8 Amazing Free Things To Do in Glenwood Springs, CO This Summer

For those of you for whom the mountains call, Glenwood Springs, CO is a must on your bucket list. Glenwood Springs is a mountain town situated smack dab in the center of the Rocky Mountains. There is much fun to be had here, and although much of it breaks the bank, as a longtime resident, I have the scoop on the best FREE Things To Do in Glenwood Springs.

And, as always, there are great Things To Do in Glenwood Springs This Weekend if you have a little cash to burn!

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Where is Glenwood Springs, CO

Free Things to Do In Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is a medium sized mountain town of 10,000+ located off I70, between the hamlets of Vail and Aspen. Being only 2.5 hours from Denver, Glenwood Springs is a popular destination for Colorado city dwellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

There are a plethora o{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“d1e95503-8511-4cdc-aacb-3fa1b4b937a4″],”srcRootClientId”:””}f activities for those with a bit of extra cash in their pockets. There’s the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the Iron Mountain Hot Springs Pool, whitewater rafting, ATV tours, snowmobiling even paragliding, all in this beautiful valley.

Things To Do in Glenwood Springs

Fun, Not Free

Glenwood Springs alone has many attractions such as the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, two Hot Springs pools — Iron Mountain and Glenwood Hot Springs. On the extreme side, Glenwood Springs offers whitewater rafting and epic kayaking, SUP’ing and surfing.

In Glenwood Springs, you will find a plethora of tours from ATV, Jeep, Horseback, paragliding to Snowmobiling and of course Sunlight Mountain Resort for skiing and riding enthusiasts.

While all of these activities are absolutely recommended, they aren’t free. In fact, they cost a pretty penny and can quickly eat up a family’s vacation budget. But, do not fret, you will also find a plethora of exciting Free Things To Do in Glenwood Springs, CO. 

So, if you prefer the freedom of doing your own thing, I implore you to check out the following list of Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs.

Hiking Trails

Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO

Hiking trails are a big draw for those visiting Glenwood Springs and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, with the uptick in visits the city decided to capitalize on one of the most beautiful hikes in the area … Hanging Lake. It is now necessary to make a reservation, pay a fee and ride a bus to the trailhead.

However, there are dozens and dozens of other trails that are breathtaking and free. For family-friendly options, take the fam to nearby Rifle Falls and enjoy the triple waterfalls and the caves along the trail. Or try Grizzly Creek Trail, or HorseShoe Bend Trail and catch a view of the resident Big Horn Sheep!

For more difficult hiking trails be sure to hit Red Mountain Trail, for amazing views of the city, Mitchell Creek Trail and Storm King to pay homage to the 13 fallen firefighters.

Glenwood is really a hiking mecca with so many gorgeous hikes in the area, and best of all, hiking is always an option, no matter where you go, for a great free thing to do!

Linwood Cemetary

A super easy hike in the middle of the city, Linwood Cemetary hosts the infamous Doc Holliday. Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Another great free thing to do in Glenwood Springs is to experience a little pioneer history at Linwood Cemetery.  Here you can visit the graves of some infamous characters. Doc Holliday’s grave is one of the most famous attractions in the cemetary. Harvey Logan, aka “Kid Curry” is also buried in Linwood after committing suicide following a train robbery in 1904. For a while, Logan had been a member of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid gang.

Linwood Cemetery is located in the heart of downtown. It’s just a little hike up with some great lookouts over the city. Ample parking on the street makes this a great foray.

Climbing Glenwood Canyon

Aside from being the most beautiful place I’ve ever laid eyes on, Glenwood Canyon is home to many rock and ice climbing opportunities throughout the year. Side canyons offer some amazing spots as well.  Really, you can’t go wrong in Glenwood Canyon as nearly every exit off the highway offers a climbing opportunity for those who know what they are looking for.

Climbing is one of those sports, that once you have the gear, you can set off in search of amazing fun. Definitely put climbing in Glenwood Canyon in your itinerary of top Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO.


Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO

Fishing is a favorite getaway for many who visit. From Glenwood Springs there is access to multiple rivers, including lengthy stretches of Gold Medal designated waters in which to fish.  the region is home to exceptional fishing opportunities. Here you can cast your line from shore or while floating down the river in hopes of catching trout. Everything from rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout all swim abundantly in the Frying Pan, Roaring Fork, and Colorado rivers!

If it’s a guide you are looking for, look no further than my friend and guide, Dustin Harcourt. His parents took my family fly fishing for salmon on the Kenai River in Alaska and we never had so much fun, or learned so much as we did with them!

Off Road Riding

Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO

The State of Colorado is an off-roader’s dream, with riding trails ranging from dirt to gravel to paved, there is something for everyone in every nook and cranny of the state! Glenwood Springs can be a bit tricky, but Transfer Trail is not only incredibly fun, but absolutely drop dead gorgeous. As I road up into the flat tops, I couldn’t help but think I’d died and gone to heaven. Aspen trees, pines, wild flowers, lakes and butterflies. The experience was second to none. Bring a tent and spend the night!

With Glenwood Springs offering this trail, you must put off-roading on your itinerary of Fun, Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO!

River Fun

Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs,

There is a lot of river in Glenwood Springs, CO. The Colorado River offers Class II-IV and the Roaring Fork Class II-III.  There is a little something for everyone!

If you don’t have your own craft, you can fork out a little cash and book a whitewater raft trip or even pay for a rental raft.  But, for even cheaper you can grab a tube from your local tire store and have a blast tubing down the Grizzly Section of the Colorado River. This section is perfect for beginners especially later in the summer as the water is cool and the waves are small.

Glenwood Springs also has a whitewater park, for kayakers and SUP’ers, just below Two Rivers Park. It’s the perfect standing wave for surfboards, boogie boards, SUP’s, kayaks and yes, even tubes!

Stay safe and be sure to wear a PFD or more commonly known as a life jacket as you enjoy my favorite fun thing that is also one of the best Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO.


Free Things to do in Glenwood Springs, CO


Biking is a big deal here and one of the most popular Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs, CO. From mountain biking to dirt biking and beyond, Glenwood Springs is on the map when it comes to biking.

Paved trails along the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers offer riders of all abilities access to beautiful scenery along smooth surfaces. There are also plenty of off-road rides, like the Scout Trail, that climb high above Glenwood Springs and finish with a wild ride back into town.

A lot of time, money and effort was put into ensuring access to top notch trails, bike lanes and connecting routes for commuters. Your littlest rippers will love the bike trails along the river and they might even get to see bighorn sheep along the way!

Nature is Free

Free Things to do in Glenwood Springs, CO


As a full-time traveling family, we are often asked where or what our favorite free family locations or activities are. Our obvious answer is everything in nature!

There are National Parks and State Parks that may charge a small fee, but most of our public lands are free to use and enjoy. America is full of wondrous and glorious natural habitats that are just waiting to be discovered!

Get outside with your kids … fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, real fun is often absolutely free!

Glenwood Springs FAQs

Where is Hanging Lake?

Hanging Lake is a U.S. National Natural Landmark. It is located in the U.S. State of Colorado, about 7 miles east of Glenwood Springs, CO. It is a popular tourist destination, and is no longer free to access. There is a costly permit fee of $12 per person.

What is the Amtrak abbreviation for Glenwood Springs, CO?

How is Glenwood Springs (Amtrak station code; Glenwood Springs, CO) abbreviated? GSC stands for Glenwood Springs, CO.

Are there Free Things To Do In Glenwood Springs?

Glenwood Springs, Colorado has tons of free things to do for families in the summer. Glenwood Springs, sits at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers and is known the world over for its famous hot-springs amenities. There are plenty of free things to do in this historic town, including kayaking, SUP’ing, and surfing the Glenwood Wave. There is also gold medal fishing, miles and miles of scenic hiking/biking trails, established ATV trails and climbing routes.