Everyone knows that Colorado is home to the Rocky Mountains, which means tons of hiking and winter sports opportunities, but far fewer people know that within the Rockies you can find some great hot springs. Whether you are looking for a hot soak after a long day in the mountains, or just want to absorb the rich minerals in the water, Colorado has 5 amazing hot spots for you to visit any time of year!
Glenwood Springs is about two and a half hours west of Denver. Be sure to check for Vail Pass closures if you are heading out in the winter!
Glenwood Springs has long been known for its hot springs, dating all the way back to when the Ute Indians used to trek to this spot that they considered to be sacred. It is also rumored that Doc Holliday came to Glenwood Springs to soak in the hot springs to relieve the symptoms of the illness that eventually took his life (be sure to visit his gravesite when you’re in town).
The most popular way to get to the hot springs is via the Glenwood Hot Springs pool next to the Hot Springs Lodge. There is an admission fee that varies depending on the time of year, but think swimming pool when you think of the hot springs pool. There is a large pool and a therapy pool, and in the summer there is even a kiddie pool and slides! While lounging in the pool, you will enjoy the mountain view to one side and the Colorado river to the other side.
The other option in Glenwood Springs is the Yampah Spa Vapor Caves. There is also a fee to use the vapor caves, but once you pass through the spa, you descend into literal caves and absorb the steam. There are several rooms, with hot springs running behind the benches and down the walls.
Pagosa Springs are almost 5 hours southwest of Denver, was named after the Ute word “pah gosah”, or boiling/healing waters.
The springs here have a very high mineral content, and the original Great Pagosa Hot Spring can be found behind the Spring Resort. At 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it is much to hot for a dip, but there are three great options in town for soaking. The Springs Resort has 23 naturally heated outdoor pools, the Healing Waters Resort and Spa has a year-round outdoor swimming pool and indoor hot baths, and the Overlook Mineral Springs Spa has rooftop pools and indoor tubs (all charge a usage fee).
Ouray is located five and a half hours southwest of Denver, surrounded by national forest land.
If you are looking for a sulfur-free hot spring, this is the place to go! Sulfur is what gives hot springs that smell, and the Ouray springs are odorless. Like in Glenwood Springs, you will find a huge swimming pool at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. Other great hot springs spots include Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings, the Orvis Hot Springs, and you can find private hot springs for guests at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Located two and half hours southwest into the mountains, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and Resort in Nathrop is a great destination to get away. Named after the 14er in the distance, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and Resort has several pools—the upper pool with a slide, the soaking pool, the relaxation pool, the exercise pool, and the cascading pools—all with gorgeous mountain views. Visitors can also soak in hot springs that have naturally occurred within the cool rushing waters of Chalk Creek.
Well known as a skiing destination in the winter, Steamboat Springs is also home to several hot springs soaking spots, and is about 3 hours northwest of Denver.
The best spots for hot springs here are the Strawberry Park Hot Springs and the Old Town Hot Springs in downtown. Strawberry Park is just outside Steamboat Springs, and offers private and public hot springs pools next to the Hot Springs Creek. The forest scenery isn’t too bad, either! Old Town Hot Springs has been popular since the 1880s and has four pools, a lap pool, and waterslides for visitors to enjoy.