Imagine a place where you can relax in a pool filled with naturally heated water, bubbling up from deep beneath the earth’s crust; Colorado is known for having around 93 of these enchanting thermal springs. With about 30 transformed into delightful soaking ponds, you can often find them set against a breathtaking backdrop of mountain vistas in this picturesque state.
These captivating oases have long been revered as havens of tranquility and healing. Folks from all corners of the globe flock to Colorado to immerse themselves in these mineral-rich waters, teeming with calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and lithium. When it comes to washing away your worries and soothing any aches or pains. Here is our comprehensive list of the best hot springs in Colorado.
The Healing Powers of Colorado’s Hot Springs
For centuries, people have believed in the healing powers of hot springs. In Colorado, the hot springs are known for their high mineral content, which can help alleviate a wide range of ailments. The geothermal waters in Colorado contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals that can help ease muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation. Not only do hot springs have physical benefits, but they also have mental health benefits. Many people find that soaking in a hot spring helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
Minerals Found in Hot Springs
Colorado hot springs are known for their high mineral content, which can vary from location to location. Some of the minerals commonly found in Colorado hot springs include sulfur, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. These minerals can have a range of health benefits, from reducing inflammation and improving skin health to promoting relaxation and increasing mental clarity.
Many hot springs in Colorado also offer mineral baths, which involve soaking in water that has been infused with minerals. These baths can provide a more concentrated dose of minerals and enhance the therapeutic benefits of the hot springs.
The Overall Best Hot Springs in Colorado
Colorado has long been known for its hot springs, making it an ideal weekend getaway. The state boasts a wide variety of hot springs destinations that cater to every taste and budget. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort or a rustic retreat, Colorado has something for everyone. Here are some of the top hot springs destinations to add to your Colorado itinerary:
Nestled in the picturesque landscape of a small town in Colorado, Pagosa Springs is renowned for its invigorating geothermal hot springs. The Springs Resort and Spa, a luxurious haven, boasts 24 distinctive mineral hot spring pools, each offering a unique blend of temperature and mineral composition. Alongside these rejuvenating waters, the resort provides a full-service spa, an array of lodging options, and delectable dining experiences. The pools are gracefully set along the San Juan River, treating guests to breathtaking views of the majestic mountains and lush forests.
For those yearning for a more untamed hot springs encounter, venture into the nearby wilderness and embark on a thrilling hike to the Conundrum Hot Springs. This demanding backpacking adventure is not for the faint-hearted, but the reward of immersing oneself in a pristine hot spring with awe-inspiring mountain vistas is indisputably worth the effort. The spectacular 8.5-mile hike leads you through some of Colorado’s most captivating wilderness areas, promising an unforgettable experience.
Steamboat Springs is located in northwestern Colorado and is known for its abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. The Old Town Hot Springs is a family-friendly destination that offers eight hot spring pools, water slides, and a fitness center. The pools are fed by natural hot springs and are surrounded by lush vegetation and stunning mountain views.
If you’re looking for a more secluded hot springs experience, head to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. These rustic hot springs are located in a forested canyon and offer several natural mineral pools that range from 101 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The pools are situated among the trees, offering a sense of seclusion and privacy that is hard to find at many other hot springs destinations.
Ouray Hot Springs
Ouray Hot Springs, situated in southwestern Colorado, is celebrated for its scenic mountain vistas. The Ouray Hot Springs Pool and Fitness Center provides a variety of hot spring pools, including a lap pool, a diving pool, and a kiddie pool, perfect for families. This welcoming destination also features a full-service fitness center and poolside dining options.
For those seeking a more natural hot springs experience, head to the nearby Wiesbaden Hot Springs. This charming, rustic hot springs resort offers two mineral pools, along with lodging options and a spa. The pools are nestled in a serene setting, enveloped by lush greenery and awe-inspiring mountain views.
Read next: 12 Best Ouray Hotels for Your Mountain Getaway
Dunton Hot Springs
Dunton Hot Springs, nestled in southwestern Colorado, is renowned for its lavish accommodations and secluded hot springs. This all-inclusive resort boasts hot springs piped directly into each cabin, allowing guests to indulge in private mineral hot springs at their leisure, making it perfect for those looking for a romantic getaway. For those eager to explore the surrounding mountainous terrain, the resort also provides hiking and horseback riding opportunities.
Glenwood Springs is one of the most popular hot springs destinations in Colorado, and for good reason. Located in the western part of the state, Glenwood Springs is home to the famous Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. This luxury resort features two large hot spring pools, as well as a spa, lodging, and dining options. The mineral-rich waters of the hot springs are said to have healing properties, making them a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
But if you’re looking for a more rustic experience, head to the nearby Iron Mountain Hot Springs. This intimate hot springs resort features 16 mineral hot springs pools, a freshwater family pool, and a relaxing bathhouse with a steam room and sauna. The pools are situated along the banks of the Colorado River, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
These two options are excellent if you’re interested in exploring hot springs near Denver. These springs are at a driveable distance allowing you to enjoy the benefits of these natural wonders without straying too far from the city.
Best Hot Springs in Colorado for Families
If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want to find a hot springs destination that’s both fun and safe for your little ones. Here are some of the best family-friendly hot springs destinations in Colorado:
Old Town Hot Springs
Steamboat Springs’ delightful Old Town Hot Springs welcomes families with open arms, offering eight inviting hot spring pools, exhilarating water slides, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. With pool temperatures ranging from a refreshing 80 to a soothing 103 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The water slides are a hit with kids of all ages, and parents can relax in the warm waters while keeping an eye on their little ones. The fitness center offers a variety of classes and equipment for those looking to stay active during their visit.
