As a Colorado resident for the past five years, I consider myself a hot spring connoisseur. While I haven’t made it to every Colorado hot spring, I assure you- it is a personal goal. As each little mountain town has its own unique personality, so does each hot spring. Whether you’re looking for a nice hippy-dip or a more luxurious experience, with scenic drives or surrounding activities to indulge in, Colorado hot springs have a vibe for everyone.
5- Hot Sulphur Hot Springs, Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.
Located 20 minutes outside of Kremmling, Colorado, Hot Sulphur Springs is a budget-friendly option. With a low key vibe but high-key soaking tub availability. Driving through Colorado ranch land, surrounded by towering mountain ranges. Culminating with an 8 mile stretch of the breathtaking Byers Canyon, the drive to Sulphur Springs is five stars. Sulphur Springs has a tub for everyone with 15 pools of various shapes, sizes, and personalities. Ranging from cute tile-lined hot tubs to a natural rock wall spouting blue mineral water. Nestled between a sage-filled hillside and river creek bed, Sulphur Springs is one of the more unique hot springs for the wandering traveler with quirky charm and a relaxing atmosphere.
Something to take note of is Sulphur Springs is an incredibly small town with few dining options. For dinner or lunch, a greater variety lies back in Kremmling or Silverthorne. However I did spot some cool historic candy shops. 😉
4- Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Strawberry Park Hot Springs lies fifteen minutes outside Steamboat Springs. Featuring large natural communal pools next to a river bed, accompanied by warm changing log cabins, and clothing optional after dark, Strawberry Park is where classy meets a relaxing mountain atmosphere. While the communal pools may not be for everyone, the natural surroundings of the lush alpine environment, make this experience unforgettable. If you find yourself in Steamboat Springs on a ski trip, the absolute power play is to spend a day on the hill to then indulge in the relaxing environment of the natural hot springs. Obviously followed by a meal in downtown Steamboat.
Important to note is the road to Strawberry Park during the winter is rough and is required to have a 4 Wheel drive vehicle with snow tires or chains. In addition, the winter sun sets in Colorado around 4:30pm. After dark, there is a strict 18 and over policy. For a less naked evening option, consider the downtown Steamboat Hot Springs.
3- Mount Princeton, Nathrop, Colorado
The serene creekside hot spring of Mount Princeton is located 15 minutes outside of Buena Vista. The drive itself sets the scene for a day of relaxation as you drive through the high mountain plains surrounded by the Sawatch Range. It hosts fifteen of Colorado’s majestic 14ers. Situated in a historical 1800s bath house, nestled in a small quiet valley, Mount Princeton has two main communal soaking pools. However, a unique feature from many other hot springs, is one can hop down to the river and bathe in one of the twenty natural hot pots. Each hot pot is fed by a geothermal spring, alongside the beautiful Chalk Creek.
The Hot Springs operates from 9am-9pm based on a reservation system in light of COVID-19. The upper resort also features a family swimming pool, complete with a slide and infinity pool.
2- Iron Mountain, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Located in the quirky town of Glenwood Springs in the Roaring Fork Valley, Iron Mountain Hot Springs is one of the newer additions to the Colorado hot springs scene. Located outside of the brilliant 17 mile towering Glenwood Canyon, Iron Mountain is a modern oasis set amongst a rustic scene. Featuring 16 geothermal soaking pools along the Colorado River, guests can migrate in-between temperature pools, according to their relaxation needs. A personal favorite element is their nice shower and locker room, with delightful smelling therapeutic soaps and shampoos.
Complete with a small snack and drink bar, filled with Colorado craft beers and boxed wines, Iron Mountain is a convenient getaway with a place for everyone in the family. With a bit better bang for your buck. Time slots are for 2.5 hours and must be reserved online ahead of time.
1- Orvis Hot Springs, Ridgeway, Colorado
Listen. I get this number one won’t be for everybody. But Orvis is a place I just keep coming back to, no matter how bashful nudity makes me. Because that’s right. This is a full clothing optional hot spring. While I knew this upon my first visit, I assumed it was the typical after dark rule. As I walked into the back yard, I quickly realized I would be the only one in my swimsuit. Which changed upon my second visit.
Orvis is located in Ridgeway, Colorado. A short fifteen minutes from the beautiful town of Ouray, and an hour from Telluride. Spend the day hiking Mt. Sneffels, skiing Tellurides chutes, or meandering the cute shops of Ridgeway to then soak and relax in peace. Unique to Orvis, other than its lack of clothing, is its sauna, cold pot, and lobster pot. My first time visiting, I was shown a particularly popular method of relaxation by alternating from sauna, to full submersion in the cold pot, to the lobster pot, rotating as many times as needed.
However, the experience that truly cannot be beat is a hot spring dip in the snow. As steam is fully encompassing you, and bright white crystals blanket the earth, the feeling of bare naked relaxation surrounded by the spiral towers of the San Juan mountains, actually cannot be beat. Open from 9am-9pm, Orvis is a creative getaway to let your guard down and indulge the natural side in us all.
Regardless, of the hot spring you choose, one thing is true. Colorado is a magical place. A place where one can connect with themselves and the natural world. Make sure to call the hot spring ahead of time to double check their reservation system and availability. There may be COVID restrictions. Whichever hot spring you choose, it’s guaranteed to be a day of relaxation, serene beauty, and memorable experiences.
If you’re planning a trip to Colorado, be sure to check out all of Wild Bum’s Colorado travel guides!
About the Author
Laura is a teacher, traveller, writer, musician, and all around human. She believes travel is a means of bringing people together across lines of difference. Moving us towards a more compassionate world. Learn more about Laura on her Instagram or website.