One huge attraction in Colorado tends to be the many hot springs spread around the state. If you’re planning to visit one this year, here are a few things that you should know first.
1. ‘Leave no trace’ rules apply.
While some of Colorado’s hot springs are commercialized and have a staff that maintains the area, many are still rugged, remote, and difficult to access. When you’re visiting a hot spring that’s not staffed, make sure you strictly follow the ‘leave no trace‘ policies to help preserve the spot as these areas can be difficult to keep clean and even harder to fix. Keep in mind that this applies to the natural areas around commercialized hot springs, as well. For instance, the riverside pools at Mount Princeton Hot Springs.
2. Some are clothing-optional, some aren’t.
Some hot springs in Colorado are family-friendly, while many others are clothing-optional. Know the rules before you go. Additionally, be aware that the hour of the day can impact the policy, as some hot springs will go clothing-optional – but only after dark.
3. Visit most during any season.
Because most of Colorado’s hot springs are located in the high country, they’re a great destination for both the summer and the winter. In the winter, the warm waters will help keep you out of the frigid conditions, while in the summer, the warm pools can be great for relaxing muscles at the end of a day.
4. Make sure you stay hydrated.
Just like a hot tub, hot springs will dehydrate you. Make sure you’re drinking water on a regular basis while you’re enjoying them, especially if you’re enjoying them for an extended period of time. Keep in mind that altitude can also play a factor in dehydration, amplifying the effects and even leading to the sometimes-deadly condition of altitude sickness.
5. Some are rugged, some are like theme parks.
6. Colorado has some of the best hot springs in the world.
The Centennial State is home to the world’s deepest hot spring (in Pagosa) and the world’s largest hot spring pool (in Glenwood Springs). There are also vapor caves, alpine springs, and hot springs in box canyons. Here’s a list of 26 in the state that will help you find the right one for you.
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