Read next: 10 Stunning Vrbo Steamboat Springs Vacation Rentals
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Immerse yourself in the warmth of the Rocky Mountains at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, situated in the charming town of Nathrop. This family-friendly haven boasts a variety of hot springs pools, a thrilling water slide, and a lazy river perfect for relaxation. With comfortable lodging and scrumptious dining options, your family’s stay is sure to be memorable.
The pools range in temperature from 70 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so there’s something for everyone. The water slide is a favorite among kids, and the lazy river is a great way to relax and take in the stunning mountain views.
The resort also offers a variety of activities for families, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. And for those looking to unwind, the resort’s spa offers a range of treatments and services.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Discover the magic of southern Colorado at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, where you’ll find a collection of enchanting primitive hot springs, accessible through invigorating hikes. Nestled along Medano Creek, these hot springs provide an exciting and adventurous destination for families with older children, eager to embrace nature’s wonders.
The hike to the hot springs is relatively easy, but it’s important to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear. Once you reach the hot springs, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the sand dunes and the surrounding mountains.
It’s important to note that these hot springs are primitive and do not have any facilities, so be sure to pack out all of your trash and respect the natural environment.
Best Clothing-Optional Hot Springs in Colorado
For those looking for a more intimate and relaxing hot springs experience, clothing-optional hot springs may be just what you’re looking for. Here are some of the top clothing-optional hot springs destinations in Colorado:
Valley View Hot Springs
Nestled in the picturesque San Luis Valley, Valley View Hot Springs invites you to a friendly, clothing-optional oasis, where you can soak in the bliss of several natural hot springs pools. You’ll also find cozy lodging options and charming camping sites to complete your stay. These enchanting hot springs are fed by a geothermal spring, providing you with breathtaking mountain vistas as you unwind.
But there’s more to Valley View Hot Springs than just the soothing waters! This haven is renowned for its diverse ecosystem, teeming with a variety of wildlife and plants. Embark on expert-guided hikes to delve into the wonders of the surrounding area and uncover the secrets of the San Luis Valley’s flora and fauna.
And if that’s not enough, Valley View Hot Springs further enhances your experience with yoga classes, meditation sessions, and a range of wellness activities. Immerse yourself in the serenity of this natural sanctuary, rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul in perfect harmony.
Orvis Hot Springs
Embrace tranquility at Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway, a serene, clothing-optional retreat featuring seven blissful natural hot springs pools and a rejuvenating sauna. Fed by a geothermal spring, these pools boast a variety of temperatures and mineral compositions for a truly immersive experience.
Orvis Hot Springs is also known for its beautiful gardens and landscaping. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy the colorful flowers, lush greenery, and peaceful water features.
The retreat also offers a variety of massage and bodywork services, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and hot stone massage. Guests can indulge in a relaxing and therapeutic treatment while soaking in the hot springs.
Dakota Hot Springs
Indulge in the laid-back atmosphere of Dakota Hot Springs, another clothing-optional gem tucked away in Nathrop. Here, you can unwind in several soothing hot springs pools, including a spacious swimming pool. Complete your stay with cozy lodging options and pamper yourself with luxurious massage services.
The resort also offers a variety of recreational activities, including volleyball, horseshoes, and a game room. Guests can socialize and have fun while enjoying the relaxing hot springs.
Tips for Visiting Hot Springs in Colorado
Are you planning a trip to Colorado and looking to unwind in the natural hot springs? Before you pack your bags and head to Colorado, here are some tips for making the most of your hot springs experience:
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Colorado hot springs is during the fall, winter, or spring months, when the temperatures are cooler and the crowds are thinner. Not only will you avoid the summer heat, but you’ll also get to witness the beautiful fall foliage or snow-covered mountains in the winter. Springtime is also a great time to visit as the flowers start to bloom and the weather is mild.
What to Bring
When packing for your Colorado hot springs adventure, be sure to bring a swimsuit, towel, water bottle, and sandals. If you’re visiting a clothing-optional hot springs resort, you may also want to bring a robe or cover-up. Additionally, be sure to bring any necessary medications or personal hygiene items. A good book or magazine can also be a great addition to your packing list, as you can relax and read while soaking in the hot springs.
Hot Springs Etiquette
When visiting Colorado hot springs, it’s important to be respectful of others and follow proper etiquette. This includes showering before entering the hot springs, refraining from loud or disruptive behavior, and not bringing glass containers or alcohol into the hot springs area. You should also respect the natural surroundings and avoid littering or damaging any plants or wildlife.
Another important aspect of hot springs etiquette is to respect the clothing-optional policy of certain hot springs resorts. If you’re not comfortable being in a clothing-optional environment, be sure to research your destination beforehand to avoid any surprises.
While hot springs can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, it’s important to practice safety when visiting. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, monitor your soak time to avoid overexposure, and be aware of any potential hazards or safety concerns at the hot springs resort or destination.
It’s also important to be aware of the temperature of the hot springs you’re visiting. Some hot springs can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be dangerous if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant. Always check with your doctor before visiting hot springs if you have any health concerns.
Lastly, be sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed. While soaking in the hot springs can be relaxing, it’s important to not overdo it and risk dehydration or exhaustion.