A Brief Stop in the Rockies.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS– This town must have something going for it because an Amtrak conductor once told me that the Zephyr leaves people behind all the time. It usually happens when the train gets here a few minutes ahead of schedule and passengers have more time to wander off.
I have passed through here many times on the California Zephyr and thought it would be fun to get off and check it out for 24 hours. This time I’m doing exactly that.
I’m staying at the Hotel Denver which dates back to 1905 and is immediately across the street from the station. In fact, I was checked in before my train departed. If you look hard, you will see that it’s still there in the photo above, which I took from my room.
Glenwood Springs as a town dates back to 1885 and was certainly part of the Old West. People were drawn here by the hot springs which were thought to have curative powers and among many others notables of the time, Doc Holliday came here to take the treatment. In Doc’s case, it didn’t take and he’s buried here.
Today, the town is mostly dependent on tourism. Folks come in wintertime for skiing, of course, and in the summer for camping and hiking and fishing. But I would guess that the most popular summer activity is rafting on the Colorado River which runs right through the middle of the town. For much of the year, dozens of rafts can be seen from the Zephyr, which follows the river for more than 130 miles before arriving here.
(By the way, should you be considering taking the Zephyr through here, almost all of the best viewing is from the left side of the westbound train, meaning roomettes with even numbers. Heading west, all the bedrooms are on the left side.)
I’m leaving here on this afternoon’s train and will be getting off in Davis, California, tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. Further reports from there.