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12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado A Quick Guide 2022

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

Colorado has no shortage of hot springs to explore. If you look at a map, it will seem that every other city in the Centennial State is named after some source of geothermal groundwater bubbling up on the surface. Glenwood. Manitou. Pagosa. Steamship. The list goes on.

Although more than two dozen hot springs are scattered throughout the Centennial State, these developed and tourist-friendly springs are easily accessible. They cater to all types of adventure enthusiasts. So grab your favourite bathing suit and get going: it’s time to get soaked.

Let’s see below which are the best hot springs in Colorado. Let’s go there!

Contents

  1. Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs
  2. Old Town Hot Springs
  3. Hot Sulfur Springs Resort
  4. Indian Hot Springs
  5. Iron Mountain Hot Springs
  6. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
  7. Cottonwood Hot Springs
  8. Mount Princeton Hot Springs
  9. Ouray Hot Springs Pool
  10. Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs
  11. Durango Hot Springs Resort
  12. The Springs Resort and Spa at Pagosa Springs
    More information on hot springs in Colorado
    More hot springs in Colorado
    Rules before visiting a hot spring in Colorado
    Tips for Visiting Hot Springs in Colorado
    Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Springs in Colorado
    What are the best times to visit hot springs in Colorado?
    What causes hot springs in Colorado?
    What is the difference between natural hot springs and thermal spas/pools?
    Where are the hot springs in Colorado?
    What are the best hot springs in Colorado with kids?

1. Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs

The remote and primitive hot springs of Strawberry Park are among the best natural hot springs in Colorado. Located in a valley about 7 miles from downtown Steamboat Springs, Strawberry Park is built into the creek bed. When the spring water empties into the aptly named Hot Spring Creek (a tributary of the Elk River), the hot spring water mixes with the cold river water. The upper pools are about 40 degrees, and the water cools as it flows downhill and mixes with more water from the river (the lower collections are much more fabulous).

Strawberry Park puts the natural into the hot springs experience. Strawberry Park’s natural hot springs are adults only and clothing optional at night. They maintain a very relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. The bottom of the thermal pools is also made of sand/rock from the river. Note: We find that water shoes can be beneficial here.

Some 30 years ago, it was one of the great hidden retreats, and only the locals in the know would venture to it. It was one of the few places with true hot springs to camp in Colorado. However, over the years, Strawberry Park has grown. The county has dramatically improved the access road (although a four-wheel-drive vehicle is still required in winter), and there are now cabins for visitors.

Due to its remote location and natural setting, Strawberry Park is one of Colorado’s best natural hot springs. It’s also a favourite of Coloradans and one of our favourites!

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022
12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

Address: 44200 Co Rd 36, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Where to Stay: Many hot springs cabins and camping spots are available in Strawberry Park. We recommend staying in the town of Steamboat Springs, where you have access to restaurants and other activities. Check out the options in Steamboat Springs here. We have stayed at The Steamboat Grand and Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas on previous trips and recommend both.

2. Old Town Hot Springs

The Steamboat Springs Public Pool has been a natural outdoor hot spring for more than a century. The water of the Spring of the Heart comes out of the depths of the earth at the rate of 220 gallons per minute and a temperature of about 103 degrees. It is then funnelled into the public pool complex, which feeds eight different pools and two slides.

Steamboat’s hot springs pools range in temperature from 80 degrees for the available lane pool to 103 degrees for the plunge pool. There is even a waterfall of hot springs to massage your head, shoulders and back naturally.

We don’t visit the Old City Hot Springs very often. We’re more likely to head to Strawberry Park; however, Old Town Hot Springs can be an excellent option for families with children or older visitors.

Address: 136 S Lincoln Ave, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Where to Stay: Old Town Hot Springs is located in downtown Steamboat Springs. We recommend staying in the city or the resorts near the ski mountain. Check out the options in Steamboat Springs here. At Mount Werner Circle and in the ski area, we have stayed at The Steamboat Grand and Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas on previous trips and recommend both.

