Sometimes there’s nothing like a relaxing soak in a hot spring. Hot springs are tangible evidence of geological activity, so it makes sense that they are often found in mountainous areas. Consequently, Colorado is loaded with great hot spring destinations.
Fly to Pagosa Springs in southwest Colorado to enjoy the hot springs, or to fish, hike, raft, and bike without ever leaving town. Stay at the Springs Resort and Spa, now boasting 23 soaking pools with a range of temperatures, all on the banks of the San Juan River. Other choices include Healing Waters Resort and Spa and Overlook Hot Springs (a day spa only), Pagosa’s newest hot springs spa.
In Ouray, the tiny, historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings offers a continually flowing hot springs vapor cave with a soaking pool, an outdoor swimming pool, and the Lorelei, a private outdoor spa with soaking pool. The more upscale Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs has quiet, comfortable air-conditioned rooms and suites with a free hot buffet breakfast and both indoor and outdoor hot springs, all surrounded by tall mountains. Ouray’s most popular lodging is the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs, where guests enjoy mineral springs hot tubs terraced on the mountainside. Box Canyon Falls and the Ouray Ice Park are just a short walk away. Grab a Jeep tour or rental to tackle the mountains.
In the heart of the Rockies, between Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Springs features some unique attractions. The Glenwood Hot Springs Resort boasts the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, about the size of a football field, as well as an upscale lodge, spa, athletic club, grill, and shopping. In continuous operation since 1893, the Yampah Spa Vapor Caves are natural underground hot mineral water steam baths in three adjoining rock chambers. Relax on slab marble benches in the rocky alcoves, and inhale the natural steam vapor in the warm, dimly lit caves. Cooling rooms and tubs are available, along with certified massage therapists, aestheticians, and cosmetologists. Enjoy massages, facials, body treatments, private natural mineral baths, and foot reflexology, along with a full line of salon services. Opened in 2015, Iron Mountain Hot Springs is one of my favorites, offering 16 different pools, including an infinity pool right next to the Colorado River, a freshwater family pool with jetted spa, and onsite dining. Then just hop on the tram to the mountain-top Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which features the highest-elevation roller coaster in North America, as well as other thrill rides, cave tours, and more. In summer you can raft the town’s two rivers, hike to Hanging Lake, or bike along paved and unpaved trails.
Long before Steamboat Springs became a cowboy ski town, it was revered for the 150 geothermal hot springs that dot its landscape. The Old Town Hot Springs feature four 104-degree spring-fed pools, 230-foot water slides, fitness and yoga classes, a gym, and a climbing wall. Strawberry Park Hot Springs lies along Hot Springs Creek. Soak in a rock-lined outdoor pool and then get a massage in a private hut or Watsu aquatic therapy in a private pool. Fun, unique cabins look like a caboose, a covered wagon, or a double-decker log house.
Central Colorado Regional Airport lies just northeast of several fourteeners, and those 14,000-foot peaks will tower over you at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, which offers lodging and dining along with creekside hot springs, a historic bath house, water slide, day spa, and yoga and fitness classes. For complete privacy, choose the nearby Creekside Hot Springs Cabin (it sleeps up to eight) or the Alpine Hot Springs Hideaway. The Antero Hot Spring Cabins each have a private, hand-shaped hot spring pool just outside the door. The Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa is in Buena Vista, closer to the airport. You could spend an entire season or two just hopping around to all these hot springs. They’re the perfect antidotes to active Colorado days of skiing or hiking!
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