Glenwood Springs is about 150 miles west of Denver at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork River, about 90 miles east of Grand Junction, and about an hour away from both Aspen to the South and Vail to the east.
Glenwood Springs was originally known as “Defiance”. Defiance was established in 1883 as a camp of tents, saloons, and brothels with an increasing amount of cabins and lodging establishments. It was populated with the expected crowd of gamblers, gunslingers, and prostitutes. Town founder Isaac Cooper’s wife Sarah was having a hard time adjusting to the frontier life and in an attempt to make her environment somewhat more comfortable, persuaded the founders to change the name to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, after her beloved hometown of Glenwood, Iowa.
Its location, at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River, as well as gaining a stop on the railroad, historically made it a center of commerce in the area. The city has seen famous visitors including President Teddy Roosevelt who spent an entire summer vacation living out of the historic Hotel Colorado. Doc Holliday spent the final months of his life in Glenwood Springs and is buried in the town’s original Pioneer Cemetery above Bennett Avenue.
Glenwood Springs in 2015 was awarded both as the most vibrant small town arts environment in the United States by Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research and the 5th Best Place to Live in America by Outside Magazine. It was also named the "Most Fun Town in America" by Rand McNally and USA Today in their 2011 Best of the Road Rally contest.
Outdoor recreation opportunities in Glenwood Springs abound. Activities include whitewater rafting, kayaking, caving, cycling, rock climbing, horseback riding, and world-class fishing.