The big five destinations for natural hot springs.
After I moved to Colorado in 1988, I bought a book called Colorado Hot Springs Guide that listed 51 sites that ranged from the huge and iconic Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool to something called the Sand Dunes Swimming Well Pool that once fed a fish farm and at that writing was on private property and not open to the public.
The Colorado Tourism Board is now promoting the 720-mile Hot Springs Loop, featuring well-developed hot springs in five communities, three of which have “Springs” as their last names.
Orvis Hot Springs. Located just north of Ouray, it maintains electronic-free soaking areas that encourage guests to unplug and unwind. Visitors can book a room on the property, or bring along their camping gear for a truly authentic night under the stars. The Tourism Board doesn’t note that this is a clothing-optional facility, but that is something many visitors like to know in advance.
More hot springs: Ouray Hot Springs Pool & Fitness Center, The Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa & Lodgings, Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs and Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs
Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Glenwood’s newest wellness destination, with 16 soaking pools filled with pure, hot, mineral water located on the bank of the Colorado River. A freshwater family pool and jetted spa provide additional soaking options.
More hot springs: Glenwood Hot Springs and Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves
Creekside Hot Springs Cabin. A private experience — offers a vacation rental home with its own secluded soaking hot springs pool that is fed by the Mount Princeton geothermal aquifer.
More hot springs: Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort, Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, Cottonwood Hot Springs, Alpine Hot Springs Hideaway and Antero Hot Springs Cabins. Frankly, I’m surprised that the state tourism board would select a single thre-bedroom rental home as its lead suggestion, especially in light of the far more expansive and interesting Mount Princeton Hot Springs complex.
The Springs Resort & Spa. Located on the banks of the San Juan River in downtown Pagosa Springs with 23 naturally hot therapeutic mineral pools and a mineral water lap pool fed by the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring.
More hot springs: Overlook Hot Springs Spa and Healing Waters Resort & Spa
Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Nestled in an aspen grove about 15 minutes from town, the natural spring water and stone pool surrounds offer a rustic and rejuvenating experience, including private massage huts and stay a variety of overnight lodging options including a train caboose, cabin, wagon and more.
More hot springs: Old Town Hot Springs