Mud season is upon us. It is too cold to raft and trails are too muddy for hiking and biking. When you glance at your skis, you know you won’t use them until next season because after months of shredding powder, you’re not going to fight the crowds to ski on slush.
What’s a Coloradan to do?
There’s a simple answer for locals and visitors looking for a unique Colorado activity that won’t leave a car caked in mud. It’s a trip to one of Colorado’s gorgeous and relaxing hot springs.
As unique from one another as a Chihuahua is from a Great Dane, Colorado offers dozens of hot springs resorts that range from primitive to glamorous, small to large, and popular to inconspicuous. Before summer is in full swing, take your friends, your kids, or your honey for a day of fun in the sun.
Though the list of Colorado hot springs is long, these are some of my favorites:
Strawberry Park Hot Springs – Steamboat Springs
Nestled in an aspen forest, these hot springs feel as though they’ve come out of a fairy tale. With multiple pools built into the hillside and others lining Hot Springs Creek, there is plenty of room for all. Stay overnight in a rustic cabin or book its most popular accommodation—a train caboose.
The Springs Resort and Spa – Pagosa Springs
Enjoy the rolling green hills of Pagosa Springs as you soak in one of 23 mineral hot springs terraced to overlook the beautiful San Juan River. This resort boasts the deepest geothermal hot spring in the world, rooms for overnight guests, and a spa guaranteed to give you total relaxation.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort – Nathrop
Situated in the breathtaking Arkansas River Valley, this is the ideal family hot springs resort. With a large waterslide in one pool and shallow soaking pools along the river, this resort knows how to keep the kids happy. However, for those seeking a romantic getaway, Mt. Princeton’s private cabins, fine dining, and child-free pools are sure to deliver.
Valley View Hot Springs – Villa Grove
Tucked in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the San Luis Valley, these hot springs are a series of all natural, body temperature soaking ponds found along wilderness trails. To preserve this delicate and peaceful ecosystem, visitation is managed through a guest quota for day and overnight use. Even when accommodations are available, visitors are frequently turned away, especially on weekends when capacities are reached. It should also be noted that Valley View Hot Springs is clothing optional for the more adventurous traveler.
Valley View is operated by The Orient Land Trust.
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Lindsay Diamond is a novelist and freelance writer living in the mountains of central Colorado. Visit writerlindsaydiamond.wordpress.com to learn more.