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GLENWOOD SPRINGS - Portions of the historic Fairy Caves in Glenwood Springs that were once all-but-inaccessible will be open to the general public starting on May 10.

Owner Steve Beckley and the Glenwood Caverns staff have spent months digging out rocks and boulders to open a new portion of the cave, a portion that Beckley said used to require "lots of belly crawling" and "squeezing through tight spots" to reach.

The cave will be lit with Edison bulbs. These bulbs are replicas of what was used during cave tours in the 1890s.

"We took pictures from the 1800s and mimicked how the cave was lit," Beckley said.

Those bulbs now light an underground world that sparks the imagination, with pools of water, dripping rocks and flowstone glistening in the light.

For millions of years, the mountains above Glenwood Springs have been growing at about one cubic inch per thousand years.

And the cave is still alive and growing thanks to airtight doors that keep dry air out of the cave and moisture in.

"Most of these formations are still dripping, active, still growing," Beckley said. "We are stewards of this cave. We are only borrowing it to show how beautiful it is."

Another perk of the expansion? While participants had to walk hundreds of steps to complete the original tour, the new Fairy Caves tour has fewer steps.

For more information, check out the Glenwood Caverns website.

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