3. Hot Sulfur Springs Resort

The mountainside of the town of Hot Sulfur Springs is dotted with dozens of hot pots and pools that make up the Hot Sulfur Springs Resort & Spa complex. The temperature of the pools ranges between 94 and 111 degrees. Some of the collections are large, and others only fit two people, but there’s enough variety to keep everyone happy. Hot Sulfur Springs is the oldest hot spring resort in Colorado and one of the best.

Located in the corner of the state that tourists do not heavily visit, Hot Sulfur Springs is the antidote to the crowded hot springs found elsewhere in Colorado. It is the place to soak in peace except when the train comes by.

Durante años, visitar el Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa ha sido una de nuestras cosas favoritas del otoño. Lo descubrimos hace casi 20 años (poco después de su reapertura en 1997) y nos aseguramos de visitarlo al menos una vez por temporada. Más información sobre Hot Sulphur Springs.

Dirección: 5609 Spring Rd, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451

Dónde alojarse: Nos encanta Hot Sulphur Springs y tienen varias habitaciones y cabañas disponibles para pasar la noche. Por desgracia, si pasa el tren, es casi imposible dormir durante el trayecto. Recomendamos alojarse en uno de los pueblos cercanos, donde hay más opciones de restaurantes y actividades. Consulta las opciones de hoteles en Granby y en la zona de esquí de Granby Ranch aquí: ambas están a unos 15 minutos en coche.

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

4. Indian Hot Springs

Indian Hot Springs is the best hot spring near Denver. Located about 30 minutes west of the Front Range in the mountains, Idaho Springs Hot Springs is the perfect après-ski stop.

Indian Springs Hot Springs has a hot spring pool and a couple of steam caves. However, it also has some private hot spring cabanas and rooms with private bathtubs. They are pretty popular and usually book well in advance. And, given its proximity to Denver, the Indian Hot Springs can get quite crowded on the weekends.

The Indian Hot Springs are not our favourites in Colorado, given how crowded they can get. However, since they are the closest hot springs to Denver, we often go when visiting family in the Mile High City.

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Address: 302 Soda Creek Rd, Idaho Springs, CO 80452

Where to Stay: There are a handful of hotels and inns in Idaho Springs. Check out the options in Idaho Springs here. However, we recommend that you stay nearby, in Central City, in one of the casino hotels, because more services and options are here. Check out the possibilities in Central City here.

5. Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Iron Mountain Hot Springs is Colorado’s newest hot spring resort. Situated just a short distance up the Colorado River from the massive pool at Glenwood Springs, Iron Mountain takes an opposite approach. Instead of huge collections, they focus on small, intimate soaking tubs. All 16 plunge pools have views of the Colorado River and Iron Mountain across the valley.

Given the beautiful grounds design and attention to quality, it’s easy to see why Iron Mountain has quickly become one of the best thermal resorts in Colorado. Focused on tranquillity and relaxation, it is one of the most adult-oriented spas in the state.

Address: 281 Centennial St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Where to Stay: Glenwood Springs is a well-rounded mountain town with many lodging options. Check out the possibilities in Glenwood Springs here. Presidents and royalty stay at the Hotel Colorado when in town. We like two other good options, the Best Western Antlers Inn and the Residence Inn Glenwood Springs.

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022
12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

6. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool

In Colorado, there are hot springs, and then there is the Glenwood Hot Springs pool in Glenwood Springs. For most visitors and locals, their first hot springs experience is usually Glenwood. Glenwood Hot Springs is accessible to the West Slope, the Front Range, and most ski resorts.

For decades, the Glenwood Springs hot springs pool has been the largest hot springs pool in the world. The main pool stretches over a city block and could easily fit several Olympic-sized collections. The size of the pool makes it one of the best hot springs for families in Colorado. And for adults, the 104-degree pool is idyllic in the winter after a long day of skiing.

For many years, the Glenwood Springs pool had two of the tallest slides in America. The blue fibreglass tubes have been replaced with an entirely new slide area called the Sopris Splash Zone. Two lines work again, one of which is for the air chambers and the other works as a body slide. The hot spring slides have been built in a design that seems to fit into the landscape.

