Moving to Glenwood Springs, CO

Many individuals dream of swapping the hustle and bustle of city living for the tranquility and beauty of a mountain town. But what does this transition genuinely entail, especially when moving to one of America’s top-rated small towns? As seasoned locals of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, we possess firsthand knowledge and insights about this captivating location. In our guide, we offer an authentic and detailed perspective about relocating to Glenwood Springs, ensuring you are well-informed and prepared for this exciting journey. 

In this article we will cover:

Is Glenwood Springs a Good Place to Live?

Is Glenwood Springs a good place to live? The answer largely depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Known as one of America’s best small mountain towns, Glenwood Springs is also famed as a family-friendly vacation destination. It offers abundant outdoor activities and boasts delightful weather. Along with its neighboring town, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs is celebrated for its arts and culture scene, hosting a variety of enjoyable events and live music throughout the year. If these features align with your interests, then Glenwood Springs could indeed be an excellent place to live!

However, housing in Glenwood Springs can be challenging to secure, and the cost of living is higher than the national average. If you prioritize investing in a single-family home or are keen on pursuing early retirement, it would be wise to carefully review your financial situation first. You might need to consider whether you’re prepared to make certain sacrifices to live in this charming and lively town.

Cost of Living in Glenwood Springs, CO

Let’s be clear: purchasing a home in Glenwood Springs for $300k is not a realistic expectation. However, it’s important to note that affordable housing often isn’t the primary factor drawing people to this area. Those who choose to live in Glenwood Springs are typically drawn by the plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities, live music, cuisine, and a vibrant arts scene.

Glenwood Springs’ cost of living score is 17% above the national average, a trend common to many mountain towns. While this might initially seem costly, it’s relatively modest when compared to Aspen, Colorado, where the cost of living is a staggering 36% above the national average. Compared to Denver, Glenwood Springs is only 5% more expensive.

The ultimate question you must ask yourself is what you value most and what you’re seeking in a town. Do you favor experiences over material goods? Life invariably involves trade-offs: living in a stunning mountain town like Glenwood Springs might mean accepting a somewhat higher cost of living. However, if you plan to spend significant time outdoors (an activity that, aside from gear investment, is typically free), this could be a compromise you’re willing to make.

Glenwood Springs Weather

Welcome to the fringe of the Colorado Plateau, where Glenwood Springs experiences each of the four seasons in all their glory. The highlight of Glenwood Springs is our average of 300 sunny days per year, creating the perfect atmosphere for various outdoor activities. Even our winters can have a warm feel to them.

During winter, we receive an ample amount of snow, with temperatures typically ranging from 12°F to 42°F. If you’re from less sunny states, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how warm it can feel (and how rapidly snow can melt from the roads) under our clear, blue skies which are present on most days throughout the year.

Summer in Glenwood Springs brings temperatures in the 70s and 80s. However, our air is quite dry. So, if you’re accustomed to humid climates, you may find it surprising to complete a hike without being soaked in sweat.

We also experience distinct spring and fall seasons. Our falls, in particular, bring forth a burst of vibrant colors, adding an extra layer of beauty to your hiking or biking adventures.

Glenwood Springs Schools

Glenwood Springs hosts a variety of educational establishments, catering to all levels from kindergarten to college. It provides both public and private schooling options. Additionally, Colorado Mountain College offers an extensive range of community classes for adults, where they can acquire new skills such as oil painting, photography, woodworking, and beyond.

In terms of quality of education, Glenwood Springs High School is ranked within the top 20% of all 1,734 schools in Colorado based on combined math and reading proficiency testing data.

Glenwood Spring Elementary Schools:

Glenwood Springs K-8’s:

Glenwood Springs Middle Schools:

Glenwood Springs High Schools:

Glenwood Springs College:

Glenwood Springs Housing

Securing housing in Glenwood Springs can be challenging, as evidenced by the numerous discussions on local Facebook groups. The average home value in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, as reported by Zillow, is approximately $793,858. This figure represents a 7.2% increase over the past year. As of October 2023, the median listing price for homes was around $997.5K, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 4%.

If these prices exceed your budget but you’re determined to buy a home, consider looking at New Castle or Rifle. In December 2023, the median listing price for homes in Rifle was $447K.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in renting in Glenwood Springs, there are a couple of things you should know. First, rental rates vary widely, but you should anticipate a minimum of around $2K for a one-bedroom apartment. We’ve written another article about all the apartment options around Glenwood Springs, their prices and whether they are pet-friendly.

