Colorado is a soaker’s paradise with countless natural hot springs dotting the Rocky Mountain landscape. Born from rain and snow that seep deep into the earth and resurface steaming and infused with healing minerals, these natural hot tubs are sublime.

Whether you seek the hidden variety, reachable only by an arduous trek, or you prefer private springs in historic towns or swanky all-inclusive resorts, there’s a Colorado hot spring out there with your name on it. Here’s a round-up of our favorites.

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Stawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Enjoying the outdoor Strawberry Park Hot Springs near the slopes of Mount Werner, Steamboat Springs, Colorado © David A Litman / Shutterstock

Best natural hot springs: Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs

Surrounded by towering aspen and fir trees, Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a scenic locale in the Routt National Forest. Its five pools are fed by a steaming mountain spring, whose 140-degree waters are cooled by a creek that flows alongside the property. After sunset, the hot springs are adult-only and clothing-optional; there’s little light which makes for spectacular stargazing (bring a headlamp to get around!). Rustic cabins, tent sites and even a caboose are available for overnight stays. Reservations required.

How to get to Strawberry Park Hot Springs: Strawberry Park is located at the end of Country Road 36, seven miles north of Steamboat Springs. The last two miles are steep and unpaved, requiring 4WD or tire chains from November to May. Alternatively, take a door-to-door shuttle from town.

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A view across The Springs Resort in Colorado showcasing the various accommodation buildings and hot springs
People relax in the enriched waters at The Springs Resort and Spa in Colorado © Strekoza2 / Getty Images

Best private hot springs: The Springs Resort & Spa, Pagosa Springs

A small wellness resort, The Springs has 25 man-made pools fed by the 1002-foot-deep Mother Spring, the deepest known geothermal spring in the world. The mineral-rich pools are perched on several cement terraces, varying in size and temperature, including a few with direct access to the icy waters of the San Juan River – perfect for cooling off between soaks. A full line of spa treatments also are offered. Stay overnight for extras like aqua yoga and guided hikes.

How to get to The Springs: The Springs is in the town of Pagosa Springs, in southwest Colorado. It’s located along Hwy 160, 60 miles east of Durango, which has an airport and car rental agencies.

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Best for couples: Valley View Hot Springs, Moffat

Little-known and way off-the-grid, the clothing-optional hot springs at Valley View are among the state’s most relaxed soaking environment. Guests follow short trails along a forested hillside to soak in steaming ‘ponds,’ often with no one else around, with views of the dramatic Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance. Tent sites, simple cabins and a communal kitchen make for easy overnight stays (BYO provisions). Valley View sits on 2200 acres of protected land that’s crisscrossed with trails, a working ranch and an abandoned-mine-turned-bat cave – perfect for a weekend exploring with your boo. Reservations required.

How to get to Valley View Hot Springs: Valley View is at the end of a dirt road in the San Juan Valley, about seven miles from the intersection of Highways 285 and 17, south of Salida. It’s a 3.5-hour drive from Denver.

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High angle view of Glenwood Springs in Colorado with its enormous pool in front of the main building
Your kids will never run out of fun activities at Glenwood Springs © krblokhin / Getty Images

Best for families: Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs

Home to water slides and splash pads, ‘adventure river’ tubing and the largest hot springs pool in the world (a whopping 400-ft-long), it’s no wonder Glenwood Hot Springs is a family favorite. Add to that temperate mineral waters, poolside cabanas and an on-site restaurant, and Glenwood is a ready-made day trip with the kids or an impromptu weekend getaway. For extra indulgence, book a spa treatment or head to the smaller, hotter and quieter pool with hydrotherapy loungers and power showers.

How to get to Glenwood Hot Springs: The resort is located just off the I-70, in the historic town of Glenwood Springs, west of Vail. Arriving by car is a cinch – you’ll see the resort from the highway. Alternatively, take the train from Denver; it takes longer but the Rocky Mountain views are epic.

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Best for luxury: Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores

Dunton Hot Springs is the epitome of western luxe and lore: a ghost town turned exclusive resort, a deluxe all-inclusive getaway in what was once the hideout of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The property, a 19th-century mining town in a secluded mountain valley, has been meticulously restored – from the original log cabins (now elegant guest quarters) to the saloon-turned-dining hall. Hot springs pepper the property, indoor and out, and plenty of other experiences await – sleigh rides, cross country skiing, fly fishing, trail rides and more. Farm-to-table meals and drinks are included.

How to get to Dunton Hot Springs: Dunton is located off of Country Road 38, southwest of Telluride. Cortez Municipal Airport is the closest airport, about 50 miles away, while the larger Durango-La Plata County Airport is 90 miles away. Car rentals can be easily booked from either airport.

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A woman is bathing in a hot spring on Conundrum Creek Trail in Aspen while looking at the valley view
It's a tough hike to get there but the views from Conundrum hot springs make it worth the effort © ablokhin / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Best wild hot springs: Conundrum Hot Springs, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Perched at 11,200 ft, Conundrum Hot Springs is a gorgeous wild hot spring, one of the most memorable in the state. Its two wide, steaming pools overlook a wildflower-strewn mountain valley, with views of snowcapped peaks. The hike there is tough but doable: 8.5 miles each way, with a punishing 2400-foot elevation gain, passing through aspen groves and mountain meadows, and winding over creeks and past waterfalls. Many do it as a day hike (budget nine hours) but if you can score a permit, consider camping instead. A popular locals’ spot, Conundrum can get busy in the summer; come in late spring or early fall for less of a crowd. Winter travel isn’t recommended due to avalanche danger.

How to get to Conundrum Hot Springs: The hot springs are located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, south of Aspen. The Conundrum Creek Trailhead is seven miles from town, off Country Road 15B. Overnight parking is permitted.

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Best free hot springs: Piedra River Hot Springs, Pagosa Springs

A moderate 1.5-mile hike through the lush San Juan National Forest leads to a collection of steaming pools alongside the Piedra River. The pools are circles of piled-up river rocks, designed to capture a mixture of river water and scalding mineral water that bubbles up from springs along the bank. They vary in size and depth, with temperatures ranging from 100°F to 140°F, depending on the season and overflow of river water. Visitors add and move rocks, as needed, and even create private pools on the spot. Come in the summer and fall for the warmest soaks, as snowmelt often floods the pools the rest of the year.

How to get to Piedra River Hot Springs: The hot springs are located on Sheep Creek Trail, between Durango (45mi) and Pagosa Springs (30mi). Take Hwy 160 from either town to Country Road 166. A well-maintained dirt road, it leads straight to the trailhead. A 4WD vehicle is advisable in winter and spring.

Million dollar views for nothing: the best free things to do in Colorado

This article was first published Mar 15, 2022 and updated Jul 21, 2022.

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