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

While other hot springs have become quite expensive in recent years, prices for Glenwood hot springs have remained relatively stable. Fees for adults are from $22 to $29 and $15 to $19 for children and vary depending on the high or low season. Read more about the pool at Glenwood Hot Springs here.

Address: 401 N River St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Where to Stay: Glenwood Springs is a well-rounded mountain town with many lodging options. Check out the possibilities in Glenwood Springs here. Many visitors like to stay at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, the springs’ affiliated lodge. Other good options in Glenwood Springs include the Hotel Colorado, the Best Western Antlers Inn, and the Residence Inn Glenwood Springs.

7. Cottonwood Hot Springs

Nestled above a babbling river at the base of Cottonwood Pass in the San Isabel National Forest, Cottonwood Hot Springs offer semi-rustic thermal pools of various temperatures. Several collections are built in rock, and a couple of them are built like swimming pools and made of concrete.

Water temperatures vary by season but are generally 96 to 108 degrees. All pools are naturally fed and constantly rinsed for hygiene. Cottonwood Hot Springs tries to maintain a calm and peaceful environment, and electronics are prohibited.

Cottonwood Hot Springs has a hippie vibe and is perfect for unwinding after a day of hiking or driving a 4×4. They offer massages and some of the more unusual body treatments common to alternative lifestyle retreats. Cottonwood maintains a quiet environment and may not be a good fit for families with children.

Address : 18999 Co Rd 306, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Where to Stay: A small motel/lodge on the Cottonwood Hot Springs grounds and a few hot spring cabins along the creek. However, we recommend staying in Buena Vista, where more options and restaurants are available. Check the hotel options in Buena Vista here.

8. Mount Princeton Hot Springs

Mount Princeton Hot Springs is both historic and very fashionable. Mount Princeton’s original hot springs date back to the early 1860s. However, easier road access to Denver and Colorado Springs has brought significantly more visitors and a rapid expansion of the Mount Princeton complex. Princeton. Mount Princeton is now the largest (and most visited) of Buena Vista’s thermal complexes. Summer weekends can be incredibly crowded.

The original bathhouse and pools are from the 19th century, including the two mineral pools. Above the central complex (and across the road) is a newer and rapidly expanding family-friendly thermal complex with several different pools and a water slide down the side of the mountain. The Mount Princeton Thermal Resort is one of the best thermal resorts in Colorado for families.

The Creekside Hot Springs on Mount Princeton are open for river soaks when the water level is correct. It is a unique and exciting soaking experience.

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

Like other Colorado hot springs resorts, Mount Princeton has also opened a unique in-resort experience known as Cascading Hot Springs at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort Spa & Club. This famous section of the complex has four separate pools from the rest of the complex and is quieter.

Address: 15870 Co Rd 162, Nathrop, CO 81236

Where to Stay: There are several lodging options in Mount Princeton, including the Mount Princeton Motel and Cabin. However, we recommend staying in Buena Vista, where more options and restaurants are available. Check the hotel options in Buena Vista here.

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022
12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

9. Ouray Hot Springs Pool

The Ouray Hot Springs Pool is one of several public hot springs pools in the Rocky Mountains. Ouray has arguably the best view of all the hot springs in the Colorado mountains. Mountain peaks rise thousands of meters above the tiny town wedged into the narrow valley.

On the northern edge of town, the Ouray Thermal Pools Complex offers five different pools for you to enjoy a swim or a lap. The large pool has almost 800,000 gallons of thermal water to soak in.

While most people travel to Ouray to go 4×4 or mountain bike, Ouray’s hot springs pool may be as famous as the mountains themselves.

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Address: 1220 Main Street, Ouray, CO 81427

Where to Stay: This is a beautiful little town, and there are several excellent options for inns and hotels in Ouray. When we stay in town, we like to stay at a hotel with private hot springs, so we have additional hot spring options at night when the Ouray pool is closed.

10. Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs

This Ouray motel/hotel has its hot springs. Ouray’s natural hot springs bubble up from the ground at a scorching 156 degrees Fahrenheit and feed three different pools on the hotel grounds. A tranquil adults-only indoor hot springs pool for soaking is a toasty 104-106 degrees. There is an outdoor pool with a balmy 90-101 degrees (it was 98 degrees on our visit). Lastly, there is a warmer outdoor hot springs tub at 102 degrees. The hot springs are open exclusively to Twin Peaks hotel guests and can be used 24 hours a day, but there are no children between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The hot springs at Twin Peaks Lodge are an excellent alternative to Ouray’s larger public hot springs pool. And having exclusive access means you can enjoy them even after a long day of hiking, mountain biking, or 4x4ing in the San Juan Mountains above the town.

The Twin Peaks Hot Springs Indoor Pool

Private pools are delightful. Even when the hotel is complete, there are not many people in the hot springs, so that you can enjoy them perfectly.

Address: 125 3rd Ave, Ouray, CO 81427

Where to Stay: Access to the Twin Peaks Lodge hot springs is restricted to hotel guests. Reserve a room at the Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs here.

11. Durango Hot Springs Resort

Just north of Durango, visitors and locals head to the Durango Hot Springs Resort and Spa for a dip. Formerly known as Trimble Spa and Natural Hot Springs or just Trimble Hot Springs, this hot springs resort near Durango has a large pool and a nice soaking pool. Like most public hot springs in Colorado, they also offer massage therapy sessions, or visitors can relax on the grounds and have a picnic.

Visiting the thermal complex in Durango is the perfect way to relax after a long day of skiing in Purgatorio or rafting on the Animas River. Soaking in the hot springs of Durango is a great way to relax while taking in the views of the San Juan National Forest.

Address: 6475 CR 203, Durango, CO 81301

Where to Stay: Durango is the largest city in southwestern Colorado and has many lodging options. Check Durango hotel options here. We’ve stayed at the historic General Palmer Hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Durango, and the DoubleTree Durango in our travels to Durango.

12. The Springs Resort and Spa at Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Hot Springs, known as The Springs Resort and Spa, is one of the best hot springs in Colorado. Pagosa Springs hot springs also have the distinction of being the deepest geothermal hot springs in the world. The water is heated deep within the earth before rising to the surface and creating exciting mineral deposits.

The Springs Resort and Spa harness the water by creating nearly two dozen pools of varying sizes and temperatures. The hottest pool can exceed 112 degrees (the lobster pool), but most are between 95 and 104 degrees. However, the most intriguing aspect of the Pagosa hot springs is the river. Being located on the banks of the San Juan River, many people like to bathe in it at the point where the hot water flows into the cold water of the mountain river. It is a unique thermal experience on the banks of the river.

The resort also offers a super-exclusive Relaxation Terrace experience, with five rooftop pools reserved for discerning guests. The Relaxation Terrace is an incredible spa experience within the complex. Guests who want even more relaxation can also add expertise at the Pahgosa Spa.

Address: 165 Hot Springs Blvd, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Where to Stay: Pagosa Springs has several hotel and cabin rental options. Check accommodation options in Pagosa Springs here.

More information on hot springs in Colorado

More hot springs in Colorado

  • Treehouse Hot Springs, near Buena Vista. It takes private hot springs to a whole new level. It is a private vacation home at the base of the Chalk Cliffs that has a 7-meter long hot spring pool. Treehouse Hot Springs is one of Colorado’s genuinely personal hot springs as a vacation rental.
  • Creek Side Hot Springs, near Buena Vista. This private hot spring is located on a personal rental cabin property near Mount Princeton. The temperature of the hot springs can be controlled and ranges between 100 and 105 degrees. The Creek Side Hot Springs is close to Mount Princeton but should not be confused with the Mount Princeton Thermal Resort, which has its hot springs along the creek.
  • Dakota Hot Springs (formerly known as The Well at Brush Creek). These hot springs near Colorado Springs are located in Penrose, Colorado. The Dakota Hot Springs Pool Club is a clothing-optional hot springs centre, and the water is kept between 95 and 98 degrees year-round.
  • Desert Reef Hot Springs. Desert Reef Hot Springs near Royal Gorge is another clothing-optional hot springs resort. The 40,000-gallon hot springs pool is the only one of the Front Range hot springs and offers beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains.

