Skift: Why the Hot Springs Movement Is Gaining Steam in the United States

“The ancient Greeks did it. So did the ancient and not-so-ancient Romans, Japanese, and Chinese. Heck, even some of the founding fathers of the United States did it too. But despite its illustrious past, the idea of taking the waters has never really caught on in the United States, until now. Hot springs could be on the verge of a major wellness moment.”

— Laura Powell

Skift article featuring the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop:

https://skift.com/2019/10/10/why-the-hot-springs-movement-is-gaining-steam-in-the-united-states/

Take a Classic Car Cruise on the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

mcclure pass

The Colorado Scenic & Historic Byway connections between five premier locations along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop transform the 720-mile drive into a motorist's dream—as much about the journey as the destinations.

The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, spanning over 720 miles and connecting five premier locations, is a trek to some of the state’s most healing waters. In addition to sizzling hot springs experiences, this journey gives drivers a chance to behold the state’s diverse beauty via Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways.

These connections not only make the drive enjoyable but are also perfect for classic car motorists, with breathtaking views and numerous opportunities to stop along the way, to show off those wheels.

Start With: Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway (Copper to Granite, 42 miles)

The Top of the Rockies scenic byway is a fantastic starting point and introduction to Colorado’s diverse landscape. Drivers will cross the Continental Divide and pass two of the state’s highest peaks—Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, at 14,440 and 14,421 feet, respectively.

In addition to a majestic backdrop, there are opportunities to make historic stops in Leadville—a once-booming mining town. Check out the lavish Victorian houses, the long-since abandoned silver mines, and the Tabor Opera House to get a unique peek into the area’s past.

Up Next: Collegiate Peaks (Granite to Salida, 57 miles)

Welcome to Chaffee County, home to the highest concentration of 14,000-foot mountains in North America: the Collegiate Peaks. These glorious 14ers, with names reminiscent of the Ivy League—Mt. Yale, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Princeton—rise 7,000 feet above the Arkansas River Valley. Drivers cruise through an impressive and ever-unfolding landscape, filled with lush riversides, national forests and public lands.

Once you’ve made it through the mountainous byway, pull over for a pit stop at one of Chaffee County’s hot springs to soothe, relax and recover.

  • Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center. This community center facility is the largest indoor hot springs in North America, with its lap, soaking, and private pools.​
  • Mount Princeton Hot Springs. Known as a scenic overnight or day retreat, Mount Princeton Hot Springs is packed with amenities, like a historic bathhouse, creekside hot springs, a waterslide, and a spa and health club. ​
  • Historic Cottonwood Hot Springs. With a relaxed and back-to-nature vibe, Cottonwood Hot Springs is a peaceful stop with a quiet-zone and alcohol-free pools, as well as various lodging options.

The next stop is Pagosa Springs, about a 150-minute drive from Salida. Be sure to enjoy the beautiful Wolf Creek Pass on the way—stopping at the scenic overlook, Continental Divide, and the gushing Treasure Falls. Once you’ve arrived in town, the “Pah gosah” Mother Spring aquifer, which translates to “healing waters,” awaits, filling three different hot springs facilities.

  • The Springs Resort & Spa. Located right on the San Juan River, The Springs has 23 pools open to the public and offers 24-hour soaking access to overnight guests.
  • Overlook Hot Springs. With rooftop soaking tubs and expansive views of the valley located in downtown Pagosa, Overlook is a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Healing Waters Resort & Spa. This family-friendly facility has overnight options, as well as a large pool and private baths.

Back on the Road: San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway (Durango to Ridgway, 81 miles)

After a rejuvenating soak, drivers can keep the fun going by continuing to Durango, a gateway to the San Juan Skyway. This winding road will take you through the San Juan Mountains, including two jaw-dropping passes and Weminuche Wilderness sights, leading up to a jaunt through the silver-boom town of Silverton.

The byway then follows the Million Dollar Highway, a road known for steep cliffs and tight turns—the beautiful-yet-staggering Red Mountain Pass included. Pull off to admire expansive views and canyon waterfalls before arriving in Ouray.

Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray is surrounded by powdered-sugar peaks in the distance. Four public hot springs facilities are available in the Ouray-Ridgway area as well as several private soaking experiences, which allow drivers to take a pit stop at the geothermal waters, taking in the enchanting views.

  • Ouray Hot Springs Pool. This recently renovated oval-shaped pool has incredible mountain backdrop views, in addition to a mix of fun and relaxing features, such as an activity pool, an overlook infinity-style waterfall, and a hotter soaking pool.​
  • Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings. Wiesbaden is home to hot springs and rare vapor caves tucked deep inside the mountain, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and private outdoor spa—all heated with geothermal water.​
  • Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs. There are both indoor and outdoor soaking opportunities at this Ouray hot springs lodge.​
  • Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Situated on a terraced hillside, the soaking pools are built into the stair-stepped wooden deck that overlooks the town. ​
  • Orvis Hot Springs. Located in Ridgway, Orvis Hot Springs is a beautifully landscaped facility with both indoor and outdoor soaking options, famous for their au naturel, clothing-optional policy.

Keep Going: West Elk Loop Scenic Byway (Hotchkiss to Carbondale, 118 miles)

While known as a must-see fall leaf peeping opportunity because of its aspen foliage, the West Elk Loop is picturesque year round. The trail winds through orchards and local farm-fresh produce—apples and cherries—before crossing through the North Fork Valley’s jaw-dropping McClure Pass.

The West Elk Loop meanders along the Crystal River, suggesting a stop at the historic Redstone settlement. Here, there are opportunities to enjoy the Redstone Castle—where you can tour the grounds and marvel at its impressive past.

Continue through the Roaring Fork Valley to Glenwood Springs, where two rivers converge, and several hot springs experiences await.

  • Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. This resort is home to the world’s largest hot springs pool, as well as a lodge, spa and an aquatic adventure zone. ​
  • Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Boasting 16 soaking pools and a freshwater family pool, Iron Mountain is located on the bank of the Colorado River, with stunning mountain views. ​
  • Yampah Vapor Caves. These vapor caves are a rare setting for a natural, geothermal steam bath with detoxifying benefits. An on-site spa provides further wellness opportunities.

Finally: Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway (Meeker to Steamboat Springs, 113 miles)

Rounding out the Loop is the Flat Tops Scenic Byway, which includes six historic stops and miles of unpaved road ready for exploration. This leg of the trip begins in Meeker and passes through Buford, Trappers Lake, Ripple Pass and Yampa from there.

There are several impressive scenery changes along the way; stop at overlooks to see geologic lava flow formations, rugged plateaus, sweeping alpine meadows and a shimmering Trappers Lake. A 10,343-foot pass puts riders high above the timberline, before introducing the outskirts of Yampa, which includes views of agricultural herds and expansive ranches on the way to Steamboat Springs.

