by Libby James
North Forty News
’Tis the season. When you’re a bit weary from shopping, baking, decorating, writing holiday cards and showing up at parties, here’s a suggestion. Sneak away for a day or two at one of Colorado’s many hot springs. A long soak in healing mineral waters can melt away tension and leave you mellow and relaxed. There are many choices, from those that are remote, free, and offer clothing-optional areas, to more commercial establishments with a long list of amenities.
You’ll need to travel a few hours to reach most of these destinations, but getting a little distance from home and seeing some new scenery can be therapeutic in itself. Below is a selection of destinations.
Ease those tired muscles with a soak in one of 21 pools at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa near Granby. Choose a private or outdoor pool with temperatures ranging from 95 to 112 degrees.
In Glenwood Springs, seek out the world’s largest hot springs pool right in the center of town. A stay at the adjacent Glenwood Springs Lodge includes all-day access to the hot springs pool and a hot breakfast.
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Smaller and more intimate, Glenwood’s Iron Mountain Hot Springs features 16 small pools with temperatures between 98 and 108 degrees and a family freshwater pool.
Therapists at Trimble Spa and Natural Hot Springs offer treatments that include a red clay body wrap and a blue corn salt scrub guaranteed to rejuvenate. Minerals in the water percolate through ancient volcanic fissures as they flow into the therapy and community pools.
Other accessible, comfortable possibilities include Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway where you can choose from camping or lodge rooms and a clothing-optional soaking area. Also check out Overlook Hot Springs near Pagosa Springs where massages are on tap, or Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa near Buena Vista where you can bask in your own private soaking pool.
Wilder and usually not accessible by car, at these hot springs you are on your own and no fees are charged. Good winter choices are Radium Hot Springs on the Colorado River, Penny Hot Springs on the Crystal River, no hiking required, or Rainbow Hot Springs on the San Juan River, which requires a 10-mile round trip hike. South Canyon, Conundrum and Piedra River Hot Springs may not be the best choices for winter ventures because of remoteness and likely snow conditions.