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Underground Cavern Tour Offers Surprises

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Glenwood Caverns

Glenwood Caverns

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A trip to Glenwood Springs offers plenty of ways to enjoy Colorado, but one attraction will take you underground and into the caverns.

The Glenwood Caverns stay at a constant temperature of 52 degrees year-round, making it toasty in the winter and a spot to cool off in the summer.

Visitors have to put on helmets if they want to take the tour of the caverns.

“The river came in and carved away the weak spots in the limestone and formed the passageways that we are now walking through,” said tour guide Kevin Turner when a CBS4 crew was there.

PHOTO GALLERY: Glenwood Caverns

Only a very small portion of the caves at the top of Iron Mountain above Glenwood Springs have been explored, but what has been seen is impressive to most tour-goers.

“I’ve been in a few caves and this is by far the most spectacular. Just the size and the vastness of it. It seems to go on forever,” one tour-goer told CBS4.

In the caverns’ historic “Fairy Caves,” intricate details cover the walls.

“You can see our cave’s fairy; she’s frozen in time, stuck there on the wall,” Turner said.

And those details take far longer to form in Colorado than they would in other states.

“It’s estimated that here in this part of Colorado because of the dry climate, it takes about 1,000 years for a formation to grow just one cubic inch,” Turner said.

The tour through the caverns takes some unexpected turns, even taking tourists back into the sunlight as they arrive on the Exclamation Point balcony, where the Colorado River is visible far below. The views of the Roaring Fork Valley and the city of Glenwood Springs below are stunning.

Down 127 stairs from the balcony is King’s Row, one of the cave’s crown jewels.

The tour guides also offer lessons in remembering the difference between a stalagmite and a stalactite.

“The easy way to remember the difference between these formations is ‘Stalactite, you hold tight to the ceiling’ and ‘Stalagmite might reach the ceiling.”

RELATED: New Technology Could Help Save Glenwood Caverns

LINK: Glenwood Caverns

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