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Colorado’s hot springs are one of the state’s most popular outdoor attractions, and there are few better ways to relax, especially after a long day of play in the mountains. Some offer other amenities too, including water parks and accommodation.
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Many feel Strawberry Park Hot Springs are the very best hot springs in the Rockies. At minimum, the 104-degree natural mineral pools are a state favorite, and the focal point of a complex filled with rustic cabins, riverside campsites, a covered wagon and even a train caboose, for those who want to stick around and enjoy them. It’s similar to other springs in that the closer you are to the spring, the hotter the pool; the closer to the river, the cooler the pool. Natural rock sides separate the pools, while the sandbed floors soothe your feet as you walk across them. They’re fabulous to enjoy year-round, although soaking in the soothing waters surrounded by a frozen landscape is a special delight. It’s open for all ages during the day, but after sunset, it’s adults only and clothing is optional. After dark, the stargazing is extraordinary.
Hot Sulphur Springs is the name of both the town and the springs that are its primary attraction. If you happen to be visiting the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, or Winter Park Resort, it’s an ideal spot to go for relaxing sore muscles after a day of hiking, or gliding down the slopes. These springs were also once used by the Utes, but today, visitors can enjoy soaking in different pools of varying temperatures, that range from 95 degrees to 112 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as indulging in a massage or other treatment at the spa. Accommodation is available in cozy motel-style rooms, and the outdoor pools are all included in lodging rates.
Glenwood Springs is home to one of the hottest springs in the world. Its source is the Yampah spring, which produces more than three million gallons of water every day, at temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit. By the time it gets to the pools, the water has cooled to an idyllic 104 degrees. The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is the largest on the planet, offering plenty of room to soak, swim and splash around, or simply relax on an inflatable. It even features a diving area and a lap lane. Soaking in hot mineral waters is a time-honored healing tradition in many cultures around the world. The nomadic Ute tribe were said to be some of the earliest known people to soak in these healing waters that still use the Ute name “Yampah,” which means “Big Medicine.
During the warmer months of the year, there are two water slides in operation too, an Avalanche Falls Slide, which riders soar down on inner tubes, and the Shoshone Chute, a traditional body slide. The property also includes shady areas for lounging and a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Dunton Hot Springs is a unique destination with a hot springs adventure that includes staying in a meticulously-restored 19th-century ghost town. This five-star property is nestled against a backdrop of aspens and the rocky San Juan Range, dotted with historic log cabins and a mineral hot spring that’s set across 1,400 wildflower-filled acres. The 19th-century cabins were restored by local craftsmen two decades ago and transformed into this luxurious, secluded retreat that sits about 30 miles southwest of Telluride, offering the chance to truly disconnect from the chaos of day-to-day life. After a day of hiking the miles and miles of scenic trails, heli-skiing or rock climbing, come back for a relaxing soak. You can also take advantage of a lavish spa, a well-stocked library and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers and the original bar that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once imbibed at – by looking closely, you’ll even see their names carved into the wood. Gourmet fare is served here too, including produce from the property’s own organic farm, meadow-grazed local lamb and wine from the resort’s private vineyard.
If you’re coming from the Front Range, the spectacular drive over Wolf Creek Pass to get to Pagosa Springs is worth the trip alone. Once you arrive, you’ll discover a charming town that’s home to the world’s deepest geothermal hot springs. A wonderland of pools, in varying temperatures, sizes and mineral compositions, it’s truly one of Colorado’s top hot springs destinations. Located in the heart of town along the San Juan River, visitors like to take a dip in the cool waters of the river and then get into the 114-degree Lobster Pot, or one of the slightly cooler options. Spread out across a picturesque property, there are waterfall-like features and other tranquil spots to add to the relaxing atmosphere. The spa offers massage and skin care treatments along with specialty services like neuromuscular therapy and AquaZen therapy. Lodging is available in the Springs Resort & Spa in rooms of various types. Included is 24-hour access to the various mineral soaking pools as well as plush spa robes and upgraded pool towels.
Mount Princeton offers both hot springs that sit within natural, rocky surroundings as well as human-created pools that are all heated by geothermal water. Surrounded by gorgeous Rocky Mountain scenery, it’s truly a vacation destination in itself. It offers pools for fun and pools for relaxing in the healing mountain mineral waters, along with a long list of amenities. It boasts an excellent restaurant with a menu focused on fresh ingredients, including local produce; bars, a beer garden, yoga and fitness classes. At the spa, choose from a menu of various types of massage, body treatments, facials, acupuncture, private soaks like the mud or lavender salt soak, and much more. If you want to get out and explore, you’ll have easy access to a myriad of outdoor adventure, as well as shopping, art galleries, breweries, distilleries and a winery in the nearby towns of Salida and Buena Vista.
Set on the banks of Cottonwood Creek, Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa features geothermal, gravity-fed mineral spas as well as a hotel, creek-side cabins and tent sites in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The springs, which were used for centuries by the Ute Indians as a spiritual gathering place, range in temperature from 94 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The inn also offers spa services with a variety of massage therapies, salt scrubs, body wraps, reiki, iridology and more, designed to offer a peaceful way to balance your body, mind and spirit.
The Yampah Spa is another fantastic hot spring option in the Glenwood Springs area that’s especially ideal for couples seeking a romantic escape, or anyone who is in dire need of rest and relaxation. It offers amazing geothermal stream baths in a gorgeous, natural environment, with the sub-level caves especially calming in the dim light. The vapor caves utilize the hot mineral waters, that, like the others in the state are naturally high in sulphur, nitrate, zinc and potassium, as well as 30 other therapeutic minerals. Enjoy incredible spa treatments that are combined with a steam in the caves or a Natural Geothermal Thermal Mineral Bath. There is a full menu of options, including hair and nail services, massage, facials and more.