In Colorado, it’s easy to find plenty of outdoor adventure and opportunities for relaxation with over 1200 kilometers of the Historic Hot Springs Loop.
Located in western Colorado, the loop is home to some of the world’s most remarkable hot springs and lots of nearby activities. In the summer, take advantage of the hundreds of kilometers of trails in the sprawling national parks, perfect for hiking and biking. Or, watch the landscape turn into a winter wonderland while skiing, ice climbing or snowmobiling. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of exciting experiences in this gorgeous state.
Chaffee County: Hot Springs in the Mountains
If arriving from Denver, it’s a 2.5-hour drive to Chaffee County, which is our first stop on the Historic Hot Springs Loop. The communities of Buena Vista, Nathrop and Salida are all located on mountainous terrain, which provides a stunning backdrop for their hot springs. Relax in the country’s largest indoor hot spring pool at Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center. Or, soak in natural geothermal pools at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort and Cottonwood Hot Springs.
Sunset over the relaxation pool at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Saguache County: Outdoor Recreational Paradise
Two hours south is Saguache County, a scenic region framed by the majestic San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountains. One of the least populated places in Colorado, the region boasts plenty of wide open spaces for outdoor activities along with a diverse slate of attractions: Hike and sandboard at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, encounter reptiles at Colorado Gators, sightsee at historical sites along the Old Spanish Trail and more. You'll find no shortage of springs amid the stunning scenery, like Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa, Sand Dunes Swimming Pool, Splashland Hot Springs and Valley View Hot Springs.
Pool overlooking the Sangre de Cristo mountains at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa
Pagosa Springs: Spas and Activities Downtown
Three hours southwest, the pools in Pagosa Springs are used for rest and relaxation, as well as a heating source for some of the downtown shops and businesses, like the Riff Raff Brewing Company — offering “Earth-powered” craft beer. The mother spring, known as the “World’s Deepest,” supplies the mineral pools at Overlook Hot Springs Spa, Healing Waters Resort and The Springs Resort, which offers visitors a choice of 23 pools at varying temperatures and sizes. To cool down, take advantage of Wolf Creek Ski Area’s highest snowfall in Colorado, less than half an hour from downtown.
Panoramic views of The Springs Resort & Spa in Pagosa Springs
Durango: Where Modern Meets Old West
In Durango, taking a trip back in time is as easy as strolling past Victorian architecture along Main Avenue or boarding the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge, a scenic steam train tour. Adventurers will find plenty to enjoy year-round, with an abundance of opportunities for learning and outdoor recreation at nearby Mesa Verde National Park and the San Juan National Forest. Travel eight miles north of downtown to relax at Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa, where the Animas Valley makes a picture-perfect backdrop for days spend lounging in a pool or exploring nearby natural wonders.
Enjoying the view from a pool at Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa, Colorado
Ouray County: The Switzerland of America
So called for its iconic mountainous scenery, Ouray County is home to an eclectic community of locally-owned businesses housed in Victorian-styled buildings along Main Street. Ouray's sulfur-free hot springs offer all the benefits of natural mineral hot springs without the typical sulfur-smell. Kick back at the family-friendly Ouray Hot Springs Pool. Enjoy the healing vapor caves at the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa, or relax with pools and lodging at Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs or Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs.
Enjoying the water at family-friendly Ouray Hot Springs Pool
Carbondale: Riverfront Recreation
Adventurers are welcome in Carbondale, where Mount Sopris and the shores of the Roaring Fork River come together to create nearly endless possibilities for all-season recreation. In winter, enjoy cross-country skiing, ice climbing and more. Warmer weather ushers in road and mountain biking and fly-fishing on the region’s acclaimed Gold Medal Waters. Explore Carbondale’s farming heritage by enjoying local produce at several farm-to-table restaurants. Carbondale is also a designated Colorado Creative District along the Colorado Creative Corridor as well as the starting point for the The West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway, making it an excellent homebase for further Colorado exploration. Stay and soak at Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs as you explore all this region has to offer.
A rejuvenating soak in a pool at Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs
Glenwood Springs: World’s Largest Mineral Pool and Thrilling Adventure Park
Only 35 kilometers north is Glenwood Springs, which boasts the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool. Water from the Yampah Hot Spring supplies the award-winning Glenwood Hot Springs Pool and the natural steam baths at Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves, while three other springs along the Colorado River supply healing waters to over 20 pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. For a unique thrill, try Defiance – an exhilarating, record-breaking roller coaster with a free fall drop 33.5-meters high and 102.3 degrees steep – at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!
Hot spring pool at award-winning Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado.
Steamboat Springs: Family Fun and the Great Outdoors
For more family-friendly activities, Steamboat Springs’ Old Town Hot Springs offers kiddie pools, water slides and climbing walls. And if traveling without the kids, the downtown facility also features energizing fitness, yoga and massage. If you’re looking to connect with nature, enjoy the beautiful scenery and unique surroundings when camping in a converted train car at the Strawberry Hot Springs.
Western Colorado is breathtaking with its plentiful, naturally-occurring hot springs and charming resort areas. Embrace the rich culture of traditional healing, and discover Colorado’s Historic Hot Springs Loop.
Bathing in natural pools at Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Fly into Denver International Airport (DEN) and rent a car to explore the many breathtaking sights along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop at your own pace.
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