Once in the historic town named for the whistling, train-like sound the hot springs made when it came out of the ground, be sure to visit those famed pools.

  • Old Town Hot Springs. Old Town is a recreational, multi-use complex with family-friendly fun packed into its geothermal waters.​
  • Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Strawberry Park is located outside of town, in a rustic and smaller venue, nestled against the banks of Strawberry Creek. There are lodging and camping options available.

For a breathtaking road trip with hot springs stops along the way, visit Colorado Hot Springs Loop and Colorado Scenic Byways today—celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Make a Splash with Hot Springs and Rafting in Colorado

rafting in Colorado

From mild and wild to hot and steamy, the ultimate water-centric Colorado outdoor experience begins with a drive along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop for a Centennial state combo that features the best of whitewater rafting with geothermal soaking.

After a bountiful winter of heavy precipitation, snow in the high country is finally melting. With each passing day, spring run-off is swelling rivers—the Arkansas, the Colorado, the San Juan, the Yampa, and the Uncompahgre—creating a whitewater rafting season that by all indications looks to be a banner year.

In addition to the iconic mountain and canyon scenery associated with a river rafting trip, the western half of the state is sprinkled with geothermal hot springs, many in convenient proximity to members of the Colorado River Outfitters Association. In fact, rivers and hot springs often occur in tandem in nature. In Glenwood Canyon, for example, and in spots along the San Juan River, hot springs bubble up within the river. For the enjoyment of their guests, rafting and guide services often create makeshift pools with river rock walls for impromptu riverside soaking. Unfortunately, soaking in wild springs is usually limited before it’s time to hop back aboard the raft for the remainder of the trip.

To thoroughly enjoy and plan for both—rafting and hot springs soaking—take a drive on the newly created Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop. The 720-mile loop drive connects the state’s best rafting outfitters with 19 hot springs attractions in five Western Colorado towns. Spend a week or more exploring them all or, make jaunts on the route for a shorter excursion, either way, rafting and hot springs are a classic Colorado combo and the CHHSL bundles both neatly for easy vacation planning.

Chaffee County, Colorado
Snowmelt from the Collegiate Peaks where an abundance of the state’s famed 14,000-foot peaks are located, swells the Arkansas River creating prime conditions for Colorado rafting. The towns of Salida, Nathrop and Buena Vista are home to a concentration of river guides and outfitters. Rafting highlights in this part of the state include paddling the Arkansas River through Brown’s Canyon National Monument. Class III rapids, Pinball, Zoom Flume and Staircase are a rollicking good time for beginner and intermediate river runners.

Chaffee County is also home to diverse hot springs that run the gamut from a community pool in an artsy mountain town to a new-age mountain hideaway surrounded by tall pines and an upscale luxury getaway to cozy cabins with private hot springs soaking tubs.

Hot Springs
Mount Princeton Hot Springs at the base of the Chalk Cliffs, offers a variety of soaking experiences including creek-side hot springs. There’s also a spa, 400-foot (122-meter) waterslide and a lazy river in summer.

Historic Cottonwood Hot Springs is situated off the beaten path in the serenity of the San Isabel National Forest. The soaking experience focuses on peace, tranquility and healing.

Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center is a community pool and the largest indoor hot springs facility in North America. It features lap lanes, a smaller communal soaking pool and private soaking pools.

Antero Hot Spring Cabins feature three unique cabin accommodations. Each charming cabin has a hand-crafted private hot spring pool just outside the door.

Rafting Outfitters
American Adventure Expeditions

AVA Rafting & Ziplining

Browns Canyon Rafting

Independent Whitewater, Inc.

Noah’s Ark Adventure Program

Performance Tours

River Runners

The Adventure Company

Wilderness Aware Rafting

Pagosa Springs, Colorado
One of the state’s most scenic hamlets, Pagosa Springs is all about water-based recreation and relaxation. Its spring skiing is among the best in Colorado. Come May and June, the San Juan River which runs through town is churning with whitewater thrills. Among the most popular excursions is a trip through Mesa Canyon. Later in the season, the river mellows and is ideal for family-friendly floats and carefree tubing trips.

Any Colorado town with “springs” in its name is a water-worthy destination and Pagosa Springs is no exception to the rule. It boasts three geothermal attractions, all very different, yet collectively relaxing experiences. A fun fact: the town also holds the record for the deepest hot spring ever recorded!

Hot Springs
The Springs Resort & Spa is open to lodge guests 24 hours a day and features 23 therapeutic mineral hot spring pools overlooking the San Juan River.

Overlook Hot Springs has rooftop soaking tubs with unimpeded views of the San Juan Mountains, the river and downtown Pagosa Springs!

Healing Waters Resort & Spa welcomes visitors to relax and soak in its therapeutic warm springs that are 100 percent natural mineral water with nothing else added.

Rafting Outfitters
Pagosa Outside

Ouray & Ridgway, Colorado
The dramatic landscape in this neck of Colorado only adds to the adventure inherent in a whitewater rafting trip. Craggy cliffs, tight canyons and roiling rapids are the ultimate Colorado adrenaline rush. As you paddle and float for miles, take in panoramas of the majestic San Juan Mountains, expansive mesas and historic ranchlands.

The towns of Ouray and Ridgway are ground zero for geothermal activity as well. Between the two, there are five different locations for a soothing après-river soak. A modern new pool is a central feature in Ouray, but visitors can also seek out more off-the-beaten-path locales including one in Ridgway that is clothing optional.

Hot Springs
Ouray Hot Springs is ideally suited to both family fun and relaxing soaking. It features a slide, rock climbing wall and lap lanes; a hotter pool set away from the splash zone is the perfect spot for a quiet soak.

Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa is a full-service spa and home to hot springs and a rare vapor cave amenity tucked deep inside the mountain. Private soaking is also an option.

Orvis Hot Springs in nearby Ridgway is beautifully landscaped and open 24-hours a day. It retains an ultra-relaxed vibe with its au naturel clothing-optional policy.

Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Situated on a terraced hillside, the soaking pools are built into the stair-stepped wooden deck that overlooks the town.

Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs is one of the few places that also offers hot springs soaking in both outdoor and indoor settings.

Rafting Outfitters
RIGS Adventure Company

Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Blessed with the fortune to have not one, but two rivers that converge on the hot springs town, rafting is a warm-season activity that tops the list of visitor activities. For one of the best sight-seeing tours of Glenwood Canyon, a river rafting trip is hard to beat. The Roaring Fork River also offers seasonal opportunities for rafting with views of Mt. Sopris to the south.

With three hot springs attractions from which to choose, visitors can warm up and relax by either immersing themselves in the soothing hot springs water or, alternatively with a mineral-rich, geothermal steam bath.

