The view from the deck at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has always been spectacular. Now, guests can learn about the geology of the area while they admire its natural wonders.
A series of geologic panels, commissioned by Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park owners Steve and Jeannie Beckley, were installed at the park’s Lookout Grille deck at the top of the Iron Mountain Tramway earlier this month. Produced in collaboration with Colorado Mountain College, the panels invite viewers to take a closer look at the unique geological features that give the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding area its dramatic contours.
Signs on the park’s deck explore the Grand Hogback and Mount Sopris, and offer a panoramic view of the Roaring Fork and upper Colorado River valleys. A fourth sign, which delves into the formation of Glenwood Canyon is positioned near the Giant Canyon Swing that propels riders over the canyon’s edge.
Garry Zabel, professor emeritus of geology at CMC, provided most of the content for the panels, aided by Beth Zukowski, a CMC marketing specialist. The team effort was supported by CMC’s marketing and photography departments. “So many people from the college participated,” said Zabel. “It’s been a great collaboration.”
From day one, the Beckleys have been committed to maintaining a learning component to the park. The newly installed signs add educational value to a fun day out – for locals and tourists alike. Guided by the panels, viewers can examine 1,700 million years of geologic history and identify rock formations in Glenwood Canyon dating back to the Precambrian era.
“We hope that novices and experts alike will be able to discover something new from these signs,” said Zukowski. And for those who want to take the geology show on the road, each of the signs is linked to a QR code and a web address for virtual access to more information.