Natural Hot Springs Are a Pretty Damn Good Hotel Amenity
Colorado takes its hot springs culture pretty seriously. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find them all over the Rocky Mountains. Some are family friendly, and some are clothing optional, as our bro Jaunted experienced.
At the tail end of the ski season, we took a swing down to Pagosa Springs in South Colorado. The area is known for getting the most snow in the state, and we made our home at the Springs Resort in the center of town. The 79-room hotel gives guests 24-hour access to 23 pools that have been built along the San Juan River which runs through the town.
There is always a risk that such development can lead to feelings of phoniness, but the Springs Resort did a good job of creating a spa-like atmosphere while retaining the scenic, natural beauty of the setting. You can see the river from almost every pool, and separate adult and family sections accommodate all. A soak in the natural sulfur water does a body good, and if you want to take it to the next level, you can get a spa treatment that incorporates the rich mineral water.
Winter seems like the time of year to visit on the surface, but as is the case with all mountain towns, the summer is actually the busiest time thanks to the large range of activities the warm weather presents. Whether it's after a day on the slopes or at the end of a long hike, a dip in the hot springs is just as rewarding.
It also affords you the chance to use the cold waters of the river as a plunge pool, and since you're at elevation and the temperatures of the pools vary and start in the mid-80s, you won't overheat on a summer night. That is, unless you decide to spend your time in the resort's "lobster pot," which reaches temperatures of 110 degrees.
Rates start at $169/night.
[Photos: Ryan Dearth/Will McGough]