Glenwood Springs to host South Canyon management plan open house |

Glenwood Springs to host South Canyon management plan open house

Plans for 3,000 acres of city-owned parkland could include developing a tourist attraction, trails, campgrounds

Glenwood Springs city staff is developing a plan for nearly 3,000 acres of city-owned parkland west of the city. Courtesy
Glenwood Springs city staff

Glenwood Springs residents have the opportunity Thursday to weigh in on the future use of approximately 3,000 acres west of the city in the South Canyon area, a city news release states.

A South Canyon community open house is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library, 815 Cooper Ave.

Encompassing the landfill, a shooting range and unmanaged open space, the city-owned land in the South Canyon area is also home to a series of undeveloped hot springs pools, known locally as the “Hippie Hot Springs,” the news release stated.

City staff have expressed concerns about the area’s potential health risks, illegal camping and potential fire hazards in the canyon.

The area could be transformed into a tourist destination with help from developers, who have reported an interest in the project. New trails could be established as well as campgrounds in the area, but some stakeholders are concerned about the potential impacts on nearby residents and the canyon’s ecosystem.

“Future management planning is intended to address the misuse of the canyon, outline potential approaches for enhancing public access and enjoyment of the area and provide a framework for protection of the ecosystem and habitat that will bring awareness to this unique public amenity,” according to city documents.

The management plan could create an inventory of South Canyon’s historical and biological resources, building on an intensive archaeological survey in 2003 conducted with the U.S. Forest Service to assess the historic significance and condition of the historic coal mining sites and a recently completed historical assessment.

In addition to attending the open house, residents can provide feedback through an online survey through Nov. 5, which can be found on the city’s website, A stakeholder interview can be requested by calling 970-384-6441.

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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