One more gift from the mountains: soothing, natural hot springs. We put together a list of the most celebrated hot springs across the Southwest to bring you these magic mountain waters.
1. Healing Waters, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
In a place known for its geothermal activity, these all-natural and undiluted mineral springs are the oldest in town.
Rooms and suites are available around the indoor and outdoor pools.
“It’s a place where anybody can come,” said co-owner Angel Stahr, whose family bought the grounds in 1950. She said they have always been known for their healing waters, so the name stuck.
“People wouldn’t always have money, but sometimes they would have something to trade. It still resonates. We want to share this.”
Stahr said to this day the family and others insist there are overwhelming health advantages to their all-natural mineral springs.
“We want you to be able to share the benefits of the water that we believe in so much.”
2. The Springs Resort and Spa, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
The Springs Resort grandiose resort and spa has 23 terraced pools cascading down to and overlooking the San Juan River. The springs themselves are the deepest hot springs in the world. Look for deals with the local ski area, Wolf Creek.
3. Trimble Hot Springs, Durango, Colorado
Just north of Durango are Trimble Hot Springs where locals bask in the sun and soak their hearts out. Skiers head for these mineral springs after days on the slopes. Guesthouse spa packages make this a nice hideout tucked the Animas River Valley. An Olympic-size swimming pool with swim lanes, two mineral hot pools and lobster pot, plus sauna and plenty of grass make this quite the spot for relaxation. Stick around and you might meet Spike and Albert, two orange cats that call Trimble home on the hunt for affection at the water’s edge.
4. Ouray, Colorado
This is a hot springs wonderland. Within this majestic mountain villa you’ll find Ouray Hot Springs, a newly refurbished massive pool complete with a slide and climbing wall over the water. The Grateful Dead once stayed at the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodging, famous for its underground vapor caves. There are pools at the Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs and if you stay at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs you can have your own private pool. A few miles north and you’ll find laid-back vibes of Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway (clothing optional) for a truly natural feel.
5. Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores, Colorado
Take a ghost town in the Dolores River Valley of Southwestern Colorado then refurbish it with a rustic hue on the outside and a world-class finish on the inside. That’s Dunton. This small unique resort, a Condé Nast Traveler Gold Medal winner, is hidden in the San Juan Mountains with all the luxury accommodations any five-star resort would have, but contained in a wood-and-nail hamlet right out of the Old West.
6. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
This enormous springs and resort hotel dates back to 1888 and is the largest hot springs pool in the world. At the doorstep of Ski Country USA, is easy to make this stop as it is located immediately off Summit County’s Interstate 70 corridor.
7. Jemez Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, New Mexico
This small and elegant riverside getaway is so lush and removed from the surrounding high desert landscape you’ll think you left the land of enchantment. Owners Tanya Struble and Therese Councilor call it mountain tropical.
“We’ve traveled around and never seen anything like what we’ve created,” Struble said.
With four pools of various temperatures, the grounds and giggling springs as they are often called, have been refinished but the source is the same: mineral water heated from the geothermal vicinity of Valles Caldera, an actual scientifically recognized super volcano and now a new National Preserve.
“It’s New Mexico’s version of Yellowstone,” Struble said. “So, basically, when guests are here they are soaking in ancient sea water and mineral water, which is different than other hot springs in our area.”
An old bathhouse dates from 1850 still stands nearby, as is the original rock structure around a geyser. “It’s neat to know the history,” Struble said.
8. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort And Spa Taos, New Mexico
Just outside Taos, New Mexico, is Ojo Caliente, with an ambiance consistent with the carefree and love-life vibe of the entire region. Ojo Caliente has lodging and camping plus new suites and houses. The Kiva Pool is fashioned after the ceremonial kivas of ancestral Puebloans, and everyone goes for the mud pool where you can lather in mineral laden clay and bake in the sun. Sounds good to us.
9. The Verde River Hot Springs (somewhere between Flagstaff and Phoenix, Arizona)
At one time this was a hip resort with a busy hotel and its own access bridge. Today, all that remains are the naturally heated waters of the main pool. Custom graffiti and street art adorn the grounds. As nature has reclaimed Verde Hot Springs, plenty of visitors still make the mile trek to soak.
10. The Homestead Crater, Midway, Utah
Bring your scuba gear for this one. You can even get your scuba certification here. Think of, ironically enough in the Beehive State, a calcite beehive-shaped dome some 55 feet deep and 400 feet wide that contains a natural 65-foot deep hot springs pool in it. That’s the Homestead Crater. Take advantage and do yoga, soaking, swimming, scuba or snorkeling in the crater, or a round of golf above it. A large event center-style establishment, the crater element provides a reservation-only memorable experience.