Two Rivers Community School’s ‘Seven Wonders’ of Glenwood Springs |

Two Rivers Community School’s ‘Seven Wonders’ of Glenwood Springs

Pool goers enjoy a mild January evening at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent


Making magical memories is a lot of fun! The Seven Wonders of Glenwood Springs is a wonderful place to start! But, what if you come to one of the wonders and there is nothing beautiful to see? Well guess what? That might happen if people don’t preserve them.

The Two Rivers Community School second and third grade class studied the natural and man-made wonders of the area. We voted for the Seven Wonders of Glenwood to be Hanging Lake, Doc Holliday’s Grave, Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River, the Hot Springs and Vapor Caves, Sunlight Mountain, Hotel Colorado, and the Fairy Caves.

Pop art inspired by Andy Warhol. Hanging Lake and Glenwood Canyon, by Alexandria.

Sadly, there are people who have been harming our national landmarks. Horrible right? You can help by teaching people to stop knocking down rocks, carving into rocks, littering and doing graffiti. You can also teach people to stop polluting and leaving behind human waste.

1. Hanging Lake

The waterfall at Hanging Lake and the steep hike to view it has become immensely popular in recent years.
Thomas Phippen/Post Independent

Hanging Lake is a crystal clear lake located in the cliffs of Glenwood Canyon. You can get there by hiking a short but steep trail that is over a mile long. Hanging Lake was formed by a geological fault that made the lake bed drop from the floor above. The lake edge was formed over time with carbonates coming from the falls.

How to Preserve It

Hanging Lake has become one of the main tourist destinations in Colorado. A pass is now required to hike the trail. Visitors need a pass to help reduce the number of people who visit the trail every day.

Follow the path when hiking the trail. Also, do not swim or fish in the lake. Do not walk on the log or touch the water, because the oil in our skin can damage the lake. Please do not litter or write on rocks. You can help preserve Hanging Lake by leaving it how you found it or better than you found it.

2. Glenwood Canyon and Colorado River

Looking upriver on the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend. This section of river is the only place between Grizzly Creek and Two Rivers Park where the river is away from I-70, making it popular with both boaters and bighorn sheep.
Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Walk into the Glenwood Canyon and see shining water from the Colorado River and huge canyon walls. This canyon was carved 3 million years ago from the river. The river made paths through the limestone walls and made caves. Engineers built 12.5 miles of road including 40 bridges. Over 150,000 trees and shrubs have been planted. Furthermore, there are two 4,000-foot-long tunnels in the canyon. The final cost to build the canyon was $490.3 million!

How to Preserve It

If you look into the future, you will want to see a healthy river and clean canyon. Today there are over 30 species of fish that live in the Colorado River and over 36 million people use the Colorado River for drinking water. But that might not happen if we pollute the water. There are many ways to help protect our river.

One way you can help the river is to pick up after yourself. Also, have your family conserve water. You can take showers instead of baths. Instead of using air conditioning when it is hot, turn on the fan. Be careful not to let your water run when you are not using it. Water your lawn in the early morning or late evening.

Just imagine if the river was polluted, fish were dying, and no one was picking up after themselves. So, make sure our water stays clean.

3. Hot Springs and Vapor Caves

Veteran at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort the first week of April. The Glenwood visit was part of the annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic that takes place in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Savannah Nelson

Did you know the Utes were the first people to enjoy the hot springs and vapor caves? Now the Glenwood Hot Springs is the world’s largest mineral pool. The same water that goes to the hot springs also fuels the vapor caves located next door to the pool. The vapor caves are natural saunas filled with hot mineral steam.

How to Preserve It

If you are having a bad day or need to relax come to the hot springs or vapor caves, the pool is a great place for families and the vapor caves is a nice place to relax for grown-ups. Their water is filled with 15 different kinds of minerals that help you relax and feel better.

People travel all over the world to see these wonders. Next time you have family or friends in town tell them about the relaxing waters of Glenwood Hot Springs and Yampah Vapor Caves. Adults will have a fun time at the spa and families can rest in the hot springs while enjoying the beautiful views.

4. Hotel Colorado

The Hotel Colorado.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Hotel Colorado has an interesting history that includes many famous characters from the past. When it opened in 1893, the builders used 3 million bricks and planted 2,000 rose bushes. It included a gigantic Victorian garden, a bird sanctuary, a tennis court and a glorious fountain and indoor waterfall.

