Young Boy Jumps into Pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort in Colorado
Photo: Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

9 Best Natural Hot Springs in Colorado

The healing waters of hot mineral springs have drawn tourists to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for centuries. Here, an abundance of geothermal activity has resulted in now-famous hot springs for rejuvenating the mind and body. Soak in the healing waters and scenic surroundings at these natural hot springs in Colorado.

1. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort – Glenwood Springs 

Quite possibly the most famous hot springs in the U.S., Glenwood Hot Springs Resort first opened its pool in 1888 and has been continuously welcoming families ever since. Located between Aspen and Vail, it’s at a lower elevation than most mountain towns and is a great day or multi-day trip from many major hubs, with day passes and lodge rooms available.

The main pool is the size of a football field, making it the largest hot springs pool in the world. At the end of the main pool is a diving board, lap lanes and plenty of room for water aerobics and fitness classes.

During the summer months, there are cabana rentals and the Sopris Splash Zone, which includes the Shoshone Chutes, a whitewater river open-air tube ride with twists and turns that mimic a ride down a mountain creek in Colorado. There are mini water slides for wee ones and a grand fountain splash pad. Both the hot springs pool and warm springs include 15 minerals that are beneficial for the human body.

2. The Springs Resort & Spa – Pagosa Springs

The town of Pagosa Hot Springs is actually the only town in its county; it got its name from the Great Pagosah Spring. The Pagosa Hot Springs are the world’s deepest measured geothermal hot spring. From this spring, the Hot Springs Resort filters into 23 soaking pools of varying temperatures. This is a fantasy land of multiple pools of stone, situated in the river and other nooks and crannies. Families can enjoy pools of all sizes and temperatures ranging from 83 to 114 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also five VIP section, adults-only pools. 

Onsite there’s a cafe, restaurant and canteen for adult beverages. There are nearly 80 rooms and suites at the hotel and adjoining inn, as well as a restaurant, retail shops, and spa amenities and services. The hot springs pools are open 24 hours a day to all guests of the hotel, and all pools have stunning views of the San Juan Mountains.

3. Sand Dunes Swimming Pool – Hooper

After a trek up some of the world’s tallest sand dunes, a soak in the natural hot springs should be on your agenda. The San Luis Valley region has a family-friendly pool in Hooper, close to the sand dunes. Open year-round, the natural, spring-fed pool is at a constant 98 degrees for all-age enjoyment. Chaise lounges and stunning scenery surround the pool. There’s an onsite restaurant and gift shops for basic pool needs, as well as RV/tent camping and cabin rentals. 

For the day, rent a pool cabana with outdoor lounge chairs, an indoor bar, two seating areas with chairs, and sliding glass doors that allow you to look out on to impressive views of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range.

Parents will love the adults-only soaking experience within the onsite 10,000-square-foot-greenhouse that houses three soaking tubes, a zero-entry pool with fountain, sauna, gardens, indoor/outdoor spaces and a bar. 

4. Iron Mountain Hot Springs – Glenwood Springs

One of the newer hot springs to open in the Centennial State, Iron Mountain Hot Springs is also located in the town of Glenwood Springs, but is much more intimate. There are 16 total soaking pools with varying temperatures of mineral water from 98 to 108 degrees. On the lower level is a family-friendly freshwater pool, and above, an elevated, jetted spa for parents to enjoy while watching their children. 

The pools have heated walkways between one another for warmth in the winter. The springs produce 14 different healing minerals, with the most abundant being iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium and calcium. Families can also soak in the views of Iron Mountain, Red Mountain, the Flat Tops and the peaks of majestic Mt. Sopris to the south. 

Note: These hot mineral springs are open to children ages 5 and older. 

5. Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort – Nathrop

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is one of the most expansive operations in all of Colorado. The geothermal springs are filtered into pools; however, the most fun might be in the ever-changing temperature hot springs pools (70 to 120 degrees) that are in the actual river, Chalk Creek, that flows along the property. The Historic Bath House dates back to 1868, and there’s a fun staircase from the building directly into the soaking pool at 105 degrees. Across the street on the resort property are the Upper Pools. Here, there’s a lazy river, large pool for fitness classes and play, 400-foot ‘hot’ water slide and smaller hot pools. All are surrounded by chaise lounges and plenty of deck space.

For adults only, there is the Relaxation Pool (99 degrees) attached to the spa. Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort has plenty of lodging options from single rooms to multiple bedroom cabins with kitchens. There’s an onsite restaurant and sundry, along with many other amenities.

6. Dunton Hot Springs – Dolores 

The most exclusive and one of the most remote hot springs on this list is the all-inclusive Dunton Hot Springs Resort, which requires an overnight stay. Located between Telluride and Cortez, Colorado, the springs come with a five-star experience. The healing waters of the resort results from a nearby fault producing numerous seeps in the area. Here, Colorado’s only geyser, which is also a semi-cool sulfuric spring, bubbles to the surface every 45 minutes, on average. 

The resort and hot springs are located in a restored mining-turned-ghost town. Families relax in lush, private log cabins, and meals are served family-style in an 1800s saloon. The main soaking pool is in a refurbished 19th century bathhouse, which now features modern amenities. 

7. Strawberry Hot Springs – Steamboat Springs

These rustic, yet popular hot springs are located about a 20-minute drive from downtown Steamboat Springs. A short hike down from the parking area will lead you to the entrance of Strawberry Hot Springs, and then it’s a few more stairs to the multiple pools carved into the river. Most pools are between 99 and 106 degrees. They vary in size and temperature and offer swimming opportunities from miniature beaches to deep waters for stretching. There are cooler waters closer to the bottom of the cascading mineral pools. The year-round attraction is famous for the area’s champagne powder against the backdrop of the stones and pools.

There are restrooms and a heated area for changing onsite. While there are no dining options, food can be brought in and eaten at the picnic areas; just note that glass is not permitted. Overnight cabin rentals are available, as are campsites. 

8. Old Town Hot Springs – Steamboat Springs 

The most accessible and family-friendly hot springs in the Steamboat Springs region is Old Town Hot Springs in the downtown corridor. Guests can choose from eight different mineral pools originating from Heart Spring. The pools range in temperature from 80 to 104 degrees. There are many family attractions at the water park including slides for children who are of a certain height, a splash pad with slides and fountains for the wee ones, a shallow wading pool with animal features, and an obstacle course during the summer in the large pool. The actual Heart Spring pool is for children ages 15 years and older.

There are cabanas for rent and onsite food, beverage and retail shops. Spa services and fitness and aquatics classes are all available to visitors and locals. 

9. Indian Hot Springs Resort – Idaho Springs

These hot springs have been pumping hot mineral water for guests for over a century. Easily accessible from Denver, Indian Hot Springs Resort is located right off of I-70. Tucked into a translucent dome is a tropical enclave of plants, banana and palm trees and a humid, lush climate in the dry, arid mountains. The resort pool is open year-round, fed by a 115-degree spring that converts to a pool that ranges from 90 to 100 degrees.  Onsite there’s a large resort, restaurant, bar, retail shops and more. 

There are private spaces for families to rent. The outdoor Jacuzzi tubs on the deck, surrounded by a privacy fence, are bubbling with 108-degree hot mineral water. Inside, there are 11 hot mineral baths at about 106 degrees. Teenagers 16 and over can experience the geothermal caves, which are gender specific; note that bathing suits are optional. The caves range in temperature from 104 to 112 degrees, and were created between 1903 and 1911. Guests can walk into the sunken hot tubs or breathe in the healthy mineral air. 

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Julie Bielenberg
Julie Bielenberg is an award-winning journalist and photographer based in Colorado. She is a national leader in agritourism and publishes more than 50 editorial assignments annually for over a dozen outlets.