man soaking in a hot spring

Hot Springs Vail, CO – Soak in Thermal Waters

Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about Hot Springs near Vail, CO helpful.

Vail, Colorado is blessed to live smack dab in the middle of an abundance of amazing hot springs from primitive, undeveloped, natural mineral springs tucked into river banks to luxury resorts that offer every convenience while soaking.

Geothermal heated hot springs boast a variety of therapeutic benefits and leave soakers rejuvenated, relaxed and soothe sore muscles. These traits are why these springs have been sought after for centuries, starting with Ute Indians who would travel for days to reach these warm, miracle waters.

Hot springs in Colorado can be enjoyed summer and the winter, and hiking to and soaking in a hot spring as the snow gently falls down is a memory you will never forget. Enjoy these inviting waters and all they have to offer.

Hot Spring Tips

  • Avoid soaking in a hot spring if you are pregnant, have a medical condition, or have open wounds.
  • Drink lots of water, the high elevation of Colorado will dehydrate you. In addition, hot water and perspiration intensifies the symptoms. Drink plenty of fresh water before and while soaking.
  • 15-minute soaks are recommended. Take a break let your body cool down and then soak again.
  • Most hot springs prohibit food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and dogs.
  • Keep in mind that some hot springs are clothing-optional, but most require you to wear a bathing suit.
  • Some hot springs don’t allow children or they may require adult supervision.
  • Many hot springs are made of natural mineral waters that are rich in iron which can tarnish jewelry.

See Also: Best Athletic Swimsuits


Hot Springs near Vail


Glenwood Springs, CO


Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Just an hour’s drive from Vail, The Glenwood Hot Springs Resort has been offering its soothing watery benefits since 1888. A favorite escape for Theodore Roosevelt, today it is still a favorite escape for the thousands that flock here every year for its healing mineral waters. This is the world’s largest hot-springs pool. It boasts two water slides and a mini-golf course, a full-service spa, athletic club, boutique shop and a historic, sandstone bathhouse.

The hot springs pool is located between Aspen and Vail on the Colorado River. The pool is 405 feet long and 100 feet wide. At 90°, it feels like heaven in the winter.  www.hotspringspool.com


Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Iron Mountain Hot Springs, is one of the area’s newest hot springs, opening in 2015. It is located on the banks of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Enjoy 16 mineral hot-springs soaking pools that look out onto the lovely hillside landscape next to the river. Take a break from the hot springs and take a dip in the freshwater family pool that is cooler than the mineral pools and ideal for all ages. There is also an elevated whirlpool spa to ease aches and pains.

The sixteen natural mineral soaking pools range in temperature from 99 to 108°, the freshwater family pool is heated to 94°. Aside from the mineral pools, the freshwater family pool enjoy a jetted spa, restaurant, shopping and breathtaking views of Mt. Sopris, Red Mountain, the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork Valley. Heated walkways keep paths free of snow and easy to access. Come relax and rejuvenate!   www.ironmountainhotsprings.com


South Canyon Hot Springs

South Canyon Hot Spring a.k.a. “Hippie Hot Springs” is a primitive, undeveloped hot springs pool just outside Glenwood Springs. It is a natural hot spring and so it is free to visit and only entails a short walk to reach it. The hot spring offers mountain views of the incredible red bluffs in the area.

This hot spring is made up of one or two pools that can get murky depending on the weather conditions and the temperature is always warm but can vary from 100 to 112°, so test it first before jumping in. It also naturally, has a sulfur smell to it due to its mineral makeup. But South Canyon Hot Springs are accessible year-round and located only 15 minutes from Glenwood Springs and is a local favorite.

Keep in mind this hot spring can get busy and it is known for its “characters” and there is a good chance you will be sharing this small hot spring with strangers. Enjoy and relax but make sure you pack out what you packed in.

Hidden just off I-70. From Glenwood head west about 4 miles, Exit at the South Canyon Exit # 111. Make a left at the stop sign and follow South Canyon Creek Rd (CR 134). Follow the road to the left, you will cross a bridge. Half a mile past the bridge is a pull-off on the right where you can park. The hot springs are not visible from this parking area But a dirt trail is visible from the parking area which leads 1/8 mile over a hill, across the creek and finally to the hot springs.