12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

  • Valley View Hot Springs. Situated on 2,200 acres of protected land, Valley View Hot Springs is one of southern Colorado’s most famous hot springs. Many of the seven pools offer stunning views of the San Luis Valley. It is another clothing-optional Colorado hot springs resort with a heavy focus on naturism.
  • Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa. Located in the heart of the San Luis Valley and surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Joyful Journey Hot Springs has several pools of 98 to 108 degrees.
  • Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgeway. One of the most popular hot spring pools on the West Slope, Orvis on Ridgeway, is another clothing-optional resort. Orvis has ten hot spring ponds, pools, and pots to soak in after a day of skiing or hiking.
  • Dunton Hot Springs, near Dolores. Colorado’s most elegant hot springs are the mountains between Dolores and Telluride. This 1800s ghost town has been painstakingly restored to become one of the state’s prettiest (and most expensive) resorts. There are five different pools at the Dunton Thermal Complex.
12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

Rules before visiting a hot spring in Colorado

Please note the following.

  • Take a shower before entering the hot springs.
  • Be respectful of others.
  • If a hot tub or pool is too crowded, wait for someone to leave before entering.
  • Leave some distance between you and the person next to you.
  • Do not eat or drink in the hot springs.
  • There are no water guns, toys, balls, or frisbees: hot springs are for relaxation.

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Rules

Each thermal centre has its own official rules, usually on a sign next to the entrance or at the place where tickets are purchased. Follow the directions to the letter. Most hot springs (or pools) have standard safety rules:

  • Do not bring the glass to the hot springs
  • Don’t run through the hot springs
  • Take a shower before entering the hot springs

These rules are for your safety and that of others.

clothing optional

At some Colorado hot springs, clothing is optional. While a few are fully clothing-optional resorts, some are clothing optional only in the evenings. If this interests you, consult the website of each thermal centre.

So if you visit a clothing-optional hot spring in Colorado, feel free to dress (or not) as you feel comfortable (unlike a fully nude hot spring where clothing is prohibited). It’s not about peer pressure. If you don’t feel comfortable going au naturel, feel free to cover up. However, in the same way, allow others that same freedom. Don’t stand there gawking or staring. You will see all different body types, and you are all there for the same purpose: the enjoyment of springs.

If your group members don’t have the maturity for a clothing-optional situation, consider going to a different hot spring or another time of day. Remember: cameras and photographic equipment at clothing-optional springs are strictly taboo.

Tips for Visiting Hot Springs in Colorado

Beware of high mineral content.

Many of Colorado’s hot springs have a very high mineral content. Don’t wear a new bathing suit, as it will likely smell sulfur. The smell of sulfur is almost impossible to get out of the case or other clothing. Even if spring isn’t known as one of the hot sulfur springs, other minerals can be harsh on clothes.

Do not wear metal jewellery.

Many metals, including those that are compounded or not exceptionally pure, tarnish a lot. It also includes things like metal gaskets on sunglasses. If your jewellery or sunglasses come into contact with the water in the hot springs, wash them as soon as possible with warm, soapy water.

Keep hydrated

Most of Colorado’s hot springs are found in the mountains, and almost all of them are over 2,000 meters high. The risk of dehydration and altitude sickness is very, very real. At a minimum, you should drink a litre of water for every hour you are in the hot springs. As cool and tempting as it may sound, do not drink alcohol while in the hot springs, as this will only aggravate the problem of dehydration.

Use sun protection

Monitor the use of sunscreen during the day: high altitudes and thinner air cause you to burn faster than in lower areas. You should wear biodegradable at the more rustic hotel springs (like Strawberry Park Springs, the Creekside Hot Springs at Mount Princeton Hot Springs, or Pagosa Hot Springs, where you’re on the river) sunscreen.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Springs in Colorado
  • What are the best times to visit hot springs in Colorado?
  • What causes hot springs in Colorado?
  • What is the difference between natural hot springs and thermal spas/pools?
  • Where are the hot springs in Colorado?
  • What are the best hot springs in Colorado with kids?

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12 Best Hot Springs in Colorado: A Quick Guide 2022

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