Mineral Spotlight: Lithium

Steam and rocks at Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Mineral Spotlight: Lithium

Lithium is one of 14 naturally-occurring minerals found in the waters of Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Colorado. As a chemical element, it is used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, glass, and ceramics. Lithium alloys are used for welding materials, aircraft parts, and nuclear fusion reactors. 

Research has shown that lithium is beneficial to human health. As a medicine, lithium carbonate is used to treat mood disorders like mania and bipolar disorder. It aids in stabilizing mood swings and preventing manic or depressive episodes. Lithium has been used to treat mental illness, arthritis, blood disorders, epilepsy, eating disorders, headache, alcoholism, diabetes, kidney disorders, overactive thyroid, liver disease, asthma, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Soaking in hot springs that contain lithium can help you feel calmer and happier. 

What is Lithium?

Lithium (Li) is the 33rd most abundant element found in the Earth’s crust. A soft silver-white metal, it is the lightest and least dense of all the alkali metals. Isolated lithium is highly reactive and flammable, so it must be stored in a non-reactive environment like a vacuum, inert atmosphere, or mineral oil.

Where is Lithium Usually Found?

Number 3 on the Periodic Table, lithium does not occur freely in nature. It naturally occurs only in compound form in igneous rocks and the waters of mineral hot springs. Mined from the ores of petalite (LiAl(Si2O5)2, spodumene (LiAl(SiO3)2, lepidolite (K(LiAl)3(Al,Si,Rb)4O10(F,OH)2, and subsurface brines, lithium’s largest producers are Chile and Australia. 

Nutritional lithium is found in drinking water, grains, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy, kelp, mustard, and pistachios. The human body contains about 7 milligrams of lithium. 

Benefits of Lithium in Our Hot Springs

The lithium found in Iron Mountain Hot Springs offers the opportunity to enjoy a lithium lift in a safe and relaxing environment. Guests seeking thermal wellness come to us to calm the nerves, detoxify the body, and refresh oxygen levels. Among the benefits of the lithium in our hot springs are relief from arthritis, fibromyalgia, respiratory illnesses like asthma, depression, skin conditions, and circulatory diseases. It may also promote the health, growth, and resilience of neurons.

Absorbed through the skin in small quantities, lithium is beneficial to physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Experience Hot Springs in Colorado Today!

Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, opened to the public in 2015. The facility is located on a terraced slope overlooking the Colorado River. 

Our property includes:


This is where you’ll begin your visit. Inside the bathhouse, you’ll find:

  • Modern locker rooms
  • Family changing rooms
  • Gift shop
  • Hydration stations

Every guest receives two free towels upon arrival.

16 Geothermal Pools

Each pool has its own unique size, shape, and temperature and contains 14 different minerals, including lithium, iron, sulfate, calcium, chloride, and sodium. To melt snow and prevent iciness in the winter, the pools are connected by a heated walkway. 

WorldSprings Pool

Our WorldSprings pool contains 10 World Experience pools inspired by hot springs in Iceland, Japan, France, Turkey, Romania, Italy, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Bali. These pools include pebble bottoms to massage your feet while you soak.

Freshwater Family Pool

Our freshwater family pool is designed to keep the whole clan happy. The largest of our pools, it features a curving, gently sloped ramp to make it accessible by wheelchair.

Sopris Café

When you want to take a break, stop in for healthy snacks and seasonal drink specials.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs has everything you need to relax, restore, and rejuvenate, including lithium-rich water to soothe your body and mind.

Experience Hot Springs in Colorado Today!

Learn more about the wellness and healing benefits of soaking in geothermal springs at

Contact us today to book your soak.

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.

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