Most legends say the Teddy Bear was named after Teddy Roosevelt after his stay at Hotel Colorado. In 1905, Teddy Roosevelt set out for a bear hunt. Sadly, he didn’t catch a bear. So, some volunteers captured a live bear and tied it to a tree for Roosevelt to kill.

They brought Teddy over to shoot the bear, and that’s when Teddy made his move. He decided not to shoot him, and that’s why people admired him all over the world and gained his trust.

The hotel maids made Roosevelt a little stuffed bear. His daughter admired the bear and said, “I will call it Teddy.” Many storytellers say that is how the Teddy Bear was invented.

How to Preserve It

Even though Hotel Colorado seems to be a marvel, it’s actually under many renovations. You have a decision to help preserve the awesome Hotel Colorado. Hotel Colorado is trying to uncover old places in the hotel. For example, the workers have taken down walls and ceilings and found three old fireplaces. An excellent way to help preserve the Hotel Colorado is donating to the hotel so they can have money they need to buy the tools to restore the hotel. You can also help by eating there or having your family members stay there when they visit. Walter Devereux built this hotel, so why don’t we protect it for the future to enjoy?

5. Fairy Caves

Two girls enjoy features of historic Fairy Caves at Glenwood Caverns.

Have you ever wondered what makes the fairy caves so special? Inside the caves are things you have never even imagined. These caves have crazy things like cave bacon and cave popcorn! It was originally owned by Charles Darrow in 1886 and was advertised as “the 8th Wonder of the World.” The Fairy Caves were formed by the Iron Mountain hot springs. It is so beautiful and reminds you of fairies.

How to Preserve It

We should protect the fairy caves because there are so many amazing things in it that have been around for millions of years. First of all, don’t worry about closing the door because there are two airtight doors to keep the outside air from damaging the living caves, it also helps keep the temperature and humidity of the caves. We should keep them living for as long as we can by following these rules:

Keep your hands to yourselves or in your pocket so you cannot break anything.

Protect it by not touching it.

No running, you can trip and ruin the cave.

No backpacks, because it can scrape the cave walls.

No food or drinks because they can spill and introduce new bacteria.

Be respectful.

6. Doc Holliday’s grave

Doc Holliday
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association |

Have you ever wondered who Doc Holliday was? His full name was John Henry Holliday and he was born on Aug. 14, 1851 in Georgia. He was a dentist and that’s how he got his nickname, “Doc.” He became sick with tuberculosis and people didn’t want him to be their dentist anymore, so he moved to Texas and started gambling and drinking. He joined a gang with Wyatt Earp and is famous for the big gunfight at the OK Corral in 1881. After the big shootout, he fled to Glenwood Springs because he heard of the healing waters of the Hot Springs. He was known as a “dead man walking.” He only lived here for six months and died on Nov. 8, 1887 in Hotel Glenwood. His last words were, “this is funny,” because he thought he was going to die in a gunfight but he died from tuberculosis.

How to Preserve It

On May 6, 2015, 30 gravesites at Linwood Cemetery were vandalized. This was a very harmful act and we hope that you can help by following these rules. First, don’t litter — it’s very bad for the animals. Also, don’t leave mementos for Doc Holliday, like alcohol, because it can attract homeless people or teenagers. Be respectful by staying on the trail and staying off the gravesites. You can volunteer with the Frontier Museum or Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers that help to maintain the trail.

7. Sunlight

A pair of skiers skin their way up Little Max at Sunlight Mountain Resort.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent

Sunlight is a fun and family friendly ski resort located 10 miles south of Glenwood Springs. Sunlight is affordable, fun and cool. In the winter you can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and even ride your snowmobile. During the summer you can hike, mountain bike, and play games like frisbee golf.

How to Preserve It

We can help Sunlight by skiing there and taking your family and friends when they come visit. Also, you need to be nice to the land by not littering or carving trees. We want Sunlight to be there for a long time.

Conclusion: We should protect Glenwood’s 7 Wonders because it’s a great place to live, and people come to see them from all over the world. Do your part to preserve these beautiful landmarks.

This student project was completed under the direction of TRCS second/third grade teacher Lixy Alcorta.

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