Colorado / Colorado Travels

6 Less-Crowded Hot Springs in Colorado

Colorado is filled with natural wonders that many explore with adventurous activities such as hiking or skiing. But some don’t require any gear or endurance, only time for rest and relaxation. The hot springs in Colorado are some of the state’s most sought-after destinations for soaking sore muscles, relaxing in nature, and enjoying the natural healing properties of the mineral-soaked waters bubbling up from beneath.

But if you’re like me, I don’t always enjoy soaking in a crowded pool with a bunch of people I don’t know. So, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite hot springs in Colorado that are often less-crowded, adult-oriented, and don’t require a hike to access. So, sit back and unwind (preferably with a glass of wine in hand) and discover these less-crowded hot springs in Colorado.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs

hot springs in Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs
Soaking at the Worldsprings pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs, located on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, sits near the world’s largest hot springs pool at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. With its large pool and aquatic park, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is certainly a popular choice for families and couples. I personally find it very crowded and not relaxing. This is why I much prefer its neighbor, especially now that it just opened its adult-only soaking area.

Upriver is Iron Mountain’s latest addition for adults 21 years and older, adding 10 new mineral pools, a cold plunge pool, two large freshwater pools, and a new cafe. Worldsprings spans over 4.3 acres, featuring 43 outdoor soaking pools, including a family pool and a Dead Sea saltwater floating pool. Go “pool hopping” and soak in a variety of mineral experience pools with formulas from 20 countries across the globe that promote wellness for all ages. Spa services, saunas, cold plunge pools, and private pools are also available. 

Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Worldsprings
The “Dead Sea” pool at Worldsprings, Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

The 10 new, pebble-bottom pools feel amazing on your feet, almost like a built-in foot massage, Plus, they are filled with famous hot springs mineral formulas from across the world, allowing visitors to experience the healing properties of these well-known pools without trekking across the world.

Mineral formulas from Iceland, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Romania, Australia, Bali, Italy, New Zealand, and South Korea are featured, each with its own unique mineral makeup and healing properties. Float in the pool mimicking the Dead Sea, or soak in the mineral-rich waters inspired by Turkey’s Pamukkale.

The resort also features a variety of other soaking options including 16 thermal water pools filled with 100 percent pure mineral water, a new experience pool, and a freshwater family pool with a whirlpool spa. 

Joyful Journey Hot Springs

Joyful Journey Hot springs, hot springs in Colorado
Pools and deck at Joyful Journey Hot Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

Joyful Journey Hot Springs is one of my favorite hot springs in Colorado. Perfectly placed in the heart of the San Luis Valley, roughly an hour north of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, this remote hot springs resort gathers its artesian mineral waters from beneath the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. 

The water from their travertine springs ranges from 120°F and 145°F but they cool it down to 98°F and 108°F in their three main pools. While small, the resort offers big views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the Sawatch Mountains to the west. Tip, the best place to take in the views is from The View pool (108°F) with hardly anyone around. 

Joyful Journey hot springs
Views of the Sawatch Mountains from Joyful Journey Hot Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

While the spring’s waters are filled with rich minerals such as boron, calcium, lithium, and magnesium, the water is also said to be “encoded with the energy of the earth from which it rises.” If you know anything about the San Luis Valley in Colorado, then you’re familiar with its quirky and spiritual aspects. It is believed that this area on the west side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains is said to be one of the more energetically active places in North America. This is why 26 miles down the road you’ll find Colorado’s Alien Watchtower. 

The property also hosts yoga retreats, plus yurts, and tipees for overnight accommodations. The best part is, you can purchase an all-day soak pass for just $18. 

Hot Springs in Durango Colorado

Durango Hot Springs, hot springs in Colorado
The large ?? at Durango Hot Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

Located roughly 15 minutes outside of Durango, the Durango Hot Springs is the first natural hot springs in the world to use the AquaGen system to infuse Nano Bubbles into its waters. Seriously, when you soak, take a look at your skin, you will see the effervescent bubbles they infuse into the water which improves the water quality and clarity, plus enhances the health benefits of the minerals. 

