This is the ultimate Colorado hot springs resort—the property features luxury hotel rooms and more than two dozen pools along the San Juan River in the heart of Pagosa Springs. It feels more like a hot springs water park than a traditional hot springs, with waterfalls, a swimming pool, and other pools of various shapes and temperatures, from 83 to 114 degrees. The spring that feeds the resort is the deepest hot springs in the world; the mineral-rich water wells up from 1,002 feet below the surface. Take note: You’ll never get the Sulphur smell out of your bathing suit, so bring an old one.
- Getting too hot? Take a dip in one of the pools along the river, which are actually in the river.
- Save a bundle by paying for a day soak and staying in one of the less expensive hotels across the street.
- Visit in winter to avoid the crowds and throw in a day of skiing at nearby Wolf Creek Ski Area, where they get 450 inches of snow a year, more than any other resort in Colorado. Just watch your step around the pools as it gets icy.
Recommended season(s): The hot springs is open year-round.
—R. Scott Rappold