South Canyon Management Plan

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Project Description: 

In 2022, the City of Glenwood Springs completed initial public outreach regarding a future management plan for approximately 3,000 acres of designated parkland in the South Canyon area, west of the municipal limits of the City. The key deliverable was a summary of public feedback regarding the various uses of the area and related issues to help facilitate future area management planning by the City. 

The report laid the groundwork for development of an Area Management Plan. The plan will will inform new management and recreation practices with understanding of the area’s natural and cultural assets and the risks and benefits of creating new recreational opportunities. The plan’s goals are to inform updates to existing recreational amenities, enhance public access and enjoyment, identify approaches compatible with surrounding historical, residential, landfill and wildlife environments, and synthesize and build upon past inventory and analysis of historical and biological resources in South Canyon. 


Located west of Glenwood Springs, South Canyon is an area of City-owned land with approximately 3,000 acres of designated parkland. This public land encompasses the City landfill, an archery range, a shooting range, trails, and unmanaged open space. South Canyon is the site of a set of undeveloped hot springs pools (a.k.a. the “Hippy Hot Springs”) where locals venture despite potential health risks. The City also has concerns about fire risk and illegal camping. 

Future management planning is intended to address the misuse of canyon, outlines potential approaches for enhancing public access and enjoyment of the area, and provides a framework for protection of the ecosystem and habitat that will bring awareness to this unique public amenity. 

This plan will also build on past efforts to inventory the historical and biological resources in South Canyon, including an intensive archaeological survey in 2003 with the US Forest Service to assess the historic significance and condition of the historic coal mining sites and a recently completed historical assessment.  

  1. Bryana Starbuck

    Public Information Officer

Planning Process: 

  1. Initial outreach about Issues, Needs, and Preferences - Complete
  2. Report of Initial Outreach Findings - Complete
  3. Request for Proposals to Develop Area Management Plan - Complete
  4. Develop Area Management Plan - In process


The public outreach process began September 2021 with findings presented to City Council in December 2021. 

The RFP process for an area management plan was completed in 2022 to 2023 and engagement began in the spring of 2023.

South Canyon Area Recreation Management Flyer - English (jpeg)
South Canyon Area Management Plan Flyer - Spanish (jpeg)