08 May Roadtrip: The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop
Western Colorado is riddled with hot springs. Thanks to the geological handiwork of Mother Nature; thermal, mineral-infused water bubbles to the surface in some of the state’s most scenic and vacation-worthy locations including in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is a 720-mile driving tour of the state’s 19 diverse geothermal mineral springs, with stops in Buena Vista, Nathrop, Salida, Pagosa Springs, Ouray, Ridgway, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs. Each Colorado hot springs destination offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. Explore vapor caves, hot pots, terraced pools, enormous travertine formations and fun-filled aquatic centers.
At Iron Mountain Hot Springs and beyond, keep these tips in mind to make most of your Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop roadtrip.
- Focus on wellness. Soaking in natural mineral water, also called balneology or hydrotherapy, is a time-honored tradition used to enhance well-being. Therapeutic soaking dates back to ancient cultures across the globe. Many believe it can help prevent illness and treat a range of ailments including arthritis, fibromyalgia and depression to name just a few.
- Explore the area. A large portion of the Loop travels along four designated Colorado Scenic Byways and through numerous National Forests. Depending on the season, set aside time for hiking, biking, rafting, skiing or snowmobiling in the Colorado outdoors.
- Eat like a local. Many of the hot springs facilities along the Loop drive are in small towns where independently owned restaurants take pride in serving up delicious food. Stop for a cold one too; Colorado microbreweries are almost as prolific as hot springs.
- Take a history lesson. Get to know Colorado’s vibrant past. Visit museums, monuments and historical sites to learn about Native Americans, mining, the railroads, and Western icons like John “Doc” Holliday.
However, the ultimate goal of partaking in the many super soaking experiences along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is to spend meaningful, memory-making time relaxing with friends and family.