Colorado is bubbling with hot springs, fed by water that is naturally heated by the geothermal energy of the Earth. After a day on the trail or ski slope, there’s nothing better than soaking in a steamy pool, soothing your aching muscles. Don’t let the smell deter you. These sulfur waters are rich in minerals that have natural detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties, which will leave you feeling like a million bucks.
Check out these particularly lovely hot spots scattered throughout the state.
1. Mount Princeton Hot Springs
In Nathrop, between Salida and Buena Vista, Mount Princeton Hot Springs is a fun getaway for the whole family. Pick your pleasure—a 105-degree soaking pool, 90-degree exercise pool, 75-degree swimming pool with a 400-foot waterslide, three Japanese-style cascading pools, a quiet relaxation pool for adults only, or a cluster of natural shallow hot pools right in Chalk Creek. Tuck in for the night in guest rooms that range from cozy cabins to the Cliffside Hotel. The property also features a beautiful restaurant and spa. You may never want to leave.
2. Conundrum Hot Springs
You’ll have to hoof it 8.5 miles from Aspen to reach Conundrum Hot Springs , natural hot spring pools in a stunning mountain valley in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness . The 2,500-foot hike from the trailhead is well worth the effort. For best results, bring a tent and plan to spend the night under the stars. Be warned: These springs are popular, so expect company.
3. Cottonwood Hot Springs
As you round a bend before heading up Cottonwood Pass outside of Buena Vista, you’ll see Cottonwood Hot Springs on the right. Here a cascading string of pools dots the creekside, decreasing in temperature the farther down the line you go. It’s the perfect rest stop on the way to Taylor Reservoir or Crested Butte, or you can settle in for the night. Lodging options range from camping or dormitory beds to lodge rooms and creekside cabins, some with their own private pools.
4. Pagosa Hot Springs
The Springs Resort & Spa has 23 hot tubs nestled in terraces along the banks of the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs. The therapeutic mineral waters originate more than 1,000 feet below the earth's surface—holding the Guinness World Record for the deepest geothermal hot spring. If you stay overnight in one of the resort’s 79 rooms, you can slip on your plush robe and tiptoe out to the pools at any time of day or night. Steaming falls tumble down stunning rocks in the background, lulling you into a peaceful state of mind.
5. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
A tranquil getaway just outside of Steamboat Springs, Strawberry Park Hot Springs invites you to lounge in a series of natural-looking pools surrounded by beautiful stonework. After a soothing soak, flop onto a poolside wooden chaise and take in the views. Kids are welcome during the day. At night, the springs are for adults only, with clothing optional. You can even stay overnight, either in your own tent, or in a converted train caboose, covered wagon, or rustic log cabin. Massage and Watsu water therapy are also available on-site.
6. Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa
Visitors from the world over come to Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa in the beautiful southwestern Colorado town of Ouray. Pure, steamy water flows from deep within the San Juan Mountains through a vapor cave at Wiesbaden, where you can relax in a 108-degree pool in the grotto. When sweat starts pouring from your brow, retreat to the outdoor swimming pool, which, although still about 100 degrees, feels cool in comparison. Wiesbaden also offers a private soaking pool, quaint accommodations, and pampering spa treatments.