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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road,
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-4228 or (800) 530-1635

For more information, contact Mandy Gauldin, 970-945-5534


New book offers detailed look at the history of Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, from formation and discovery to development as a major tourist destination, with beautiful photographs dating back to the early 1900s.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 13, 2012)

On a sunny day in 1992, a small group of people hiked partway up Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to explore the Fairy Caves. For Steve Beckley, this was the culmination of a decade-long campaign to get permission to visit the long-closed cave. For Jeanne Nelson, now Beckley, it was her second date with Steve and her first time in a cave. Twenty years later, Steve and Jeanne have turned the cave into a thriving tourist destination, making their dreams of sharing the pristine underground world with the public a reality. A new book, "Eighth Wonder: The Story of Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves," offers readers a detailed chronicle of the cave’s history.

From its formation millions of years ago by the combination of fresh water from the Colorado River and hot mineral water from the springs for which its hometown was named, to its discovery in 1895 by Charles Darrow and its subsequent development, the book includes beautiful images of cave formations, educational illustrations and rare historic photographs that date back to the early 1900s. A timeline and a collection of then and now photos show the evolution of the tourist attraction and demonstrate that while much has changed, the beauty of the caves remains the same.

"What really stood out for me as we compiled the information for this book was the fact that Charles Darrow's vision in 1895 to create a major attraction to bring visitors to Glenwood Springs has come to fruition through the hard work and perseverance of Steve and Jeanne Beckley," said Shiela Kendall, special projects manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

A reproduction of an advertisement from the May 27, 1897, Avalanche Echo, courtesy of the Frontier Historical Society, demonstrates Darrow's efforts to market the Fairy Caves as the Eighth Wonder of the World and was the inspiration for the book's title. The ad states, "The Fairy Caves, although in existence with the other Seven Wonders, were undiscovered, and for that reason not included in the list."

The book was a collaboration between Richard Rhinehart, author of two previous books about caves in Colorado and the founding editor of the Rocky Mountain Caving journal; Shiela Kendall, special projects manager at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park; and Mandy Gauldin, the Adventure Park’s public relations specialist. The majority of the photographs in the book were taken by Norman Thompson, a noted cave photographer whose photos have been displayed in exhibits, including one at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and Ken Headrick, who was a volunteer caver with the Fairy Caves Project when it began in 1998 and is currently a tour guide at Glenwood Caverns.

"Eighth Wonder: The Story of Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves" is available for $9.95 at the General Store gift shop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. For more information about the park, visit or call 800-530-1635 or 970-945-4228, ext. 0.

About Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Located in scenic Glenwood Springs, Colo., midway between Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers a one-of-a-kind mountain-top adventure for families and outdoor enthusiasts. The Adventure Park features a gondola ride, tours of Glenwood Caverns & Historic Fairy Caves, dining, and attractions including an alpine coaster, 4-dimensional theater, laser tag, giant swing, a climbing wall, gemstone sluice box mining, simulated Conestoga wagon experience, and, new in 2012, two roller coasters and a Ferris wheel ride. Some attractions are seasonal. Ideal setting for groups and birthday parties. For the most up-to-the-minute news, follow us on Twitter,, become a fan on Facebook,, or read the blog, Go to for more information, to sign up for our email newsletter, or to request a brochure. 800-530-1635

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road
Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601