Southwest Colorado easily can claim the title as the state’s outdoor mecca.

San Juan Mountain towns roll out the red carpet to their majestic forests and lakes, delighting serious hikers and mountain bikers from near and far.

Some of the state’s most scenic drives are had here, and some of Colorado’s most epic skiing is centered in Silverton and Telluride.

A source of relaxation is needed between all of this taxing exploration. That’s why the natural hot springs are so popular, especially in Ouray and Pagosa Springs, where luxury stays are built around mineral-rich pools.

The only one of its kind in Durango, though, is Trimble Spa and Hot Springs.

Trimble Hot Springs Photo Credit J Tringali
Trimble Hot Springs. Photo Credit: J Tringali.

Nestled beneath the scenic Hermosa Cliffs, the place is known as “the getaway on the way.”

Less than 10 miles from town is the biggest pool around, Olympic-sized, managers boast. It’s kept above 80 degrees and is indeed a large and unexpected sight in these modest 10 acres, surrounded by a lawn and garden that is vibrant in spring and summer.

In the winter, snow settles in the surrounding woods, and steam rises from two therapeutic pools, hovering between 100 and 110 degrees after 123-degree spring water is pumped to them. For additional rejuvenation, patrons step into the sauna or enjoy a massage from on-site specialists who use hot stones and all-natural scrubs and oils.

Trimble has an eye for the community, as evident by the swim lessons for kids, aerobic classes for adults and the free soaking offered to firefighters in the wake of the massive 416 wildfire. But out-of-towners make Trimble their overnight choice, especially touring couples drawn to the romantic Starlight room for two. A guesthouse sleeps up to five.

Rules: Clothing required. Outside food and beverage allowed, but no alcohol. No glass around pools.

Address: 6475 La Plata County Road 203, Durango 81301

Hours: 9 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9:45 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-9:45 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Sunday

Contact: 970-247-0111,

Getting there: Off Interstate 25 south, exit for U.S. 160 west and follow all the way to Durango. From town, catch U.S. 550 north and go about 9 miles, turning left onto Trimble Lane then right on the road to the pools.

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