The east side of Colorado’s San Luis Valley has five natural hot springs. Some are rustic and clothing optional. Some are kid-filled swimming pools. One has alligators in it. Joyful Journey is the place to go for a luxury spa experience. 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.
- Lithium and other minerals in the water can make you sleepy, so why not stay a night? The hot springs offers hotel rooms or, for those looking to “rough it,” yurts and teepees. Don’t worry, it’s not really roughing it, and it comes with breakfast.
- Craving a massage but short on cash? No problem. The $55 Joyful Scrub is the perfect option— 30 minutes of coconut sugar scrubbing that will leave your skin feeling like smooth silk.
Recommended season(s): The hot springs is open year-round.
—R. Scott Rappold