Hot Springs
​Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is an historic resort and famous as the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool. The resort is also home to the Sopris Splash Zone, a family-friendly aquatic park at the west-end of the property.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs boasts 16 natural springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool terraced on the bank of the Colorado River.

Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves is a rare place where you can go underground for a natural, geothermal steam bath. The mineral-dense vapors have a detoxifying effect.

Rafting Outfitters
Blue Sky Adventures

Defiance Rafting Company

Lakota Guides

Whitewater Rafting

Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Flowing through downtown Steamboat Springs, the Yampa Rivers swells during spring runoff season creating perfect conditions for paddling on Class III and IV rapids. As flows taper off later in the season, outfitters switch from rafts trips to renting inner tubes. Paddle or float, either is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day in Colorado.

In addition to river adventures, experience all the other things this authentic Western town has to offer from balloon tours to pro rodeos. Plan to also visit the geothermal springs; Steamboat offers two locations for taking a hot springs dip.

Hot Springs
Old Town Hot Springs is operated by the City of Steamboat as a recreational facility and welcomes one and all for a soak in its beautiful, newly remodeled multi-use complex.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is located outside of town. Small, rustic and a little bit quirky, it’s built along the banks of Strawberry Creek. After dark, it becomes clothing optional.

Rafting Outfitters
AVA Rafting & Ziplining

Plan your Colorado hot springs and rafting vacation today! Learn more about the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop and the Colorado River Outfitters Association.

The Perfect Blend: Colorado Hot Springs and Craft Beer

Enjoy a beer in steamboat springs

Colorado is an epicenter for geothermal soaking and ground-zero for craft brewing; for an exquisite blend of both, take a drive along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, a spectacularly scenic drive that connects Colorado hot springs and breweries.

Colorado hot springs and craft breweries have more in common than you may think—for starters, Rocky Mountain water is the foundational ingredient in both. Mineral-rich water from deep within the earth feeds geothermal springs, which are prolific throughout the state. Like beer, each hot spring has its own unique characteristics, exploring the differences and finding your favorite is part of the fun. What’s more, Coloradoans live closer than most to their water source. For brewers that’s critical for great taste, since roughly 90 percent of beer is water!

For the best hot springs soaking and small-batch brew sampling, take a drive on the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop (CHHSL), a 720-mile circuit that connects five western Colorado towns with 19 hot springs and 12 Colorado craft breweries, all members of the Colorado Brewer’s Guild. If this sounds like a vacation dream come true, you’ll want to start planning your itinerary now.

PAGOSA SPRINGS, CO

Pagosa Springs is a small town that’s big on fun—skiing at Wolf Creek, mountain biking on trails near downtown, tubing on the San Juan River, hot air balloon rides at dawn. The town holds the record for the deepest hot spring ever recorded. Its geothermal attractions and two breweries also make it a hot spot to grab a cold one.

Hot Springs

The Springs Resort & Spa is open to lodge guests 24 hours a day and features 24 therapeutic mineral hot spring pools overlooking the San Juan River.

Overlook Hot Springs has rooftop soaking tubs with unimpeded views of the San Juan Mountains, the river and downtown Pagosa Springs!

Healing Waters Resort & Spa welcomes visitors to relax and soak in its therapeutic warm springs that are 100 percent natural mineral water with nothing else added.

Breweries

Riff Raff Brewing is an earth-powered brewery, harnessing the geothermal energy from the Pagosa Hot Springs source to run its brewing operations! Try: Hobgoblin American IPA, Man’s Best Friend American-style Honey Kölsch, Plebeian Porter, Skallywag English Pale Ale and Stepchild American Red. Check out their seasonal selections as well.

Pagosa Brewing and Grill is a full-service restaurant with fun events like open-mic night and is known for their selection of tasty stouts. Try: Kayaker Cream, Powder Day IPA, Peachy Peach, Salty Caramel Stout and Pagosa Pale Ale.

Plan Ahead: The Pints & Pools Craft Beer Festival takes place at The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs in April.

OURAY & RIDGWAY, CO

Dramatic landscapes are the calling card of this part of Colorado. Stunning mountain backdrops, crystalline lakes and wide-open spaces are a magnate for outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to the generous geology of the region, you can soak in five different hot springs. A family-owned brewery in Ouray serves up brews with views.

Hot Springs

Ouray Hot Springs is ideally suited to both family fun and relaxing soaking. It features a slide, rock climbing wall and lap lanes; a hotter pool set away from the splash zone is the perfect spot for a quiet soak.

Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa is a full-service spa and home to hot springs and a rare vapor cave amenity tucked deep inside the mountain. Private soaking is also an option.

Orvis Hot Springs in nearby Ridgway is beautifully landscaped and open 24-hours a day. It retains an ultra-relaxed vibe with its au naturel clothing-optional policy.

Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Situated on a terraced hillside, the soaking pools are built into the stair-stepped wooden deck that overlooks the town.

Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs is one of the few places that also offers hot springs soaking in both outdoor and indoor settings.

Breweries

Ouray Brewery has rooftop dining with eye-popping views; add to that an outstanding beer menu and you’ll find your way back to this little slice of Colorado heaven again and again. Try: Camp Bird Blonde, Box Canyon Brown, Desperado Imperial Red, Bluegrass Pale Ale or the Honey Rye.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO

Best known for its geothermal amenities, Glenwood Springs is also a favorite destination for hiking, biking, rafting and fishing. Its mountaintop theme park and proximity to Hanging Lake are big draws for this little mountain town that was once the home of gambler-gunslinger Doc Holliday.

Hot Springs

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is an historic resort and famous as the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool. The resort is also home to the Sopris Splash Zone, a family-friendly aquatic park at the west-end of the property.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs boasts 16 soaking pools and a freshwater family pool terraced on the bank of the Colorado River.

Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves is a rare place where you can go underground for a natural, geothermal steam bath. The mineral-dense vapors have a detoxifying effect.

Breweries

Casey Brewing and Blending. Brewmaster Troy Casey specializes in creating world-class sour and wild beers. Using old-world brewing techniques, beers are created with over 99% local Colorado ingredients and 100% bottle conditioned. Try: Advanced Oak Theory, the Fruit Stand Series, Kentucky Bourbon Sour Ale, Casey Family Preserves Series and the Funky Blender Series.

Glenwood Canyon Brewpub This hoppin’ place in downtown Glenwood Springs is an award-winning brewery with several first-place finishes at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. Try: Grizzly Creek Raspberry Wheat, Hanging Lake Honey Ale, St. James Irish Red and Vapor Cave IPA.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO

Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Steamboat is famous for its authentic Western roots and genuine hospitality. It is home to vast ranch lands and dude ranches with rodeos held every weekend in the summer months. Surrounded by wilderness and a river that runs through it, Steamboat is an outdoor recreation paradise.

