Colorado’s hiking season for most people is winding to a close. The cooler days and chilly nights of fall may mean a few, last weekends to stroll aspen forests and enjoy the state’s famed fall “fireworks” of mountain maple and aspen trees aflame. Make sure to visit our hot springs after a strenuous trek to recharge your muscles and your spirit.
Natural hot springs help visitors enjoy Colorado’s great outdoors any time of the year but many cherish foliage season as a favored time to soak and seek relaxation. Here’s an insider’s guide to the seven most incredible hot springs in Colorado to help you plan the perfect place to relax and enjoy the autumn colors.
1. Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs features incredible views of the surrounding mountains. Sixteen small, uniquely shaped pools are filled with 100% pure thermal, iron-rich, mineral water that flows up from deep below Iron Mountain with temperatures ranging from 98 to 108 degrees.
Children 5 and above can enjoy the soaking pools with an adult; however, these smaller pools are within a quiet zone to maintain a relaxing and peaceful ambiance. There is a large freshwater pool for all ages that is maintained at approximately 94 degrees. It also has a gently curving ramp to accommodate persons of limited mobility. The family pool’s elevated whirlpool with waterfall is kept at about 103 degrees and fun for the whole family.
If you get hungry, The Sopris Café serves lunch and dinner with a variety of sandwiches, salads, wraps, flat-bread pizzas, smoothies, ice cream, and other snacks. Named after the impressive Mt. Sopris, the eatery also has a selection of hot and cold beverages including beer, wine, and pre-mixed cocktails.
The hot springs are open year round from 9am-10pm daily, and there is seasonal and annual pricing for adults and kids. While you’re visiting, spend the weekend enjoying thrill rides or a cave tour at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
2. Ouray Hot Springs Pool & Fitness Center
At Ouray, the fun is family friendly, with several large pools, waterslides and an obstacle course for kids of all ages. There are plenty of spots away from all of that action, where soakers soak up the pine-scented mountain air and a breathtaking view of the red-rocked box canyon.
3. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Steamboat Springs’ Strawberry Park hosts visitors in an impeccably landscaped garden-like setting with pools arrayed close together so you can quickly change the temperature of your soak by hopping from pool to pool. Camping is available, as well as several cabins. You can even book a repurposed train caboose as a private “sleeper car.” After dusk, the hot springs here become “clothing optional” so if you prefer to bathe in a suit, you can finish your rejuvenating soak just before dark with a massage in one of their private huts.
4. The Springs Resort & Spa
More than two dozen pools along the San Juan River in the heart of Pagosa Springs mark this property’s charms, which feels more like a hot springs water park than a traditional hot springs. The Springs features waterfalls, a swimming pool, and other pools of various shapes and temperatures, from 83 to 114 degrees. There are luxury hotel rooms to stay in after you’ve sampled the pools, all sourced from the deepest hot springs in the world.
5. Joyful Journey Hot Springs
Joyful Journey is located on the east side of Colorado’s San Luis Valley. At these luxury spa-like options, mineral-rich water is pumped from far below to several man-made pools, ranging in temperature from 98 to 108 degrees, all of which offer stunning vistas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the near distance.
6. Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Relax in the 105-degree Soaking Pool, swim laps in the 95-degree Exercise Pool, and introduce the kids to the 400-foot waterslide at this lovely resort. You can also enjoy some quiet serenity in the natural pools along Chalk Creek. As one of Colorado’s most family-friendly hot springs resorts, Mount Princeton is nestled among the massive Collegiate Peaks of the Colorado Rockies.
7. Dunton Hot Springs
Book one of twelve, fully restored cabins and enjoy six soaking options, ranging from a steamy, outdoor tub at the source, to indoor and outdoor soaking pools, and a private copper tub. Gourmet meals and wines can be enjoyed in your cabin, shared in the communal dining hall, or packed away for a picnic lunch retreat. Call ahead for rates and reservations.