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A Road Trip On The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

Natural mineral hot springs are known for their physical and mental healing benefits. The same stunning mountains that give us world-class skiing, hiking, and climbing are also the reason for these healing waters. Lucky for us, Colorado is home to a variety of these restorative springs – from wild, secluded ponds in the earth to developed, resort style soaking pools, there’s something to fit every desire. This winter, hit the road to restoration and travel on the Colorado Hot Springs Loop to discover beautiful hot springs while enjoying a scenic mountain road trip. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites here.

Buena Vista, Nathrop, & Salida

Heading south on 91 will take you to these beautiful mountain towns nestled in the Sawatch Range, which is home to some of the tallest mountains in the Rockies. Many of the hot springs around here couple their soaking pools with beautiful views of these mountains. Spend the night at Creekside Chalets in a cozy 1 bedroom cabin and you’ll have close access to Joyful Journey, Cottonwood, and Valley View Hot Springs, to name a few.

Ouray & Ridgway

Tucked off the beaten path, Ouray Hot Springs gives guests a chance to unplug from their busy lives. These restorative pools sit in the valley of Ouray’s 13,000-foot peaks. Soakers can take in the majestic views while staying toasty in pools ranging from 92 degrees to 106 degrees.

If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, The Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs offer just that. The Lorelai is a private soaking pool situated outside and tuckedaway from the public. Tired of soaking? This picturesque inn also offers a vapor cave where guests can break from the hot springs and relax in the steamy underground room.

Just up Highway 550 is the small town of Ridgway, Colorado. Orvis Hot Springs invites guests to soak – clothing optional – in its healing pools. The seven natural pools at Orvis are famous for their high lithium content – a mineral known to relieve stress and anxiety. In addition to the mental benefits of soaking at Orvis, the waters have also been cited to relieve skin and joint conditions such as eczema and arthritis.

Dunton Hot Springs Resort

While not directly on the Colorado Hot Springs Loop, Dunton Hot Springs is a stop worth making. Just an hour’s drive from Ouray, this former ghost town now hosts a variety of winter activities, including peaceful, natural hot springs. The restored 19th century bathhouse offers a truly wonderful soaking experience.

Glenwood & Steamboat Springs

For over 130 years, Coloradans have flocked to Glenwood Hot Springs for its waters’ restorative and healing properties. Now, people from around the world seek out these hot springs for the same reasons. If you’re looking to overnight here, Glenwood Springs offers package deals that can include skiing, soaking, dinner, and even spa treatments. This is a resort style location without the resort crowds.

The quieter option – Iron Mountain Hot Springs – is just down the road. The 16 natural mineral pools are located outside and many have views of the Colorado River. A heated walkway connects these pools, making this a perfect winter-time retreat. Check out a map of its many pools here.

Steamboat isn’t just home to a renowned ski mountain; it’s also the location of the often-photographed Strawberry Park Hot Springs. This cash only hot spring is a true Colorado landmark. With mountain views and warm waters, bathers can spend an entire day soaking here. After dark, it’s no kids allowed and clothing optional. These springs are far from city lights, making them the perfect place to stargaze on clear winter nights.

There’s plenty of relaxation to be had in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains; the Earth’s natural hot spring waters are a relaxing and restorative place to spend the weekend. Enjoy a scenic mountain drive through the snow-capped Rockies and recharge with these relaxing hot springs.

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