The resort has seen a major overhaul in the last few years. The historic property, which dates back to the late 1800s, used to be Trimble Hot Springs. Under new ownership, the Durango Hot Springs reopened in 2020 with $14 million in some much-needed upgrades. 

Durango hot springs, ofuro tub
Private soak in one the Ofuro tubs at Durango Hot Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

Today the resort now has 32 hot springs mineral pools, two cold plunge pools, a resort-style swimming pool, 5 private cedar tubs, and a full-service day spa. And if you really want to treat yourself, be sure to book their private Japanese-style Cedar Ofuro Tubs. Designed for a single guest or couples, these soaking tubs are much smaller than the other hot springs mineral pools. You control the water’s temperature, add Epsom salt to enhance your soak, and get some of the best views of nearby mountains. You must book in advance and are available for one-hour bookings. 

When traveling along HWY 550, be sure to pull over to view the Pinkerton Hot Springs in Durango. What you’ll see is a man-made rock pile that was built to create a safe space for the hot springs to emit its water. The rock pile is quite colorful due to the mineral-rich waters that pour over the pile. This makes it hard to miss on the side of the road! Be careful when viewing, the water is steamy 95°F and 105°F. 

Pagosa Springs Colorado Hot Springs

Pagosa Springs, hot springs in Colorado
View of The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

The small town of Pagosa Springs is also known for its geothermal springs that bubble up from the ground. The Springs Resort is one of only a few hot springs in Colorado that offers overnight lodging accommodations. But you don’t have to be a guest at the resort to enjoy it. Day passes and local passes are available via the Bathhouse. 

The upscale resort gathers its waters from the Mother Spring – the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring. The therapeutic water feeds 25 individual hot spring pools, with a range of temperatures and sizes.  

My favorite part about soaking here is its location along the San Juan River and the layout of the resort. Pools are staggered and tiered, but all are easily connected with boardwalks and well-lit paths. I loved soaking in The Cliffs for a little quiet and great views. And really any pool along the river I liked soaking in. A popular soak option is combining the Lobster Pot (the resort’s hottest pool at 112 F) and then complementing it with a dip in the cold plunge pool.

The hot springs in Pagosa Springs Colorado is only a one-hour and 20-minute drive from the Durango Hot Springs. So, if you are at one, be sure to visit the other during your trip to  Southwest Colorado.

Clothing optional hot springs in Colorado

While certainly some of the more hidden and free hot springs in Colorado are clothing-optional, there are several clothing-optional hot springs in Colorado with nice facilities that you don’t have to hike to. And for obvious reasons, I didn’t take photos during my trips to these two hot springs.

Valley View Hot Springs

Located in Moffat, Colorado in the San Luis Valley, the Valley View Hot Springs is a small clothing-optional hot springs owned and operated by the Orient Land Trust. With a true down-to-earth vibe, the clothing-optional hot springs is rich with wildlife, plants, and plenty of views.

Choose from a variety of natural, body temperature ( 93° to 107°) soaking pools/ponds along the property’s trails. These are truly natural hot springs, built using only natural elements, so don’t expect concrete bottoms or pool-style soaks. 

They also offer a geothermally and hydroelectrically heated hot tub, sauna, pure, natural spring-fed swimming pool, and showers, plus all-season camping and rustic accommodations.

One of the best times to go is in summer (late June or early July) to see the largest migration of bats that feed for a short period in the old Orient Mine. It is one of the most unique things you can do in Colorado!

Advanced reservations are required and limited. You must purchase an OLT membership ($35) for access to reservations to enjoy hot springs and accommodations. 

Orvis Hot Springs and Spa

The Orvis Hot Springs and Spa is located in Ridgway, Colorado, at the base of the San Juan Mountains. Just 55 minutes from Telluride, Ridgway is a popular place to stop for gas and other amenities before heading into Telluride. But the local hot springs make for a great excuse to stop and soak for a bit. 

Aside from its clothing-optional element, Orvis is also known for being truly natural. They don’t heat or treat their water. Choose from 10 soaking pools, seven of which are outside with temps ranging from  65° to 112° F. Their super chill vibes and uncomplicated check-in process make this one of my favorite stops when heading back to Denver from Telluride. They also offer lodging, camping, and RV sites if you want to stay overnight.

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