Hot Springs

Old Town Hot Springs is operated by the City of Steamboat as a recreational facility and welcomes one and all for a soak in its beautiful, newly remodeled multi-use complex.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is located outside of town. Small, rustic and a little bit quirky, it’s built along the banks of Strawberry Creek. After dark it becomes clothing optional.

Breweries

Butcherknife Brewing boasts of its location near the headwaters of the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs; this brewery is dedicated to craft, community and the great outdoors. Try: Bavarian Style Hefeweizen, Amputator IPA, Buzzcock Brown Ale, Bavarian Style Pilsner and Sunshine Express Pale Ale—a gold-medal award-winner.

Mountain Tap Brewery is as well-known for their wood-fired pizza as for their beer. Try: Local’s Lager, Passionate Pedal Wheat, Chasing Sunset Golden Ale, Current IPA and Paddler’s Porter.

Storm Peak Brewing is a group of self-proclaimed beer freaks, music lovers and outdoor enthusiasts who brew a range of styles. The tap room has an ever-changing rotation. Try: 4-wire Pale Ale, Flare Orange Wheat, Mad Creek Kölsch, Coffee Moos Milk Stout and Funky Lawnmower Sour.

Plan Ahead: Reds, Whites and Brews in the Boat takes place in Steamboat Springs in June.

CHAFFEE COUNTY, CO

This is Colorado 14er country where the majestic Collegiate Range—home to Mounts Princeton, Yale and Harvard—top out at over 14,000 feet and delineate the landscape. Tucked in amid the mountains are the towns of Salida, Nathrop and Buena Vista, places where experiencing the quintessential Colorado lifestyle is at its peak.

Hot Springs

Mount Princeton Hot Springs, at the base of the Chalk Cliffs, offers a variety of soaking experiences including creek-side hot springs. There’s also a spa, 400-foot (122-meter) waterslide and a lazy river in summer.

Historic Cottonwood Hot Springs is situated off the beaten path in the serenity of the San Isabel National Forest. The soaking experience focuses on peace, tranquility and healing.

Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center is a community pool and the largest indoor hot springs facility in North America. It features lap lanes, a smaller communal soaking pool and private soaking pools.

Breweries

Eddyline Brewing serves exceptionally drinkable beers suited to any outdoor adventure, whether just a quick play session in the river or celebrating summiting a tough 14er. Check out their restaurant and tap room in Buena Vista. Try: CrankYanker IPA, Epic Day Double IPA, Kick’n Back Amber, River Runner’s Pale Ale and Boater Beer Pilsner.

Elevation Beer Co brews in the nearby rural town of Poncha Springs. In addition to great-tasting beer, food trucks and a pet-friendly patio make this a fun and social spot for a thirst-quenching drink. The tasting room features up to 16 beers on tap. Try: 8 Second Kölsch, Wave Wheel Wit, Elevation Pilsner, First Cast IPA or Little Mo’ Porter.

Moonlight Brewing and Pizza in Salida serves outstanding pies and pints. They typically have nine beers on tap, ranging anywhere from classic English styles and German lagers to hop-bomb American pales. Try: Moonlight Cream Ale, Salida Wheat, Matadora Dark Mexican Lager, Cherry Barrel Porter and Wee Heavy Scottish Ale.

Soul Craft Brewing is another Salida staple. Founded by long time professional brewers, it specializes in high-quality ales and lagers. Try: Bon Ton Brown, Work Release Pale Bock, Coconut Milk Stout, All Mountain Amber or Moon Itcher Helles.

Plan Ahead: The annual Colorado Brewer’s Rendezvous in Salida always takes place the second Saturday in July. 

With an abundance of hot springs and breweries on the route, the Colorado Hot Springs Loop is more than just a pretty drive, it actually is the road to relaxation!

Soaks & Slopes: Follow the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop for the Best of Both

Aspen Highlands

As you travel across the Hot Springs Loop, be sure to enjoy the best that winter has to offer: world-class skiing and soaking.

The mountains of Colorado are home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding on the planet, but did you know the same geology that created the foundation for world-class skiing also formed another natural wonder? Tucked throughout the high country, near many of your favorite Colorado ski resorts, is a cache of another kind—a plethora of steamy, geothermal mineral springs. It’s almost as if Mother Nature intended winter visitors to pair skiing with soaking. It’s a combo that always feels right: play in the powder all day and afterwards soothe away aches and pains with a therapeutic, relaxing dip in a hot springs pool. Accessing high country resorts that cater to both is as easy as taking a drive along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop (CHHSL).

Winter Recreation & Hot Springs Relaxation: A Dynamic Duo

The CHHSL is a newly established 720-mile (1160-km) loop drive that takes visitors through some of the most scenic parts of the state. It connects five premier Western Colorado hot springs destinations with 11 Colorado Ski Country member resorts—along the route, in addition to soaking in 19 different hot springs, you’ll be able to ski and ride everywhere from famous-name ski towns to low-key local mountains.

To get started on your Colorado hot springs and ski adventure, hop on the route at any point along the Loop. All the destinations are a comfortable drive from the Denver area or from other locales throughout the state. Each of the five regions is also served by an airport, making it easy for out-of-state winter travelers to access all or portions of the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
Known for churning out Olympians at a record pace in addition to its skiing, the resort town also gets high scores for its other winter activities; these include horseback riding, snowmobiling, sleigh-ride dinners and scenic gondola rides.

Soaks:

Old Town Hot Springs has been welcoming visitors to relax since it opened in 1935. The multi-use complex recently underwent a major remodel; it features a variety of pools for exploration, a kids’ climbing wall, an eight-lane lap pool, a kiddie pool and two waterslides.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a hot springs with a modern-yet-rustic vibe that becomes clothing-optional after dark. Surrounded by aspens and sitting near the river, a soak here is an intimate-with-nature experience.

Slopes:

Steamboat has a worldwide reputation for its authentic western atmosphere, genuine friendliness and Champagne Powder® snow. The resort encompasses 165 trails, 3,668 vertical feet and nearly 3,000 skiable acres. Interested in night skiing and riding? Steamboat is the place to try it.

Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs offers guests affordable skiing and snowboarding for all levels, as well as trails for cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing. A fun fact: Howelsen Hill has been the training ground for nearly 90 Olympians, making over 150 Olympic appearances.

CHAFFEE COUNTY
Count on postcard-perfect scenery and a boho mountain feel in Chaffee County. Nestled at the base of the Collegiate Peaks, the towns of Salida, Nathrop and Buena Vista are artsy, quirky and home the highest density of 14ers in Colorado.

