Colorado’s Top Seven Hot Springs

Colorado winters overflow with opportunities for outdoor fun, but, sometimes Jack Frost nips a little too hard making us all long for summer—or at least a few days of warm temperatures and sunny skies. So we suggest you find that warmth by soaking your cold bones and weary muscles in one of our state’s many soothing and healing hot springs. You’ll return rejuvenated and ready to revel in all winter has to offer. Here’s a guide to a few of our favorites.


WHAT: This place is far more than soaking pots. Mt. Princeton is a full resort, with a restaurant, rustic-luxe cabins and guest rooms, and spa, with its own private pool and everything from fitness classes to massage. WHERE: Not far from Monarch Mountain, 25 miles north of Salida. DETAILS: Adult day rates are $18 weekday/$22 weekend. Overnight prices vary according to loding option but include access to the spa and private pool.


WHAT: You will take a trip back in time to the 1970s with a visit to this well-kept, hippy-inspired “resort.” Steep in one of the five stone-rimmed pools bubbling with soothing, healing mineral water that reaches temps as high as 110 degrees. WHERE: Located on CR 306, just 6 miles west of Buena Vista at the foot of the Sawatch Range and Collegiate Peaks. DETAILS: $18-20 for adults. Spend the night in a reasonably priced vintage creek side cabin or dorm. Massages and an array of spa services available.


WHAT: Tiny springs and seeps rise intermittently from the waters of the Piedra River to create a series of secluded, natural pools that vary in size and temperature depending on time of year and who’s been there recently. WHERE: Getting to these wild undeveloped springs requires a 3-mile roundtrip hike. Begin at the Sheep Creek Trailhead which is located about 29 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs. In winter, the road is closed .5 miles north of the highway. DETAILS: Free. That means there are no facilities, but there are tent sites nearby. The springs are located on the San Juan National Forest.


WHAT: After a long day of ice-climbing or skiing, what’s better than returning to a place with your own private—well semi-private—hot springs? Stay at the Box Canyon Lodge and soak in your choice of four unique vintage casks that line the decks perched on the terraced hillside behind the lodge. Enjoy majestic vistas of the San Juans surrounding town as you soak in healing waters that Ute Indians swore by. WHERE: Located in downtown Ouray, walking distance from the ice park, Box Canyon and the falls. DETAILS: Only registered guests can soak in the barrels behind the lodge, which makes this our favorite place to stay in town. Lodging rates vary with season and length of stay, but they are very reasonable for a tiny mountain town.


WHAT: Revel in the mystical vibe and enjoy views of the towering Sangre de Cristo peaks as you marinate in a sea of travertine water enriched with countless minerals that calm worries, soothe joint pain and help heal mind, body and spirit. WHERE: Set at 7,700 feet in the remote San Luis Valley, Joyful Journey is 32 miles south of Salida and 50 miles north of Alamosa. DETAILS: $15 for adults. For a unique lodging experience, stay the night in a tipi or yurt.


WHAT: Easily accessible, primitive, naturally-fed pools tucked into a stunning granite escarpment on the banks of the Crystal River. WHERE: Just outside Carbondale, near Aspen and Snowmass on the east side of Highway 133. Requires a short walk down to the river. DETAILS: Free. Pitkin Country acquired the property in the 1990s and made the pools public. There are no facilities and swimsuits are required.


WHAT: The bad: Men and women soak separate. The good: geothermal caves with sunken walk-in tubs, Club Mud (you can guess what that means), a mineral water swimming pool and numerous private indoor, outdoor and in room tub options all are fed by the 125F mineral rich hot springs and regulated down to comfortable temperatures. WHERE: Only 32 miles up I-70 from Denver in Idaho Springs on the south side of the freeway. DETAILS: Prices range depending on the lodging or walk-in day service. Accommodations include lodge rooms, inn rooms, cabins and a campsite. Mineral content and more details on their website.

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