between Glenwood Springs all the way to Powderhorn Ski Area near Grand Junction, CO!!
Snowmobilers can choose from Guided tours which include a few hours to mind blowing overnight trips. A few words of wisdom, if you have a full face helmet, wear it, the wind is cold. Wear layers, ski goggles, and a neck gator. Be sure to bring water, sunscreen and chapstick and of course, your camera!!! If you are prepared, you will have the time of your life!
Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves
Just conjuring up the thought of Yampah Spa brings the knowing to a place of peace and serenity. The Vapor caves are underground caverns filled by the mineral rich stream deep underground known as the the Yampah Spring – the same source that dumps millions of water into the Hot Springs Pool. The Yampah Vapor Caves are one of only a few known natural vapor caves in all of North America.
In addition to the Vapor Caves, Yampah is a full-service spa, offering everything from hair and beauty to massages! An absolute must for holiday weary parents!
Hotel Colorado Christmas Lighting
The Hotel Colorado is exceptional, in style, in luxury, in beauty and in service. It is mind-blowing every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving when more than one million lights bring the historic hotel to a whole new level! There is live entertainment, including fireworks and a visit from Santa himself.
And while we are on the topic of the Hotel Colorado, I would be remiss if I did not mention its famous visitors ranging from Theodore Roosevelt to Doc Holliday to Molly Brown among others! It is also said to be haunted and quite a few people that we know have stories that seem to support this claim!