TimManBlog

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Doc Holliday and the Spa of the Rockies in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

August 31, 2020

An August day is a good day to come to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. This is a tourist town and a Rocky Mountain mecca. Downtown has antiques shops, outdoor gear merchants, old bars and new coffee places. Glenwood Springs straddles the Colorado River at the bottom end of Glenwood Canyon.

Doc Holliday Tavern, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

I remember the very first time I came through Glenwood Springs in September, 1991. I was driving an old Mazda GLC on my first cross-country trip.

Downtown Glenwood Springs with the red cliffs of the Rockies as a backdrop

I was charmed by the old buildings and wild west flavor. Main Street includes the Doc Holliday Tavern & Saloon — a little box of a building with a neon sign fashioned as a revolver above the front door.

The entrance to Doc Holliday’s Saloon, Glenwood Springs

Doc Holliday’s life story can be found here. He was a dentist-turned-gunslinger driven west as a remedy for tuberculosis. Ultimately the disease took his life (not a gunshot wound), and he died and was buried in Glenwood Springs.

Other buildings downtown are old stone and brick structures and provide a solid western feel, like this one:

Downtown Glenwood Springs

Because Glenwood Springs is situated deep in a canyon, nearly every view provides a mountain vista behind it:

Glenwood Springs is not without its brewpubs.

Glenwood Canyon Brewpub

Amtrak runs through Glenwood Springs and then up into Glenwood Canyon. Here’s the old train station.

Amtrak train station, Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is the largest town in this area and the county seat of Garfield County, Colorado.

Garfield County Courthouse, Glenwood Springs

The downtown area is along the south side of the Colorado River. If you go across a metal bridge spanning the river (and Interstate 70) you’ll find the Spa of the Rockies.

Spa of the Rockies, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Nice place to enjoy some hot springs — or just take a dip in their pool on a hot day. Or just a place to lie around the pool thinking about it.

Here’s another view of the Spa of the Rockies, their old hotel towers, and their waterslide.

Spa of the Rockies

There’s nothing like rafting down the Colorado River on a hot August day. These rafters have just exited the rapids of Glenwood Canyon, which is just upstream of Glenwood Springs.

Rafting on the Colorado River

I’ll finish with some photos looking eastward, upstream along the river into Glenwood Canyon. Both Amtrak and Interstate 70 snake their way through the canyon along the banks of the Colorado River, providing breathtaking views unmatched anywhere outside of the Grand Canyon of Arizona. I drove through this canyon for the first time back in that first cross-country trip in 1991 — I’ve come back many times since. Of course!

Looking eastward from Glenwood Springs
Colorado River at Glenwood Springs

All photos taken by the author. Photos taken either on August 2, 2006 or August 21, 2009.

A list of all photo posts from the American County Seats series in TimManBlog can be found here.

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