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Photo TR: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park


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A couple of weeks ago, a colleague slipped a newspaper article under my office door. It was about a roller coaster set on a mountain top 2 km high. I looked at the photo and wondered where the heck was this from? Was this about Ghost Town in the Sky? No, it was about a completely different park, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, in Colorado, where they'd just opened a new coaster on top of a mountain. By chance, Cheryl and I were flying to Denver for a family affair, so we added it to the itinerary.

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Here's the original article shared by a colleague. It says (in Dutch, I work in the Netherlands): "Roller coaster 2 kilometers up" and "It's crazy to see a canyon coming at you". We had to see this for ourselves.

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We drive about 3 hours west of Denver to Glenwood Canyon. It's in the town of Glenwood Springs. Unfortunately, they tell us, it's too windy for the cable car to bring us to the top.

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Here's one of the tram cars. Normally they run every five minutes. We were a bit disappointed. The tram ride plus park entry is $12, and you can add the cave tour for an extra $10. Of course we went with the full day pass, which was $42, but doesn't include the cave tour, an extra $5 in that case.

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You're not allowed to drive up yourself, so the park provides these buses when the tram is down. I didn't take any pictures of the bus ride because my knuckles were white from holding on.

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When you get to the top, the first thing you see is a bungee tower plus the first credit, a Zierer Tivoli Small. Wild West Express.

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Credit!

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Nice little coaster.

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Now check this out! Alpine slide! We were advised not to use brakes unless facing a sled in front of us! It was awesome.

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I would love to work for Wiegand.

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There was a climbing wall (left) and some goofy audio animatronics in the outhouses telling jokes.

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Nature trail to Cliffhanger

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There's a maze.

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And finally Cliffhanger.

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It's a Hurricane layout. This one came from Celebration City in Branson. The coaster is standard, but the setting is not.

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With the operator's permission, I was allowed to take a fully secured camera on board, but it's a violent ride so I didn't get much. Just this one...

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And this is the closest thing I got to a money shot. It's breathtaking.

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This is riding the uphill lift after the Alpine Coaster.

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Some of you may remember Lauren from past TPR trips. She'll be joining us in China too.

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Lauren and I decided to try the upcharge ($10) bungee jumping. It was definitely fun, but not very organized. We had to wait a long time for our jump after harnessing up. Of course it didn't help that some lady chickened out after 20 minutes on the ledge.

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Here's proof of Lauren's jump.

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...and mine. :-(

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A few kiddie flats.

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Unfortunately we didn't have time for the cave tour. The yellow flag is where the cave was first discovered. A very nice park official, Bob, explained to me that the park started with the tours, which became so popular that the tramway was built. This year was a major expansion, and they've purchased additional land for further expansion.

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Here's a real highlight: An S&S Power Screamin' Swing right on the edge of a cliff!

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It only has 4 seats, but the side that Cheryl's on beats out anything I've ever seen. Liseberg's is pretty dramatic, but this blows it away.

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Alpine slide track.

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Another fun attraction: one of those crazy automatic ziplines that are popping up now, like the one at Dixieland in Georgia. This one's on a mountainside. Fun.

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They have laser tag for the winter months.

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Sharp looking logo.

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Here's that nice park official Bob and a staffer named Melinda.

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Big gift shop with helpful staff.

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There's also a big restaurant with a huge outdoor deck looking out and then another deck above for vistas.

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Tramway back down.

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We had a great day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

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Hopefully this report will put this neat little park on people's radar and we'll see more great things in the future. Thanks for checking it out!

Edited by milst1
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Very cool, thanks for the photos. I didn't realize that this park is starting off in a very similar fashion to SDC, what with the popular cave tours leading to adding rides and attractions.

 

I'm surprised that the new coaster made the news in the Netherlands. I know it's on a mountain, but it's not like it hangs over the cliff or anything. I hope they are able to save up for a custom coaster that actually takes advantage of the terrain one of these days.

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I agree totally that they should keep building and build something cool.

 

I did contact the reporter. I think he's just driving cross-country or something and just sending in interesting stories as he goes. You're right that it's not earth shattering, but I for one am glad for the heads up.

 

Thanks for checking out the report.

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We made Dutch news?! Sweet...

 

It's a great park, isn't it? Looked like you had fun. I'm probably going up within the next 2 weeks to try out the new stuff.

 

I hadn't heard about, it wasn't even in the Colorado news.....

 

I really want to go check this out, it looks like a whole lot of fun. I was in Glenwood 2 years ago, but never got a chance to go to the adventure park. Good TR!

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Wow, I visited back in 2007 when literally all they had was the alpine coaster and some ghetto home made swing over the cliff. The park has come a LONG way and looks very impressive!

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This seems like an awesome little park! The location is absolutely amazing; it sorta reminds me of Tibidabo in the sense that it's high ontop of a mountain, but this park certainly has the edge in natural beauty and thrills. The Screamin' Swing's placement is pretty epic, and quite a few of the rides seem to afford great views of the whole place.

 

I think this trip report has accomplished its goal! I definitely want to check this little place out now!

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Looks a lot like an 'upper class' version of Ober Gatlinburg!

This is dead-on.....and somewhat depressing to see what Ober could (should?) be like.

 

Precisely! Never underestimate the importance of ride placement, and the guts of management to execute on it!

 

Amazing how a (relatively) small amount of money in the right place can create a real gem.

 

Thanks for the report on somewhere I probably would have never heard of, and now I want to visit the next time I'm in Colorado!

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Wow, thanks for posting the photo tour Martin! This place looks very neat, it's going to be a must see for me next time I'm in Colorado. So great seeing how the rides interact with the natural terrain and cliffs. Growing up in the southwest and going hiking in the mountains often, the coaster geek in me would always creatively imagine how a roller coaster would fit overlooking a huge mountain valley or cliff-side. Nice to finally see it pictured, I've even had dreams about places like this. Looks absolutely breathtaking, I congratulate the park on it's efforts and hope they keep up expanding as they see fit.

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