So you’re planning a Colorado winter vacation? Turns out you’re absolutely brilliant and I love that for you! Colorado’s mountain towns during the winter are seriously so stunning, I fell so in love during our road trip. I think winter is one of the best times to visit Glenwood Springs, Colorado because it’s just so absolutely stunning and a perfect Colorado mountain town vacation. We spent one week in Glenwood Springs during this winter road trip and it is so cute I could scream. After spending a week in this adorable Colorado mountain town, these are what I would recommend as far as things to do in Glenwood Springs in the winter.
The Short Version of My Best Things to Do in Glenwood Springs in Winter
Visiting this adorable Colorado mountain town in winter is definitely different than in summer. However, I kind of think winter is the best time to visit Glenwood Springs because the beauty is inescapable. And call me biased, but after a week I happen to think Glenwood Springs is one of the best Colorado mountain towns in winter, based on the variety of things it can offer for not an offensive cost. Based on my time there, these are some of my favorite things to do in winter in Glenwood Springs:
- Visit one of the many options for natural hot springs
- Head to the slopes
- Hike some gorgeous wintery trails
- Take a day trip to Aspen
- Eat at many of the fabulous Glenwood Springs restaurants
The Long Version
A couple of quick hit travel planning things before we get started like where to stay and whether to rent a car?
Where to Stay in Glenwood Springs
We stayed in a gorgeous rental unit along the river! There appear to be more rental homes and condos – of all sizes – than hotels, so you might consider starting there.
How to Get Around in Glenwood Springs in Winter
Colorado mountain towns are not really the spot to rely on public transportation, so you’re going to want a rental car if you don’t have your own. The closest one you can find might be in Aspen, so if you don’t already have a rental vehicle, I’d start there.
Now, let’s get into the weeds about the top things to do in Glenwood Springs in winter.
Soak in All the Hot Springs of Glenwood Springs
With a name like Glenwood Springs, you better have some hot springs in town. And Glenwood Springs will not disappoint you in this realm! There are quite a few hot springs options to choose from, each with a different vibe.
Glenwood Hot Springs
Glenwood Hot Springs is in town and is the world’s largest naturally heated pool. It’s nestled in between the mountains and is beyond adorable. You can find the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs pool next to the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs resort, but you definitely don’t need to be staying at the hotel to spend a night in the pool. This is one of my favorite things to do in Glenwood Springs, especially at night. We were there during a snowfall and it was simply magical.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs
The Iron Mountain Hot Springs are another set of outdoor hot springs found right in the Glenwood Springs town area. The Iron Mountain Hot Springs reviews we heard from friends in town were so good, we knew we had to spend a night there. Instead of one big pool, here there are probably a dozen or more smaller pools, each with a different temperature so you can choose based on your own preference. The Iron Mountain Hot Springs require a reservation to go, and we went for sunset and it was magnificent.
More Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs
Yampah Spa and South Canyon Hot Springs are two other hot spring experiences to check out. Yampah is definitely a very unique things to do in Glenwood Springs, with vapor caves to sit and soak in. South Canyon requires a short hike and is the only one of the four mentioned here that’s truly out in nature.
Ski or Snowboard in Glenwood Springs
Of course, you know what’s coming. Any good “things to do in Glenwood Springs in wither” blog is going to mention skiing or snowboarding. Glenwood Springs has some great local runs at Sunlight Mountain Resort right in town but is also situated super close (within an hour) to Aspen, Beaver Creek, and Vail parks as well. So while Glenwood Springs is a great Colorado winter vacations for non skiers, it also is a fantastic spot FOR skiers and snowboarders.
Hike Glenwood Springs
There are so many places to winter hikes in/near Glenwood Springs! However, if you’ve visited in summer there aren’t as many hikes comparatively of course, due to weather and ice. These were some of the hikes open while we were there:
- Doc Holiday Grave Trail
- Mushroom Rock
- Wulfsohn Trail
- Hanging Lake (requires permits, which you can get here)
Related: Mountain Town Winter Packing List
Take a Day Trip to Aspen
Any good Colorado winter itinerary includes Aspen in some capacity and that’s for good reason. Aspen is only about 45 minutes away from Glenwood Springs so it’s a perfect day trip. Glenwood Springs in comparison to Aspen is definitely an affordable mountain town, and Aspen is like a playground for the über wealthy. Whether you’re snowboarding/skiing, shopping, or eating your way through this gorgeous Colorado mountain town, you’ll love your day in Aspen. I also highly recommend a restaurant called Pine Creek Cookhouse on the outskirts that you have to ski/snowshoe/horse-drawn carriage up to for it’s incredible views and the best fish I’ve ever had.
This is just a staple of any trip I go on to be honest, but we had some phenomenal food in this adorable Colorado mountain town. Some Glenwood Springs restaurants I’d highly recommend are:
- Local on Cooper for amazing breakfast burritos.
- Taqueria El Nopal for some of the best Mexican food I’ve *ever* had (and I grew up with a Mexican stepdad so… this is high praise from me).
- Rocky Mountain Pizza Co. was honestly just so satisfying. We got a Margherita (a classic, so good) and a Colorado Aloha (Hawaiian with jalapeños and spicy honey) and were super impressed by both.
- Glenwood Canyon Brewpub had some of the best light beer I’ve ever had but also really good pub food, I had the cajun mac and cheese and would get seconds if I could.’
- CO Ranch House was adorable and such a good, upscale dinner. We got the surf and turf special but I don’t believe you could go wrong if you tried.
- Sweet Coloradough is a must for AMAZING donuts and pastries, but also another surprisingly good breakfast burrito.
Other Things to Do in Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs was definitely our favorite stop on our Colorado winter itinerary, but we couldn’t do everything we wanted to do. So for next time, these are some spots we’re definitely going to explore:
- Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
- Go rafting in Glenwood Canyon
- Hike Hanging Lake Trail (make sure you have your reservation and hiking permits)
- Do a cave tour
So there you have it, in my opinion the best things to do in Glenwood Springs in winter! One week in Glenwood Springs is definitely not enough, even as a highlight on my Colorado winter itinerary. From the Glenwood Springs hot springs to all of the other outdoor activities, I seriously loved this Colorado mountain town.
As always, reach out to me with any questions, and make sure to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for travel tips, funny stories, helpful guides, and inspo there. Also, on Insta, check out my Glenwood Springs story highlight for a closer look at our trip!