Which Colorado hot spring is right for you?
I field more Colorado travel questions about hot springs than any other topic. I get all sorts of questions such as which hot spring is the closest to the Front Range (Indian Hot Springs), which is the most the most family friendly and which would be perfect for a romantic getaway.
It’s ironic, because I didn’t even know that Colorado had any hot springs before I moved here in 2000. There are many hot springs in Colorado and this weekend one more will be added to the list – Iron Mountain Hot Springs opens in Glenwood Springs this Saturday.
In this post I will attempt to answer some of the questions that are frequently posed to me and hopefully this will help you discover which Colorado hot spring is right for you.
And, by the way, I do not have a favorite because it depends entirely on the type of experience that I want to have; each hot spring is very different.
Case in point, the Buena Vista area has two hot springs that are very, very different. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs is perfect for a romantic getaway because of the “Spa Side” pools. These beautiful pools are secluded and include a 16 and older policy for soakers.
Tucked into the mountains, this place feels a million miles from anywhere and is a true escape.
Cottonwood Hot Springs in Buena Vista are completely different. Embrace your inner hippie and take a dip in these rustic pools. I’m almost positive that they were clothing optional after dark when I visited in the mid-2000s, but they must have changed their policy because their website now says that swimsuits must remain on at all times.
While children are allowed at Cottonwood, I think its calm and quiet atmosphere isn’t especially well-suited for wild kiddos.
Another hot springs that falls into this category is Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway, Colorado. Orvis is clothing optional all of the time and has a meditative atmosphere (at least it did when we were there on a Sunday last year). The grounds have a “Garden of Eden” feel, and while the nakedness is a little odd at first, we really enjoyed the afternoon we spent soaking here.
If you are looking for super family friendly hot springs, there are a number. My first pick would be Glenwood Hot Springs. I recently wrote about them being named “Best Hotel Pool” by Sunset Magazine and USA Today.
Old Town Hot Springs in downtown Steamboat Springs is also great for families. When I was there the place was teaming with children. There are lots of cool things for kids to do here like slides and other water activities.
Another wonderful hot springs pool for families is the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, which is going under construction this fall. This pool isn’t just for tourists as it is a community gathering spot for many local families. Parts of the pool will remain open during the upcoming construction project.
I get a lot of inquiries about Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs. This is definitely one of the state’s most unique hot spring experiences because it is as natural a hot spring as you’ll find without having to hike to it. If you love hot springs, this place has to be on your bucket list. It’s both romantic and family friendly and amazing during the winter when it becomes a magical land of mist and ice.
The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs ticks many boxes; it’s child friendly, it’s family friendly and it’s romantic. It checks all the boxes because it’s so large, plus, there’s an adult only section which I think is great. Beautiful designed, The Springs’ many pools are located on a beautifully terraced riverfront property. Its location in Southwest Colorado also means that it’s never very crowded, even during high season.
I have not been to every hot spring in Colorado, I am still working on that, so if you have a favorite that isn’t mentioned in this post, please share it with us in the comment section.