Some of Colorado’s hot springs rise above the rest. Consider these for your soaking bucket list.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs: It maintains a rugged quality — no better felt than in winter, when the road from Steamboat Springs requires a four-wheel drive. However rough the journey, it’s all serenity upon arrival. The stone-cut, thermal pools are nestled in a forest that catches the glistening snow for which the ski town is famous. You might pair a pool reservation with lodging; choose from a quirky array of cabins, a train caboose and a covered wagon.
The Springs Resort: Pagosa Springs is home to several commercial hubs that have harnessed the town’s thermal waters (not to mention the “hippie dips” known along the river through town). This is the most renowned spot. For the suite named for Oprah, yes. But more so for the Mother Spring, regarded as the world’s deepest geothermal spring. It feeds pools varying in size and temperature along a terrace that is open to day guests.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort: Pagosa has claim to the deepest spring, while Glenwood has claim to the biggest steaming pool of its kind. It sprawls beside the 107-room lodge, originally built of sandstone in 1890. The development put Glenwood on the map, attracting presidents and global dignitaries before today’s memory-making families. A newer development nearby is Iron Mountain Hot Springs, something more quaint for the grown-ups.
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort: Near Buena Vista, the resort is a go-to destination for day trippers and overnighters alike. Overnighters are treated to modern hotel rooms and cabins along with complimentary cross-country skis or snowshoes for adventure nearby. But it’s hard to leave the peace and quiet of pools both man-made and natural along the creek with mountain views.
Valley View Hot Springs: The managing nonprofit, Orient Land Trust, carefully protects the grounds and waters near Moffat from crowding. That explains why overnights and day reservations have been hard to come by in recent years. If you’re lucky, you won’t soon forget the experience that is unlike any other in Colorado. Orient Land Trust celebrates clothing-optional “naturism” around the rustic, steaming ponds reached by trail. They are situated on a hill looking out to the San Luis Valley and Sangre de Cristo peaks.
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