Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop: Glenwood Springs

woman under waterfall at ironwood hot springs during autumn

Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop: Glenwood Springs

The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is the ultimate hot springs road trip. It connects five Western Slope towns and 18 hot springs experiences. Iron Mountain Hot Springs is a featured destination in Glenwood Springs.

Add some sizzle to your next road trip. Visiting hot springs is a great way to organize and plan a Colorado travel itinerary. To help you on your way, the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop (CHHSL) is a 720-mile journey through western Colorado with stops in Glenwood Springs, Ouray, Pagosa Springs, Chaffee County and Steamboat Springs. Hit the road by car, motorcycle or RV, but make Glenwood Springs and Iron Mountain Hot Springs your first stop.

Glenwood Springs: Easy to Get To, Plenty to Do

Glenwood Springs is a short drive from both Denver and Grand Junction, making it the perfect place to begin your hot springs adventure. The resort town is famous for its prolific geothermal amenities and is home to three distinctly different thermal experiences.

There are also plenty of other things to do in Glenwood Springs as well—hiking Hanging Lake, exploring Map of the Colorado Historic Hot Springs LoopGlenwood Caverns Adventure Park, cycling miles of paved and unpaved trails, rafting the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon, finding your groove at outdoor concerts and savoring a delicious meal at an abundance of restaurants.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Opened in 2015, Iron Mountain is Colorado’s newest hot springs. What distinguishes it from others in town are its 16 soaking pools, each one varying in size, shape and temperature (98° to 108°F). For spectacular views, the soaking pools overlook the Colorado River and it’s not uncommon to see both rafters and bald eagles along the waterway. Many guests who choose Iron Mountain Hot Springs reference the spa-like quality of the soaking experience. Serene music playing in the background, adult beverages that can be enjoyed while soaking, complimentary keyless lockers along with premium bath products in the bathhouse are other top amenities. There’s also a freshwater family pool with an attached, elevated spa that’s ideal for relaxing and watching the kids play. For a snack, light meal and a beverage, refuel and replenish at the Sopris Café.

Essential vibe: Serene and spa-like

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. Home to the world’s largest hot springs pool, Glenwood Hot Springs opened in 1888. It features two enormous pools. With lots of room for playing and splashing, swimming laps and diving, as well as lawn areas for picnics, Glenwood Hot Springs is a favorite with families. The larger pool is longer than a football field with water that is bathtub warm. Though smaller in scale, the hotter (104°F) therapy pool is still sizeable. The resort’s newest attraction is the Sopris Splash Zone, an aquatic adventure area with multiple opportunities for water-centric fun. Other resort amenities include the Spa of the Rockies, the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge as well as a fitness club, a restaurant and a retail boutique.

Essential vibe: Historic and family-friendly

Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves. Known as the only one of its kind in North America, the Vapor Caves have a long history in Glenwood Springs and they were originally used by nomadic Native American tribes who visited the area. The underground caverns are filled with geothermal vapors for a natural, mineral-rich steam bath. Recline on marble benches in the cave rooms and let the steam go to work relaxing muscles and detoxifying the body. If it gets too hot, relax in the upstairs Serenity Room or outside on the deck. In addition, visitors can add on a variety of spa and salon services that are also available.

Essential vibe: Grounding & wellness-oriented

As you travel the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop you’ll discover how different and diverse one hot spring experience is from another. Start your hot springs road trip today at Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs.

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Karin Gamba

Karin Gamba has been writing professionally for the travel and tourism markets for nearly two decades. She has promoted a wide array of travel products that include destination towns, vacation resorts, golf courses, ski areas, spas, hotels, restaurants and countless visitor attractions. Karin especially loves writing about her hometown of Glenwood Springs.