See Also: Map to South Canyon Hot Springs


Steamboat Springs, CO


Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Whether you are looking to relax after a hard day of skiing or hiking, Strawberry Park, a fan favorite, has you covered. This lovely, quiet hot springs offers a natural setting for an unforgettable get-away.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is located 7 miles north of Steamboat Springs on Hot Springs Creek.  Accommodations include campsites, rustic cabins and even a train caboose. Enjoy the mineral waters, with a watsu treatment: a massage that takes place in the geothermal waters.

Get back to nature by going au natural — the hot springs become clothing optional after dark. So, adults only once night falls.

www.strawberryhotsprings.com


Old Town Hot Springs

This is the perfect hot springs to take the whole family because really, it’s more like a water park! Enjoy eight geothermal pools, two water slides and numerous pools and outdoor soaking tubs. There is also a climbing wall, a zero-entry kiddie pool, swimming, activity and lap pool with lanes and a diving board. Take advantage of onsite massage, fitness center, tennis courts, snack bar, playground and picnic area

Old Town Hot Springs is located right in Steamboat Springs and has been enjoyed for centuries. First by the local Ute Indians for their medicinal properties, later by pioneers who also enjoyed the healing mineral waters and now by residents and visitors of this world renowned ski looking to relax and rejuvenate.

www.oldtownhotsprings.org


Carbondale, CO


Penny Hot Springs

This lovely, primitive, natural hot springs hugs the banks of the Crystal River, located between Carbondale, CO and Aspen, CO. It is a short hike from Hwy. 133. It is a small, intimate pool that can fit about 12 people, and is sectioned off from the colder waters of the river by large rocks.

Natural hot mineral water feeds this riverside pool, and the nearby parking area makes for easy access to this free hot springs pool. However, because of this ease and convenience, this popular little pool may be crowded at times, particularly on the weekends or holidays

The pool has views of beautiful, snow capped peaks and steep canyon walls. There are no amenities, this is a natural, no-frills hot spring. This includes, no restrooms, so plan ahead.

This all-season spring is a local gem but spring-melt can flood the area and the hot spring. Remember always pack in what you packed out and leave the pool nicer than when you found it.

Directions to Penny Hot Springs: From Glenwood Springs take CO-82 east towards Aspen. After 10.2 miles make a right onto CO-133 S (Carbondale). Continue on for 14.1 miles. The Hot Springs is located on the east side of Highway 133, a few hundred feet north of mile marker 55.  www.carbondale.com


Kremmling, CO


Radium Hot Springs

Radium Hot Springs is the “Big Daddy” of all primitive, natural hot springs and if you love natural hot springs, this one can’t be missed. Access to Radium Hot Springs is not the easiest and can only be achieved by hiking, or the preferred method of, rafting or kayaking, as it is tucked away in the banks of the Colorado River.

The naturally fed hot spring bubbles up from deep in the Earth and mix with the cooler waters of the Colorado River, bringing the temperature of that area up to about 80-90°. The hot springs is not large, it is only about 20 ft. in diameter. Between summer and autumn is the best time to visit. In the spring, melt-off can flood the area with really cold water and wash out the hot spring pool.

There are some bigger rocks across the river from the springs that visitors occasionally jump off. Please be careful if you choose to do this as it is extremely dangerous and people have been seriously injured in the past. The water is not crystal clear and it can be very hard to see what’s beneath the water.

It is a 1.5 mile hike/climb to reach the springs and it will take about 20-30 minutes.

Directions to Radium Hot Springs: If hiking, park in the Mugrage Campground Parking Lot in Radium. Look for a steep trail to the left of the public restrooms and begin to walk up the trail till it flattens out onto a plateau that parallels the river. Stay on the trails do not veer off on a jeep trail or wildlife trail, stay the course! Stay on the path (heading northeast) for about a mile until you see a gap in the cliffs. At the bottom of this cliff is the hot spring. You now need to get down to the river so descend/ shimmy down the rock face, it’s about a 60 ft drop, be careful and go-slow. There is not a lot of signage so you will have to keep your eyes open. Again it is much easier to access this from a raft or a kayak as you boat down the river.


