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Top 9 Hot Springs in Colorado Wash Away Ski Aches

Is there anything better than a steamy, mineral-rich soak after a day of skiing?  One of the top attractions in Colorado, Glenwood Hot Springs pool is on the hot list of adventures. Soothe your muscles after strenuous outdoor activities any time of year. 

In Colorado, it’s easy to eschew the chlorinated crowds in the hotel hot tub. Chances are anywhere you play this winter, there are some therapeutic hot springs nearby, waiting to wash away those powder-induced aches.

1 STRAWBERRY PARK HOT SPRINGS:Located above Steamboat Springs, Strawberry Park has several tiers of different-sized pools with varying temps, allowing for both swimming and serious smoldering. No kids are allowed after dark, when suits become optional. The new heated changing cabin and tepee have made the formerly painful naked tromp from lodge to water much less goose-pimpled. There are several companies that shuttle between town and the springs, unless you have a four-wheel-drive. Extend your stay by booking the resort’s caboose or rustic cabins for an overnight adventure.

• Info:  44200 County Road 36.

• Cost:  $10 for adults.

2 HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS RESORT AND SPA:Positioned inside Grand County’s Hot Sulphur Springs, this resort is a bit of a haul from the slopes in Winter Park. But it’s worth the trip. With 22 pools — including private baths and a solarium pool — it’s one of the state’s least-crowded soaking spots. The place drips with history. It’s been a resort for 140 years and before that the Ute Indians set up winter camps near the springs, which they considered magical. Basic rooms without television or phones feed the relax-and-let-go vibe.

• Info:  5609 County Road.

• Cost:  $17.50 for adults.

3 INDIAN HOT SPRINGS: This isn’t going to win any luxury awards, but the resort’s geothermal cave baths are top-notch. The gender-specific baths kind of kill any romantic buzz, but the outdoor Jacuzzis — rented by the hour and a decent way to wash away Sunday ski-traffic agitation — can bring it right back. Pretty basic motel rooms offer a real escape if that Sunday-night quagmire on Interstate 70 gets ugly.

• Info: 302 Soda Creek Road.

• Cost: $18 for adults.

4 GLENWOOD HOT SPRINGS: This is the quintessential Colorado pool. While not an ideal stop for a couple seeking solitude, it is the best call for families. The large, warm pool provides a summer-day experience even in the darkest of winters and is a perfect way to assure the little ones have zero energy left to disrupt the drive home. The Spa of the Rockies next door offers all kinds of massaged, sweet-smelling tranquility.

• Info: 401 North River St.

• Cost: $18.25 for adults on weekends.

5 PENNY HOT SPRINGS: Tucked into a section of granite cliff along the Crystal River just off Colorado 133 (about 100 yards north of mile marker 55), these no- facility springs are a favorite for locals returning from some backcountry turns above Marble. The shallow but wide pools once were home to a hotel and bathhouse but were purchased as county open space in the 1990s. Clothes are technically required but not common. The one rule for all: Pick up after yourself.

• Info: See marble.

• Cost: free.

6 PAGOSA SPRINGS: Overlooking the San Juan River, the resort’s more than 20 pools offer a variety not found anywhere else in the state. From the 117-degree scorching Lobster Pot to the secluded Cliffs pool and the muscle-kneading Waterfall, the Springs Resort is the Aspen of Colorado’s hot springs. Five new “deluxe” soaking pools — touted as the first known jetted springs pools — offer the best views of the resort’s sprawling, steamy empire. Lodgers at the swanky Springs Resort hotel — Oprah stayed there — get 24-hour access to the pool; it’s one of the better lodging perks found in southern Colorado.

• Info: • 165 Hot Springs Blvd.

• Cost: $20 for adults.

7 TRIMBLE SPA AND NATURAL HOT SPRINGS: The mellow resort’s two mineral pools are great for swimming, a treat in the middle of winter. Saunas provide a spa-like experience and are included in the saturation. The resort’s two-bedroom guesthouse includes access to the pools and the cozier Starlight Room is dreamy for couples, with all-night access to the mineral pool.

• Info: 6475 County Road.

• Cost: $13 for adults on weekends.

8 ORVIS HOT SPRINGS: If you like to marinate commando, this is your place. The resort’s seven pools are laden with lithium, which many believe enhances a bather’s tranquility. The clothing-optional resort just outside Ridgway has four super-warm outdoor pools, an indoor pool and two private pools. The phone-and-television-free rooms are themed and while upscale, they are affordable. Lodging includes all-night access to the pools.

• Info: 1585 County Road.

• Cost: $14 for adults.

9 COTTONWOOD HOT SPRINGS: Just 6 miles west of Buena Vista, these springs offer time-tripping soaks, with vintage lodging and an old-timey appeal. It’s not hard to imagine weary miners or cowboys meandering up from the Arkansas River valley for some down time in the resort’s five stone-rimmed mineral pools. The clothing-required resort is big on relaxing, with a host of spa services and a ban on booze. Creekside cabins include private pools and dormitory lodging appealing to the budget-minded.

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