WEEKEND AT GLENWOOD SPRINGS

This is a July 4th weekend road trip from Phoenix to Glenwood Springs.

Ate at lunch at Moab Brewery, UT. There were lots of decorations inside with old cars in the lobby and bikes hanging on the walls.

Food:

Accommodation:

We stayed in small cabins at the Elk Creek Campground. Inside the cabins was a double bed and a bunk bed, a small table and small fridge. Out the front was a picnic table and a swing on the porch. Elk creek runs right next to the campgrounds and there are lots of trees. The bathrooms have lots of stalls and were kept fairly clean. Since it was 4th of July Weekend there were lots of families around.

WHITE WATER RAFTING

We went with White Water Rafting, LLC and joined the Half-Day Rafting Trip which was a total of 3 hours, 2.5 hours on the water along 9 miles of the Colorado River.

  1. Meet 45minutes before hand
  2. Paid – Adult $52, Children $42 (Group of 15 or more = 20% off)
  3. Waited out under the pavillion for safety talk
  4. Fitted with vests – required
  5. Assigned a guide
  6. Pile onto old school buses
  7. 10 minute shuttle to Shoshone Rapids
  8. Help load off all the rafts from the trailers and the paddles from inside the boats
  9. Grab a paddle and go to your guide (or choose which raft if in a group – 8 per raft)
  10. All aboard!

First section is about 4 type 3-5 rapids. fairly intense and need to work out how to paddle together. After the first couple our guide let us swap around who was in the front. After each set of rapids we had to pull to the side to wait for the rest of group (about 20 rafts of various groups) meet up at eah point for safety reasons, kind of slowed down the andreline a bit. After 20-30 mins these ‘tougher’ rapids were over and the next hour was mild rapids bending around the river.

After about 1.5 hours we stopped at a deep flat section where we are invited to jump into the water. It was freezing so not very many of us were game. But those who were made sure the were going in with a splash doing flips if they could. We stopped here for about 15minutes. Then we headed down the rest of the river along very slow movig current. We got to admire the canyons and scenery as the guide pointed out a few interesting spots. When not getting splashed with water and just sitting still in the raft it was sooo cold! Everyone was shivering and shattering and after 2 hours on the water everyone was ready to be finished.

The ride ends on the back near their facility where we left the rafts and carried the paddles up to the shed. Here we also gave back out life jackets and there were options to look/purchase the photos that had been taken during our trip. There was a total of 50 photos for our raft and to recieve all of them digitally was $50. This was the best deal and once split worth the money for some epic photos and memories.

Tips

  • wear water shoes (bought ours at closing down sports authority)
  • comfy shorts
  • bring water

COLORADO RIVER

The Colorado River is huge. Apart from white water rafting, in this area there are lots of people fishing and putting their feet in the water/swimming (was cold this time of year).

GLENWOOD CANYON

Photos cannot describe Glenwood Canyon and there is no way to capture all of it in on photo

GRIZZLY CREEK TRAIL

3.4 miles along Grizzly Creek

The Grizzly Creek Trail highlights from the board: The trail travels up from the Colorado River through the canyon cut by Grizzly Creek, following the creek most of the time. The first 1/2 mile of the trail is broad and fairly level offering good spots to have a picnic near the creek. The trail will become narrower and surrounded by dense, lush vegetation, some areas are very rocky at times. The last 1 1/2 miles are steep and covered with lose rocks with good vies of Grizzly Creek and Glenwood Canyon near the top. The trail ends at a metal aqueduct that takes water out of the creek to be used for Glenwood Springs water supply.

DRIVE TO DENVER

After the long weekend in Glenwood Springs we drove to Denver. At 11am we picked up our rental from Budget Car Rental Glenwood Springs location. People were nice and since it was so busy we even got an upgrade. Then we drove 260km from Glenwood Springs to Denver which took about 3hours. The drive was very scenic, passing through Glenwood Canyon.

We returned the car return the car at the Budget- Denver Downtown location. This location was not helpful at all and tried to charge us for an extra day because we dropped at back at 12pm as per our original time, but because the other location let us pick up an hour early they wanted to charge us for an extra hour. This was the worst car rental experience we have ever had. Do not hire from here.

WORST CAR RENTAL EXPERIENCE:

This all happened when we rented a car from Budget Car Rental during our time in Colorado. We had booked for 1 DAY from Glenwood Springs at 12PM to Downtown at 12PM.

The rest of the family left earlier than expected from Glenwood Springs so we found ourselves dropped at the Glenwood Springs location around 11AM. We asked if it was possible to collect our car now even though we were early. As it was a long weekend they were very busy so we ended up getting a free upgrade (they didn’t have the economy we booked available). We signed all the paperwork, we collected the keys and off we went. So far this car rental was going like all over other rentals. Great and worry free!

We drove to Denver, spent the evening at a Flight of the Conchords concert at the Red Rock Amphitheater and went to sleep. In the morning we checked out of our hotel and headed into Downtown to return the car by our booked time; 12PM (or so we thought). Traffic in Denver is BAD and we had trouble finding a gas station in Downtown. We called the office around 11:45AM to ask for directions to a gas station nearby (Google Maps was not helpful at all) and to let them know we may be a little late. We arrived 20 minutes late, however, as they mentioned over the phone, Budget has a 30 minute late allowance for these exact situations.

We parked, with a full tank, and went into the office to settle the bill. When we got the bill they had charged us an extra hour. We inquired why they had charged us and they said we were an hour late. Huh? They explained that because we had picked it up an hour early the day before we had to return it an hour early, so 11:30AM was our new return time. We told them that this had never been explained to us and clearly on our pick-up receipt the return time still stated 12PM, which we also confirmed with the other branch when we had picked up early. The response of the Downtown branch was basically that they have never heard such stupid reasoning and too bad.

We admit we were late, and so if the charge had been reasonable we wouldn’t have minded as much. Now here is the kicker. When a renter returns the car later (after the 30 minute allowance), they charge either an hourly rate or a daily rate, depending on which is cheaper. The hourly rate is $75 and the daily rate is $76. How ridiculous! $75 every hour you are late! Once you are late, you may as well rent for another day.

After leaving disappointed that the staff had been very unhelpful and demeaning, we went for a coffee where we calmed down and talked about our options. We decided to return for a second time to see if we could speak with someone else who may be willing to listen. This time we spoke with a different employee, who didn’t even smile at us when we entered.They said it was not their problem as they are just receiving the car and we would need to contact the Budget we had rented from and also the office headquarters.

Obviously we understand there was a miscommunication and it was not the Downtown location’s fault, which we told them too, but they handed the situation VERY poorly and were just trying to get us to leave as soon as possible. So at this point our credit card did get charged the additional charge and Budget lost a customer.

We contacted the Glenwood Springs location about the situation to try and resolve the issue through other channels. The Glenwood Springs location was very helpful with providing information and advice with submitting the complaint to the head office, though they weren’t very quick responses. We contacted the head office and after 20 minutes of explaining the issue had been resolved and we were refunded the extra charge. Needless to say we will not be hiring from Budget again.

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