After an invigorating day of hiking, paddling through rapids, or tackling the outback terrain in an RZR, nothing soothes your tired muscles quite like a good hot soak. Fortunately, Colorado has an abundance of natural hot springs, including the Durango area.
What exactly are hot springs? Hot springs are geothermally heated groundwater. Individual hot springs vary in temperature, but they are warm year-round, meaning it’s always swimsuit season. You can comfortably relax in one whether it’s winter or summer.
Hot springs are naturally occurring, but many resorts offer luxury access to springs or family-centered swimming, providing a safer experience for bathers.
The Trimble Spa and Natural Hotsprings in Durango offers two swimmable hot spring pools rich in minerals said to promote physical healing. With temperatures ranging from 100 to 110 degrees, the pools are ideal for soaking in rotation. The Trimble offers full spa services as well, so you can pamper yourself from head to toe.
If you’re looking for something a bit more rustic, Pinkerton Hot Spring is a unique roadside attraction. This hot spring is no longer a pool, but it boasts a rare feature – it has transformed into a colorful mineral rock pile that builds upon itself. The unexpected formations and variety of colors make this hot spring a hot spot for photography. Pinkerton is just north of Durango on Highway 550, making it easy to add to your itinerary on the way to Purgatory or Silverton.
If you’re willing to hike, there are several “wild” springs in Colorado that are open to the public. Some of these, such as Conundrum Hot Spring near Aspen, require a vigorous 8.5-mile trek to reach them. If you’d rather travel by car, a visit to Pagosa Springs is a must.
Pagosa Springs is roughly an hour from Durango but well worth planning a day trip for some R&R. There are several resorts and spas in the area with the most popular being The Springs Resort & Spa. The Springs is host to an incredible 23 hot spring pools. These mineral-rich waters vary in temperature and are tested hourly, so you know how warm the pool is before you enter. With so many pools to choose from, you’re sure to find your perfect temperature. The beauty of the scenery adds to the tranquility.
Regardless of where you choose to soak, safety precautions are important. Drink plenty of fresh water. Take breaks from soaking to allow your body to cool down. If you are pregnant or have a medical condition, consult your doctor before soaking in the hot springs. Likewise, families should check with their pediatrician before letting children soak in the warm waters. Many resorts offer swimming pools in addition to their hot springs, offering another option for groups and families with individuals who can’t enter the springs.
Dipping into one of Colorado’s many hot springs is pure pleasure whether you’re soothing sore muscles or just pampering yourself. If you’re wondering which hot spring resort will be the best fit for your group, ask the trip specialists at Durango Rivertrippers & Adventure Tours.