Aspen, CO


Conundrum Hot Springs

Conundrum Hot Springs claims the highest hot spring in America, sitting at an elevation of 11,200 feet at the base of the Maroon Bells near Aspen in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This pristine, undeveloped area is the perfect backdrop for this amazing natural hot spring.

Despite the fact that it is a challenging, 8.5-mile,(one way) moderately trafficked hike that is mostly uphill on steep terrain, Conundrum Hot Springs is one of the most popular natural hot spring in the area, and is usually crowded with visitors, especially on busy summer weekends. The path climbs from 8,800 ft in elevation to over 11,200 feet at the hot spring. But no matter the drawbacks the adventure is worth it and a soak in this lovely mineral spring is the perfect reward for all your effort.

However, do to its popularity it is subject to overuse and it is imperative to follow the rules and pack out everything you pack in so that the fragile surroundings of this hot spring are protected and can be enjoyed by future generations. This area carries a special legal designation to protect it and keep it from being spoiled. Best to visit from June thru September.

During the winter, there is high avalanche danger, and the majority of the trail is snow covered and difficult to navigate.

Directions to Conundrum Hot Springs: From Aspen, go a half-mile west of town on Colorado Highway 82 and turn onto Castle Creek Road at the roundabout. After 5 miles, turn right onto Conundrum Road go one mile and park at the trail head.

Permits are required year-round for overnight camping. Permits are ONLY available at www.recreation.gov.


Redstone, CO


Avalanche Ranch Cabins & Hot Springs

Avalanche Ranch boasts three spectacular mineral hot springs on their property that beautifully cascade from one to the next. This lovely area enjoys natural landscape, unique rock formations, pastoral views and private, rustic log cabins that overlook snow capped mountains.

Overnight visitors enjoy 24-hour, year-round, day and night access to all three secluded hot-springs pools and they can also enjoy a variety of hiking trails, a stocked fishing pond and private riverfront access to the Crystal River.

Offering privacy and seclusion, the thoughtfully designed tiered hot springs allow limited visibility from one hot spring to the next. The largest pool is fed by a 3-foot waterfall forming a warm screen of water in front of a rock grotto, it is wonderful!  www.avalancheranch.com


Idaho Springs, CO


Indian Springs Resort

Indian Springs is located just 30-minutes west of Denver, CO. This resort is not primitive, it is commercialized and offers a variety of options and services including geothermal caves, indoor private baths, outdoor Jacuzzis, massage treatments and a big, mineral water swimming pool.

This unique hot spring lies under a translucent dome that houses a tropical paradise. The swimming pool is continually fed with hot mineral water at 115° but is regulated so the pool’s average temperature is 90-100°. This ideal temperature makes it perfect for both adults and kids.

The geothermal caves were created in 1903. Each cave boasts huge, sunken, walk-in rock hot tubs filled with natural mineral water that fluctuates from 104° to 112°

Kick back and relax in this natural, geothermically heated mineral pool under real palm trees and banana trees and soak like your in the tropics for the day, especially nice on cold, snowy days in winter.  www.indiandhotsprings.com


Buena Vista

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

This family-friendly hot springs is located, just south of Buena Vista. Your kids will LOVE the 400-foot water slide, a big outdoor fireplace and a 90° exercise pool. There is also a soaking pool, that is kept at 105°, smaller kid friendly pools that are kept at 75°,an adult-only cascading hot mineral pool and more than 30 small natural pools along Chalk Creek (closed during spring runoff) at this hot springs resort near Buena Vista. Overnight guests get access to their own “relaxation pool.”

The hot springs waters at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort are 100% natural and odorless and bubble out from deep in the ground at 120°.

Built in 1867, the historic, beautifully restored bath house offers showers and lockers for your convenience. There is also a fitness room, tennis courts, yoga studio, a juice bar and spa treatments. There are many lodging options for overnight guests including cabins, guest rooms and a lodge. www.mtprinceton.com


Want More…

Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

The 720-mile Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is for die hard hot spring groupies. This loop showcases many of the most popular hot springs in the country. Each of the 19 facilities offers unique features like geothermal vapor caves, hot pots, terraced pools, cascading hot springs, waterfalls, enormous rock formations, natural wilderness areas, fun-filled aquatic centers and kids water slides.