Soaks:

Mount Princeton Hot Springs offers a surreal soaking experience with 100 percent natural and odorless hot springs in five different pools. Other amenities include a 400-foot (122-meter) waterslide and lazy river, a historic bath house and creek-side hot springs.

Historic Cottonwood Hot Springs is situated in the San Isabel National Forest. Cottonwood’s hot springs experience is focused on peace, tranquility and healing. The mineral water is odorless and pristine. Quiet-zones and alcohol-free soaking pools support a sense of serenity.

Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center is the largest indoor hot springs facility in North America. The community pool features lap lanes and a smaller, warmer soaking pool. For those looking for a more therapeutic soaking experience, European-style private pools are also available.

Slopes:

Monarch Mountain is an escape for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger resorts. Monarch boasts some of the finest glade skiing in the state and has an additional 1,000 acres of steeps, chutes and bowls accessible via its snow-cat service.​

PAGOSA SPRINGS
Skiing and soaking are just part of the appeal of this mountain town situated at the base of Wolf Creek Pass. A thriving cultural scene that includes the performing arts, craft brewing and unique festivals draws visitors year-round and compliments the multitude of outdoor activities. For something different in winter, try ice fishing or go for a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

Soaks:

The Springs Resort & Spa holds the record for the world’s deepest geothermal aquifer. Twenty-three therapeutic mineral hot springs pools vary in size and shape; visitors are encouraged to try them all. Overnight resort guests have 24-hour unlimited access to the soaking pools. Non-resort guests can pay a daily fee to enjoy the benefits of the hot springs.

Overlook Hot Springs has rooftop soaking tubs that overlook the San Juan Mountains, the river and bustling downtown Pagosa Springs! Indoors, guests can take a private geothermal soak amid Victorian-style ambiance.

Healing Waters Resort & Spa is ideal for families and reminiscent of a simpler time. The main pool, outdoor hot tub and European-style indoor hot bath facilities—with steam rooms and benches—are all heated by natural mineral waters.

Slopes:

Wolf Creek Ski Area in the breathtaking San Juan Mountains receives the most snow in Colorado. It’s known for its knee-deep powder, friendly atmosphere, delicious homemade food and affordable pricing.

OURAY & RIDGWAY
Often referred to as “the Switzerland of America,” the scenery in Ouray County is jaw-droppingly stunning. Both towns welcome visitors with vibrant, friendly downtowns. In addition to nearby skiing, during the winter months the Ouray Ice Park attracts cold-hearty climbers.

Soaks:

Ouray Hot Springs is nestled in a narrow valley surrounded by dramatic snowcapped peaks. The town’s geothermal pool, in operation since 1927, recently received a comprehensive makeover. One of the perks of soaking here is sulfur-free and odorless water.

Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa is home to hot springs and rare vapor cave amenity tucked deep inside the mountain. In addition to the vapor cave, there is an outdoor swimming pool and private outdoor spa, all heated with geothermal water.

Orvis Hot Springs retains an ultra-relaxed vibe with its au naturel clothing-optional policy. Open 24-hours a day, Orvis is ideal for après ski with four beautifully landscaped outdoor soaking pools and three indoor pools—two of them private.

Private hot springs soaking options include: Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs and Twin Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs.

Slopes:

Telluride Mountain Resort is a skier’s dream come true. Annually, Telluride receives over 280 inches (711 cm) of snowfall and more than 300 days of sunshine, which is just perfect for the resort’s 148 trails and over 2,000 acres that vary from beginner to some of the most advanced terrain in Colorado.

Silverton Mountain is an experts-only area with one chair lift and no groomers or clear-cut runs. A place like no other, it receives over 400 inches (1,016 cm) of snow per year and is one of the only places to heli-ski in Colorado.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS
This Colorado hot springs and spa town is world famous for its geothermal amenities, but also for its other wintertime attractions that include scenic Glenwood Canyon, historic hotels, Doc Holliday’s grave and award-winning breweries.

Soaks:

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world and has been a destination for relaxation for over 130 years. The prolific source spring supplies water to two enormous pools, the 104°F (40°C) Therapy Pool and the 93°F (34°C) main pool. Both are ideal for après ski soaking.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs boasts 16 soaking pools that range in temperature from 99° to 108°F (37° to 42°C). There’s also a large family freshwater pool that’s maintained at a comfortable temperature. Soothing spa music and panoramas of the Colorado River and Rocky Mountains further promote relaxation.

Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves is one of the few places where you can go for a natural, geothermal steam bath. The mineral-dense vapors have a detoxifying effect. The Ute Indian Tribe used the vapor caves for purification rituals when they inhabited the area.

Slopes:

Sunlight Mountain Resort is the place for affordable, family-friendly skiing and riding. Without the crowds, the powder lasts for days. All 67 trails conveniently lead right back to the base lodge. The resort also offers Ski Swim Stay packages starting as low as $99!

Aspen Mountain is famous for its black-diamond terrain. In-bounds, Aspen Mountain offers a variety of glades, bumps and steeps. For an out-of-bounds experience, Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will hook you up with fresh tracks on the backside.

Aspen Highlands features extreme Colorado steeps. Fancy yourself an expert? Then go where the locals go to get humbled—Aspen Highlands.

Buttermilk built its legacy on expansive gently rolling trails that cater to beginners and families. Today, Buttermilk remains famous for hosting the ESPN Winter X Games. Buttermilk’s superpipe in the legendary terrain park does not disappoint.

Snowmass has an astounding 4,406 vertical feet and 3,332 acres of terrain, 96 trails, 20 chairlifts and access to your choice of cruisers, glades, steeps, terrain parks and halfpipes.

For a Colorado ski vacation with a hot springs twist, visit Colorado Hot Springs Loop and Colorado Ski Country USA  today. Follow us on social channels InstagramFacebook and Twitter, and tag us with @hotspringsloop, #hotspringsloop.

Hog Heaven: Ride Your Motorcycle on the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

San Juan Skyway

The Colorado Scenic & Historic Byway connections between five premier locations along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop transform the 720-mile drive into a motorcyclist’s dream—as much about the journey as the destinations.

The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, spanning over 720 miles and connecting five premier locations, is a trek to some of the state’s most healing waters. In addition to sizzling hot springs experiences, this journey gives riders a chance to behold the state’s diverse beauty via Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways. These connections not only make the drive enjoyable but are also perfect for motorcyclists, with breathtaking views and numerous opportunities to stop along the way.

Start With: Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway (Copper to Granite, 42 miles/68 kilometers)

The Top of the Rockies scenic byway is a fantastic starting point and introduction to Colorado’s diverse landscape. Riders will cross the Continental Divide and pass two of the state’s highest peaks—Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, at 14,440 and 14,421 feet (4,401 and 4,395.5 meters), respectively.

