Glenwood’s Alpine Coaster gets national honor |

Glenwood’s Alpine Coaster gets national honor

The Alpine Coaster is recognized among the nation's best.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park |

The 4,400-foot Alpine Coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is listed among the best roller coaster rides in the nation by USA Today.

It’s quite an honor, said Glenwood Caverns owner Steve Beckley.

“That is an amazing list of incredible coasters,” he said.

The list, part of USA Today’s “10 Great Places” series, was compiled by Paul Ruben, North American editor of the trade publication Park World. It includes a coaster that hits 93 mph (Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio), one that Ruben calls a unique “tumbling coaster” (X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California) and the world’s longest wooden coaster (The Beast at Kings Island, north of Cincinnati).

Of the Alpine Coaster, USA Today says:

“Unlike more familiar coasters, this is a sled ride that zooms down a hill. But Ruben considers it a roller coaster because ‘it runs on a track, and it’s powered by gravity.’ It’s reminiscent of the first roller coasters, which were developed 400 years ago in Russia as rides down wood-supported hills. But on this ride, visitors sit on a sled and can control their speed as they zoom down a mountain.”

But Ruben says to ignore the hand brakes: “You’re strapped to the sled, and the sled is fastened to the tracks; you’re not going to go anywhere.”

The recognition can only help Glenwood Springs as a destination for roller coaster enthusiasts, who travel the nation seeking the best thrills.

“A lot of times they [the enthusiasts] visit and they don’t tell us,” Beckley said, but a couple of years ago the park hosted an event that drew 50 to 100 coaster fans.

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