Secondly, due to high housing demand, many apartment websites may not reflect current availability. So, even if a site shows no vacancies, don’t be discouraged. It’s a good idea to call the apartments you’re interested in to confirm availability. Be ready to put money down immediately when you find an available unit because they tend to get snatched up quickly. If you search hard enough, you just might find a gem. I lived in this remodeled train caboose when I moved here for $800 a month, utilities included.

Remodeled train caboose that's a rental apartment now

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Let’s delve into the exciting aspects of Glenwood Springs, the reasons you’re likely contemplating a move there, apart from potential job prospects. Glenwood Springs is a hub of exhilarating activities!

The outdoors is a playground in Glenwood Springs. The town offers an array of stunning hiking and biking trails, skiing opportunities, golf courses, fishing spots, and rafting adventures. Basically, if it’s a sport you can do on a river or a mountain, Glenwood Springs has it. Unlike city living, where you might have to endure hours of driving and traffic jams, here, all these activities are just minutes away from your home.

But the allure of Glenwood Springs extends beyond outdoor pursuits. The town is famous for its geothermal hot springs, a mountain-top adventure park, and a vibrant downtown area brimming with restaurants, bars, and shops.

While it’s impossible to list all of Glenwood Springs’ attractions (that would turn this article into a full-fledged guide), here are a few key highlights:

Skiing Near Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is host to Sunlight Mountain Resort, a vibrant community ski resort packed with personality. Here, you’ll encounter locals tailgating at their cars, a bustling restaurant and bar, and plenty of individuals donning whimsical ski helmets adorned with ears and tails. Sunlight Mountain is reasonably priced, and a season pass also grants you access to numerous other hills on swap days.

Approximately 45 minutes to an hour up valley from Glenwood Springs, you’ll discover the four mountains of Aspen Snowmass. Although these ski hills are more expensive, they offer access to a broader terrain and some daunting bowls for those looking to challenge their skiing skills.

In Glenwood Springs, you’re within close proximity to Vail and Beaver Creek. This convenient location allows for spontaneous day trips to these well-known ski resorts. Although, with the lines that we’ve seen pictures of at Vail you may find Sunlight Mountain Resort gets you the most bang for your buck.

Golf Course Near Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is home to two golf clubs with plenty more in neighboring towns, just minutes away. In Glenwood Springs you’ll find Glenwood Springs Golf Club and Ironbridge Golf Club. Glenwood Springs Golf Club was voted the best 9-hole public golf course in Colorado, this club has been welcoming golfing enthusiasts since 1955. Ironbridge Golf Club is an 18-hole alpine golf course that offers stunning views of Mt. Sopris and an idyllic golf and mountain community.

In addition there are several golf clubs in neighboring towns including Aspen Glen Club, Lakota Links, River Valley Ranch and Ranch at Roaring Fork

Hot Springs Near Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is renowned for its hot springs. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is home to the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool and is within walking distance to historic downtown Glenwood Springs. Iron Mountain Hot Springs features 16 soaking pools and a family pool with an attached elevated spa. It’s located on the banks of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. There’s also South Canyon Hot Springs, which is a natural hot spring located near Glenwood Springs. You can park near it and take a very short hike out to it – though it tends to get pretty crowded on weekends.

Airports Near Glenwood Springs, CO

Living in a mountain town like Glenwood Springs can pose travel challenges if you’re accustomed to short drives to an airport for immediate flights. However, there are several airport options near Glenwood Springs that make jet-setting possible.

  • Eagle County Regional Airport (45 minutes away) – This is the closest airport to Glenwood Springs. However, it typically requires a connecting flight from a larger metropolitan airport to reach your final destination.
  • Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (1 hour away) – The second closest airport to Glenwood Springs. Similar to Eagle County, you’ll likely need a connecting flight from a larger airport.
  • Grand Junction Airport (1.5 – 2 hours away) – This airport is slightly larger than both Eagle and Aspen, potentially offering more direct flights. It’s also closer than Denver.
  • Denver International Airport (3.5 – 4 hours away) – While a longer drive, Denver International can sometimes be worth it for cheaper flights with better timing options. Many of the smaller airports mentioned previously often require a layover at Denver International anyway.

Enjoy your Move from Roaring Fork Engineering

We at Roaring Fork Engineering appreciate your time in reading our article about moving to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. We’re excited about the possibility of seeing you around town. Should you require any civil engineering or surveying services once you settle in, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Enjoy your move!

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