In addition to a majestic backdrop, there are opportunities to make historic stops in Leadville — a once-booming mining town. Check out the lavish Victorian houses, the long-since abandoned silver mines, and the Tabor Opera House to get a unique peek into the area’s past.

Up Next: Collegiate Peaks (Granite to Salida, 57 miles/92 kilometers)

Welcome to Chaffee County, home to the highest concentration of 14,000-foot (427-meter) mountains in North America: the Collegiate Peaks. These glorious 14ers, with names reminiscent of the Ivy League—Mt. Yale, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Princeton—rise 7,000 feet (2,134 meters) above the Arkansas River Valley. Riders cruise through an impressive and ever-unfolding landscape, filled with lush riversides, national forests and public lands.

Once you’ve made it through the mountainous byway, pull over for a pit stop at one of Chaffee County’s hot springs to soothe, relax and recover.

  • Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center. This community center facility is the largest indoor hot springs in North America, with its lap, soaking, and private pools.
  • Mount Princeton Hot Springs. Known as a scenic overnight or day retreat, Mount Princeton Hot Springs is packed with amenities, like a historic bathhouse, creekside hot springs, a waterslide, and a spa and health club.
  • Historic Cottonwood Hot Springs. With a relaxed and back-to-nature vibe, Cottonwood Hot Springs is a peaceful stop with a quiet-zone and alcohol-free pools, as well as various lodging options.

The next stop is Pagosa Springs, about a 150-minute drive from Salida. Be sure to enjoy the beautiful Wolf Creek Pass on the way—stopping at the scenic overlook, Continental Divide, and the gushing Treasure Falls. Once you’ve arrived in town, the “Pah gosah” Mother Spring aquifer, which translates to “healing waters,” awaits, filling three different hot springs facilities.

  • The Springs Resort & Spa. Located right on the San Juan River, The Springs has 23 pools open to the public and offers 24-hour soaking access to overnight guests.
  • Overlook Hot Springs. With rooftop soaking tubs and expansive views of the valley located in downtown Pagosa, Overlook is a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Healing Waters Resort & Spa. This family-friendly facility has overnight options, as well as a large pool and private baths.

Back on the Road: San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway (Durango to Ridgway, 81 miles/130 kilometers)

After a rejuvenating soak, riders can keep the fun going by continuing to Durango, a gateway to the San Juan Skyway. This winding road will take you through the San Juan Mountains, including two jaw-dropping passes and Weminuche Wilderness sights, leading up to a jaunt through the silver-boom town of Silverton.

The byway then follows the Million Dollar Highway, a road known for steep cliffs and tight turns—the beautiful-yet-staggering Red Mountain Pass included. Pull off to admire expansive views and canyon waterfalls before arriving in Ouray.

Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray is surrounded by powdered-sugar peaks in the distance. Four public hot springs facilities are available in the Ouray-Ridgway area as well as several private soaking experiences, which allow riders to take a well-deserved break in geothermal waters, taking in the enchanting views.

  • Ouray Hot Springs Pool. This recently renovated oval-shaped pool has incredible mountain backdrop views, in addition to a mix of fun and relaxing features, such as an activity pool, an overlook infinity-style waterfall, and a hotter soaking pool.
  • Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings. Wiesbaden is home to hot springs and rare vapor caves tucked deep inside the mountain, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and private outdoor spa—all heated with geothermal water.
  • Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs. There are both indoor and outdoor soaking opportunities at this Ouray hot springs lodge.
  • Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. Situated on a terraced hillside, the soaking pools are built into the stair-stepped wooden deck that overlooks the town.
  • Orvis Hot Springs. Located in Ridgway, Orvis Hot Springs is a beautifully landscaped facility with both indoor and outdoor soaking options, famous for their au naturel, clothing-optional policy.

Keep Going: West Elk Loop Scenic Byway (Hotchkiss to Carbondale, 118 miles/190 kilometers)

While known as a must-see fall leaf peeping opportunity because of its aspen foliage, the West Elk Loop is picturesque year round. The trail winds through orchards and local farm-fresh produce—apples and cherries—before crossing through the North Fork Valley’s jaw-dropping McClure Pass.

The West Elk Loop meanders along the Crystal River, suggesting a stop at the historic Redstone settlement. Here, there are opportunities to enjoy the Redstone Castle—where you can tour the grounds and marvel at its impressive past.

Continue through the Roaring Fork Valley to Glenwood Springs, where two rivers converge, and several hot springs experiences await.

  • Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. This resort is home to the world’s largest hot springs pool, as well as a lodge, spa and the Sopris Splash Zone, a family-friendly aquatic park at the west-end of the property.
  • Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Boasting 16 soaking pools and a freshwater family pool, Iron Mountain is located on the bank of the Colorado River, with stunning mountain views.
  • Yampah Vapor Caves. These vapor caves are a rare setting for a natural, geothermal steam bath with detoxifying benefits. An on-site spa provides further wellness opportunities.

Finally: Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway (Meeker to Steamboat Springs, 113 miles/182 kilometers)

Rounding out the Loop is the Flat Tops Scenic Byway, which includes six historic stops and miles of unpaved road ready for exploration. This leg of the trip begins in Meeker and passes through Buford, Trappers Lake, Ripple Pass and Yampa from there.

There are several impressive scenery changes along the way; stop at overlooks to see geologic lava flow formations, rugged plateaus, sweeping alpine meadows and a shimmering Trappers Lake. A 10,343-foot (3,153-meter) pass puts riders high above the timberline, before introducing the outskirts of Yampa, which includes views of agricultural herds and expansive ranches on the way to Steamboat Springs.

Once in the historic town named for the whistling, train-like sound the hot springs made when it came out of the ground, be sure to visit those famed pools.

  • Old Town Hot Springs. Old Town is a recreational, multi-use complex with family-friendly fun packed into its geothermal waters.
  • Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Strawberry Park is located outside of town, in a rustic and smaller venue, nestled against the banks of Strawberry Creek. There are lodging and camping options available.

Check out the Colorado Motorcycle Skill Rating Map before you hit the road, for an extra layer of safety and enjoyment.

For a breathtaking hog ride with hot springs stops, visit Colorado Hot Springs Loop and Colorado Scenic Byways today—celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop Wins Industry Collaboration Award

Collaboration in Industry Award 2017

Working together pays off big for Colorado hot springs travel and tourism partnership.

Denver, Colo. (Dec. 12, 2017) ­– The statewide industry advocacy group Colorado Business Roundtable recently held its inaugural Collaboration in Industry Awards event and the winner of the Tourism and Outdoor Recreation category was the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop (CHHSL), a partnership between five western Colorado destinations that features 19 thermal mineral water attractions. The award recognizes successful alliances that strengthen Colorado’s business ecosystem.

