From mountain-top adventure parks to amusement parks perched at the edge of a deep gorge, those looking for a thrill in Colorado can find their adrenaline rush at five incredible theme parks throughout the Centennial State. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, perched on top of Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is home to three of the most heart-pumping thrill ride experiences, and each speak to the legacy and landscape of the destination. The Haunted Mine Drop honors the area’s mining past, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster takes riders to the edge of Iron Mountain, and the Giant Canyon Swing literally puts riders 1,300 feet over the Colorado River. If you’re looking for a thrill this summer, head to these 5 Colorado theme parks that are sure to give you that unforgettable adrenaline rush.
1. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
*Editor’s Note: The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is closed from Oct. 29, 2018 to mid-March 2019 for renovations.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado is one of the most idyllic and scenic mountain towns in the Centennial State. It’s also home to America’s only mountain-top theme park, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Head to the top of Iron Mountain via the Scenic Tram gondola, and you’ll find incredible views, fun family-friendly activities, cave tours, and some thrill rides that’ll knock your socks off. Three of Colorado’s most heart-pumping thrill rides—the Haunted Mine Drop, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, and the Giant Canyon Swing—will not disappoint those looking for an adrenaline rush.
The Haunted Mine Drop
Glenwood Caverns’ newest thrill ride, the Haunted Mine Drop, is not for the faint of heart. As the story goes, the amusement park has recently re-opened an old mine that miners had been lost in, and they’re looking for new miners to work the site. Riders enter this drop ride through a mining building made to look like it’s from the turn of the last century. This drop ride is the first of its kind in the United States; the drop shoots riders 110 feet underground into the center of Iron Mountain. The Haunted Mine Drop has been named the #1 best new amusement park attraction in the United States by USA Today. Drop in…if you dare!
Cliffhanger Roller Coaster
Situated at 7,100 feet above sea level, the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster is the highest of its kind in North America. From the top of the coaster’s highest point, riders can look more than 1,400 down to the canyon below. It’s also perched at the edge of Iron Mountain, giving riders more than just the thrill of the speed and turns; you’ll also find panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Colorado River below.
Giant Canyon Swing
Are you brave enough to open your eyes as you swing out 1,300 feet above the Colorado River at 50 miles per hour? If you are, you’ll be rewarded with unmatched views of the canyon, Glenwood Springs, and the surrounding peaks. The ride accommodates up to four people, so bring your three closest friends and watch as they both freak out and have the time of their lives.
2. Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Located in downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens is both a theme park and a water park. In addition to thrill rides and water slides, the park also offers family-friendly events and activities throughout the summer, including free concerts, interactive shows, and “Dive-In” movies.
3. Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is home to America’s highest zip line, offering beautiful views of the surrounding Royal Gorge Park while soaring 1,200 feet above the ground.
4. Cave of the Winds
Cave of the Winds, located in Manitou Springs, features not only caving tours, but also a Wind Walker high ropes course and two terrifying thrill rides. The Bat-a-Pult and Terror-Dactyl rides launch riders into the air, swinging out over the canyon below. The Terror-Dactyl actually reaches speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
5. North Pole Home of Santa’s Workshop
The North Pole, home of Santa’s Workshop, is a Christmas-themed amusement park at the base of Pikes Peak. Get in the holiday spirit year-round with rides, family-friendly activities, and magic shows.