The loop is composed of 5 different counties and is accessed by the beautiful Colorado Scenic Byways for an unbelievably scenic drive that covers most of western Colorado. The Loop includes Chaffee County, Pagosa Springs, Ouray County, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs. Visiting every spot along the loop would take a week or more. This Loop makes it easy to plan a hot spring-hopping adventure.  www.colorado.com/hotspringsloop

Chaffee County

Chaffee County includes Buena Vista, Nathrop and Salida, and hugs the Continental Divide. Three of the most secluded hot springs open to the public are found here. Also, many traditional clothing-optional hot springs found here. This Central Colorado destination is the perfect area to begin your natural geothermal hot springs tour. You will find historic, natural creekside hot pots as well as state-of-the-art resorts. This is Colorado’s natural beauty at its best!

Mount Princeton Hot Springs, Cottonwood Hot Springs, Antero Hot Springs, Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, Creekside Hot Springs


Ouray

Unforgettable Ouray County enjoys the dramatic scenery of Southwest Colorado. For centuries, Ouray hot springs have drawn those seeking the health and rejuvenation benefits of its thermal waters. The same geologic forces that made the town rich in mining also created these popular, highly sought after hot springs. The hot springs in this area are free of the strong sulfur smell are common at many other mineral springs.

Ouray Hot Springs Pool, Box Canyon Hot Springs, Orvis Hot Springs, The Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs, Twin Peaks Hot Springs


Pagosa Springs

Situated in the majestic San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado, Pagosa Springs is surrounded by vast areas of wilderness and national forest and is home to the world’s deepest geothermal aquifer, the Great Pagosa Hot Springs. Pagosa Springs is known for its hot springs as well as world-class skiing, hiking and historic Puebloan dwellings.

The Springs Resort & Spa, Healing Waters Resort & Spa, Overlook Hot Spring Spa


Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs is aptly named as it enjoys not one, but two amazing hot springs. Located in northern Colorado’s Yampa Valley, vistors flock to this area for its famous mineral springs as well as incredible skiing at Steamboat ski resort and

Howelsen Hill ski area. Winter or summer this area has a lot to offer.

Old Town Hot Springs, Strawberry Park Hot Springs


Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, just 60 minutes from Vail, CO. It is home to the Glenwood Hot Springs, the world’s largest mineral hot springs poo AND Iron Mountain Hot Springs situated on the banks of the Colorado River. Visitors can enjoy Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, featuring the highest-elevation roller coaster in North America; and the Yampah Vapor Caves, naturally occurring geothermal caves. There is also a variety of hiking, rafting and biking in Glenwood Canyon. This is an incredible diverse, fun-filled destination.

Glenwood Hot Springs, Iron Mountain Hot Springs


See Also: Best River Shoes


Comments man soaking in a hot spring

We hope you found this article about Hot Springs Vail, CO helpful. Please let us know what is your favorite hot springs and why? Do you like to hike to primitive hot springs or do you prefer luxury resorts with multiple mineral pools and with lots of services and convenience. Please share your favorite hot springs story, we would love to hear about your adventures! thanks for reading.

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13 Comments

    • ThinkVail

      So happy you liked this article about hot springs near Vail, CO. Yes, these natural mineral hot springs are wonderful and rejuvenating . If you are a hot spring lover check out the 720-mile hot springs loop that lets you hit a ton of amazing hot springs in one epic road trip through Colorado. Thanks for reading!

  • Strahinja

    Thanks for all the information about hot springs near Vail,CO. I am planning a trip to Colorado currently and intend to visit some of these cool spots. I love the idea of hiking to many of the primitive hot springs, especially Conundrum Hot Springs, that sounds like an adventure and an unforgettable trip. thanks for the ideas.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Strahinja, thanks for reading Hot Springs Vail, CO. Yes Conundrum Hot Spring is an amazing place but make sure you read up about it before you go. These thermal hot springs get a lot of visitors each year and it is taking a toll on the area. Make sure you read and understand all the rules before you go so you have a wonderful time and help keep the area pristine and healthy for future generations to enjoy too. Thanks so much for reading.