Business leaders from a broad spectrum of industries including aerospace, energy, education, engineering and construction, farming and agriculture, financial services, government and economic development, hospitality and lodging, health and wellness, manufacturing, and technology attended the event on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Cable Center in Denver. In the category of Tourism and Outdoor Recreation, the CHHSL was a finalist with two industry giants—the outdoor equipment retailer Cabella’s and the Colorado Tourism Office.

According to CHHSL project manager Vicky Nash, owner of Resort Trends, Inc., a tourism marketing and communications firm based in Glenwood Springs, “The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop project represents an extremely successful public/private partnership between destination marketing organizations/chamber resort associations, the Colorado Tourism Office, and private businesses. We are very proud of our accomplishments and are so honored to be recognized.”

In just two years since its implementation, the CHHSL has garnered over 150 news articles and editorial stories valued at more than $6.3 million in top publications from USA Today and the Washington Post to National Geographic Traveler and Sunset Magazine. In October, CHHSL also won the Destination Marketing Association of the West award for Best Idea which recognized innovative techniques and imaginative approaches to promoting a destination.

It began in the fall of 2015, when the five Colorado hot springs destinations—Chaffee County, Pagosa Springs, Ouray County, Glenwood Springs, and Steamboat Springs—formulated a strategy to leverage their resources. Each partner contributed $5,000 which enabled the fledgling initiative to secure a Colorado Tourism Office Marketing Matching Grant Fund for a $50,000 total budget for two consecutive years. Much of the first nine months was devoted to product development including creating collateral marketing materials such as www.colorado.com/hotspringsloop, a map, brochures, and videos produced in four languages. Since then, the campaign has taken off and the CHHSL has effectively increased consumer interest in visiting hot springs destinations in western Colorado.

About the Colorado Business Roundtable
The Colorado Business Roundtable (CBR) is a proactive, pro-business advocate that seeks to strengthen the economy to allow businesses to grow and thrive in Colorado. Through strategic connections with industry leaders, chambers of commerce, educational institutions, and governmental bodies, the CBR seeks to improve the business environment, increase effectiveness, and expand the reach of its partners regionally, at both the state and national level. In addition to advocating for Colorado businesses, the CBR also hosts events, publishes a magazine, and hosts a radio podcast.

About the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop
Five premier hot springs destinations in western Colorado— Chaffee County, Pagosa Springs, Ouray County, Glenwood Springs, and Steamboat Springs—joined together to form the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop. This 720-mile loop showcases some of the most popular hot springs attractions in the country. There is so much variety; from intimate private baths, to the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool. Each of the 19 facilities offers unique features like vapor caves, hot pots, terraced pools, enormous travertine formations, and fun-filled aquatic centers.

Media Contact:
Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop
Vicky Nash
Resort Trends, Inc. – tourism communications
970-948-4923
vicky@resorttrends.com

What’s New Along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

Ouray Hot Springs Pool in Ouray, Colorado

With everything from grand re-openings to inaugural events, this season is full of fresh, innovative improvements for the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop. See what’s new, what’s in the works, and what’s to come at these five prime hot springs locations across Colorado.

Spanning over 720 miles, the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is a trek to some of the state’s most beautiful mineral waters. Each destination along the Loop has something new for visitors, offering exceptional hot springs experiences.

“These hot springs facilities continuously enhance their unique features so that guests have a high-quality experience,” says Vicky Nash, project manager for the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.

Ouray and Ridgway

Ouray Hot Springs has undergone a $10.6 million renovation and recently unveiled the finished product, just in time for the springs’ 90th birthday. One of the many goals of this project was to make the hot springs more accessible, secluded, and inclusive for all visitors while maintaining the pool’s historic oval shape.

New additions joined the two soaking pools, which opened in May as the first leg of the renovation. Other add-ons and improvements include:

  • Shallow Section: The pool now has shallow, family friendly depths with more in-pool seating. Seasonally, look forward to a pick-up volleyball game with an inflatable court.
  • Hot Section: With the intimacy of a private getaway, the new hot section has continuous curves, edge seating, and shade.
  • The Overlook: These two terraced pools are separated by an infinity edge waterfall, with a luxurious mountain view.
  • Activity Pool: The activity pool includes a Wibit inflatable obstacle course, a 12-foot climbing wall, and a 6-foot jumping platform.
  • Lap Lanes: Now there are eight full-sized (25 meter) swimming lanes, with ADA access and stair entry.
  • Slides: With splash pads sitting at the exit, the speed slide and the curving body slide stands two-stories tall.
  • Lighting: Improved deck lights, heated walkways, and LED in-water lighting are pool-wide enhancements.
  • Filtration: The filtration system is new and improved, moving away from the previously manual hot springs operations.
  • Accessibility: In addition to increased seating options throughout the deck area — including shaded picnic tables — all pools are now ADA accessible.

Visitors will be surprised to find that the reconfiguration of Ouray Hot Springs did not involve property expansion. Rather, the remodel created a more efficient use of existing space.

Glenwood Springs

Iron Mountain Hot Springs has added a new Rejuvenation Station, along with summer massages and a new filtration system. The station consists of outdoor showers for cooling off after a dose of geothermal heat. “The rejuvenation station with cool rainfall showers near the Sopris Café is a welcome addition to our hydrotherapy options,” general manager Mike Besaw said.

Massage therapy — both chair and table — has returned after popular guest feedback. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the tent by the family pool, massages are $25 for a 15-minute session.

The new filtration system removes floating white algae from the mineral water, making for a fresh and clean soaking experience.

Sunset Sounds float over Glenwood Hot Springs every Tuesday night through Labor Day, appealing to all music lovers. From 6-9 p.m., hot springs guests can enjoy live music featuring local performers, as part of the annual summer concert series. From bluegrass to rock and funk to classic, Sunset Sounds offers a new poolside show each week.

Chaffee County

This fall, Cottonwood Hot Springs will host the Harvest Moon Wholistic Festival, on Sept. 9-10, which will focus on several aspects of healing, rejuvenation, and life enhancement. Through a showcase of different products, services, and lectures, Harvest Moon will further combine harmony with the rustic setting of the natural hot springs.

Harvest Moon topics will span across different aspects of well-being.

  • Health Practices: Looking toward new scientific discoveries, in conjunction with methods of the ancient past.
  • Body Balancing: Healing the body through sound and vibrations.
  • Shared Learning: Hearing others’ stories of personal growth and journeys.
  • Physical Health: Experience massage and other body work.

Pagosa Springs

Sitting in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs, Overlook Hot Springs Spa boasts its newest features, after a recent renovation project. Now, Overlook is complete with four indoor tubs, three rooftop tubs and a sauna, and a new courtyard with a large whirlpool and six tubs featuring individual temperature control. The result is a tailored soaking experience, ideal for relaxation and recovery.