  • jessetoikkanen

    Loved this info about hot springs Vail, CO I would say. I just got back from the hot springs of Iceland and it was a great experience but I actually made some of these mistakes this article told to avoid, the first mistake was to forget to drink enough. I plant to travel to Colorado in the next year or two, so, I will bookmark this site, this information will be very valuable! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Strahinja

    Perfect timing for this article, I just made reservations for a weekend winter getaway to Strawberry Park in Steamboat Springs on the recommendation of an old friend who is always in the know.  It was not the easiest thing to do since you can’t really make reservations on-line but must call them by phone and mail a reservation request form but it seems like a very unique place which is right up my alley.  I am also planning on booking a massage and just enjoying a weekend to myself.  Loved the video about the place it gave me great insight into what I was getting myself into and now, I can hardly wait to go!

    • ThinkVail

      I think you are going to have a wonderful and very memorable stay at Strawberry Park, it is a very unique hot spring, and a local’s favorite spot.  I am so happy this article about hot springs near Vail, CO was helpful to you and helped get you excited for your trip this winter!

  • Marisa

    Oh I love hot springs and spas. I’ve been to both primitive thermals in Northland New Zealand and more luxury Resort thermals in Rotorua, New Zealand and also in Yunnan, China. Sure I’ve been to others during my travels. Spas are incredibly relaxing and if you combine this with a massage or mud bath its an excellent treat. Guaranteed relaxation. 

    I am so excited because we are planning a trip to Colorado this winter for a 2-week ski trip but I am planning on taking a couple of days to relax at a spa/hot spring and love this list, as it makes it easy for me to investigate which on e(or two) I want to visit. Thanks so much for the info about hot springs near Vail, CO.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Marisa, I am so happy that this article about hot springs near Vail, Colorado will help with your travel plans. I can only imagine soaking in a hot spring in New Zealand and China.  Let me know how our local hot springs stack up against competition like that.  Have a wonderful time while you’re here visiting Colorado and make sure you chek out the Vail Valley Winter Calendar of Events if you are in our neck of the woods.

  • Hope Getrude

    Wow, all these natural hot springs look amazing, I especially liked the Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, CO and the Buena Vista Hot Springs. What id like to know though what is the best time of the year to visit this hot springs? We will be travelling to Colorado in the fall is that still a good time to go saking?

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Hope, I am so happy you enjoyed the post about hot springs near Vail, CO and I am glad you found it helpful. The wonderful thing about many of Colorado’s hot springs is that they are incredible most every season!  In the summer, it is easy to hike/visit every hot pot, in the winter the snow makes the primitive hot springs more difficult to reach but it is so awesome sitting in a thermal pool as it is gently snowing on you and the scenery is gorgeous. In the fall, the golden yellow of aspens and the deep green of spruce and pine is just breathtaking.  The spring is perfect for more resort-oriented hot springs as many natural pools get flooded by snow melt.  Each season has its own character and beauty that lends itself to relaxing and enjoying these mineral springs.Enjoy!

  • Ian

    Great article about hot springs near Vail, Colorado.  My wife and I spent six weeks traveling through Colorado on the Historic Hot Springs Loop.  It was an amazing, beautifully scenic trip that I would highly recommend.  Each hot spring was unique and so different from the others as was each town that we travelled through. Whether is was a primitive, secluded pool on the banks of a river that we had to hike to or at a luxury spa where everyone waited on us, we made the most of each stop.  We are retired and so we had plenty of time to enjoy each one.  If you get a chance, put this adventure on your bucket list, it’s worth it.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Ian,  I am so glad you enjoyed the article, Hot Springs Vail, CO and thanks so much for sharing your experience on the Colorado Hot Springs Historic Loop, that trip sounds INCREDIBLE. I have been to some of the hot springs on this loop but not nearly all of them, I think that would be a trip of a lifetime. I am so glad you enjoyed it and, yes, it is on my Bucket List and I hope to do it in exactly the same manner.  Thanks so much for your story!

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