This summer, The Springs Resort & Spa is offering seasonal promotions and events for guests and locals.

  • Wine Down Wednesday: This weekly special offers discounts on select bottles of wine from 3-9 p.m., accompanied by live music in the hotel atrium. Bottles of wine are available for $10, glasses start at $3.
  • Cornhole Tournaments: On each third Thursday of the month, The Springs holds a cornhole tournament on their grounds, allowing for leisure sports enthusiasts to gather and toss their hacky sacks.
  • Live Music: Every Friday and Saturday night, The Springs hosts local talent at the Phoenix Bar, from 6-9 p.m.
  • Picasso and Vino Classes: On Thursday nights, head to The Springs for their weekly paint-and-wine combination class, held in the hotel atrium. Be sure to reserve a seat beforehand online.

Steamboat Springs

The Old Town Hot Springs is planning renovations. This summer, fundraising efforts are sprouting up across Steamboat Springs, to grow the town’s popular downtown hot springs. The campaign has a $3 million goal for this year and $6 million by 2020.

The fundraising campaign, led by project manager Pat Carney, will reach out to community members and groups for contributions, in addition to the city’s accommodations tax. “We’ve been talking about this for a year,” Carney said in a Steamboat Today article. “Now it’s time to start asking for the money to make it a reality.”

With the raised money, Old Town Hot Springs will complete two phases of construction. The first, planned to begin in 2018, will add 15,000 square feet to the existing hot springs building. The second phase will focus on expanding the pools themselves, to allow a larger space for beginning swimmers and a deeper lap lane pool, which will hopefully lead to hosting swimming competitions.

About the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

Five premier hot springs destinations in western Colorado — Chaffee County, Pagosa Springs, Ouray County, Glenwood Springs, and Steamboat Springs — have come together to form the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop. This 720-mile loop showcases some of the most popular hot springs attractions in the country. There is so much variety; from intimate private baths, to the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool. Each of the nineteen facilities offers unique features like vapor caves, hot pots, terraced pools, enormous travertine formations, and fun-filled aquatic centers. For more information, please visit www.colorado.com/hotspringsloop. For the online media room, go to https://coloradohistorichotspringsloop.newswire.com.

Media Contacts:

Vicky Nash 
Resort Trends, Inc. – tourism communications
970-948-4923
vicky@resorttrends.com

Waterfalls Cascading Across the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

Fish Creek Falls, near Steamboat Springs

Cascading waterfalls are a staple to Colorado views. These Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop waterfalls are a scenic treat.

The 720-mile trek known as the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is an incredible journey through Colorado terrain, leading to several of the state’s most healing waters. Along the way, visitors can seek out the scenic beauty of waterfalls, which are sprinkled throughout the loop—cascading as symbols of strength, tranquility, and natural majesty. Check out these Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop falls.

  • Fish Creek. One of the most popular destinations around Steamboat Springs are the fresh, rushing waters spilling into Fish Creek Canyon from the 280-foot Fish Creek Falls. After a brief ¼ mile hike, visitors can gaze into the majesty of the lower falls, while a more moderate trek leads to spectacular views, heightened by the upper section. Fish Creek Falls roars most in the spring thanks to the snowmelt, though the clear water in the late summer and the icy face in winter make for an all-season stop.
  • Treasure Falls. Treasure Falls, located approximately 15 miles east of Pagosa Springs, is a powerful sight to behold. The cascading waters can be seen from the highway, though a short, looped trail is available for a more intimate view—where splashes make their way to admirers. The waterfall tumbles and sparkles, adjacent to an open view of the valley, making for an easy-choice overlook stop on the pass.
  • Hanging Lake. A National Natural Landmark and one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado, Hanging Lake is located in Glenwood Canyon outside of Glenwood Springs. Though just under a mile in length, the trail is rocky and steep; it leads to a series of magnificent waterfalls, spilling into a turquoise pool, nearby a fallen log, suspended in the water. Hanging Lake’s existence is tied to conservation; visitors must be aware of the posted rules and signs, prohibiting swimming, pets, or walking on the log.
  • Box Cańyon. Box Cańyon Falls is a dramatic beauty, considered Ouray’s own wonder of the world. The 285-foot waterfall, fueled by Canyon Creek, erupts from the falls, plummeting into the narrow, quartzite canyon. Visitors can soak in the beauty from both above and below the falls all while enjoying the rare birds that call the canyon home. The lower trail follows a catwalk and staircases straight into the belly of Box Cańyon Falls. The upper, can’t-miss trail leads to a suspension bridge overlooking Canyon Creek and the city of Ouray.
  • Agnes Vaille Falls. Located on the southern slopes of Mt. Princeton in Chalk Creek Canyon, Agnes Vaille Falls is a small, elegant waterfall that sprays from a rocky shelf below the peak. This Chaffee County wonder can be seen by the recently updated Cascade Creek Trail, which gives visitors a glimpse at the simplistic beauty of the falls, while also detailing the area’s history through interpretive signs.

After hiking to each of these grandiose falls, be sure to stop by the local loop hot springs for a soak. These geothermal waters are ideal for soothing muscles and relaxing tired minds and bodies, a perfect complement to any Colorado adventure.

For more information on the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, please visit cohotspringsloop.com.

Public Relations Society of America Colorado Chapter honors Colorado Tourism Office publicity campaign for the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop

Colorado Tourism Office PR teams wins two PRSA awards

Two Gold Pick awards were awarded to the Colorado Tourism Office at the 2017 Public Relations Society of America Colorado Chapter’s annual dedication ceremony.

Denver, CO (May 4, 2017) – The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) Public Relations team took home two Gold Pick Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Colorado Chapter’s annual dedication ceremony. Both awards — one for Best Campaign and one for Best Component of a Campaign — recognized the team’s success in promoting the new Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop (CHHSL).

In 2016, the team hosted five top-tier journalists on assignment or with strong assignment prospects to experience portions of the CHHSL firsthand including: Sophia Dembling, Dallas Morning News (story ran on Nov. 10, 2016); Melanie Kaplan, The Washington Post (story ran on February 9, 2017);  Alex Schecter, National Geographic Traveler (story ran in the Feb./March 2017 issue);  Susan Barnes, USA Today (story ran on Feb. 16, 2017); Charles Bethea (pending articles for possible WSJ Off Duty or Outside inclusion).

As a result of hosting and pitching the new CHHSL, the CTO PR team has generated 17 articles to-date covering the loop, mostly feature placements, in top target outlets including: National Geographic Traveler (with cover mention), Sunset, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, 5280, United Hemispheres, Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, USA Today and more. The USA Today article, “Warm up a cold night in Colorado’s Hot Springs Loop” was syndicated in 21 additional outlets and The Washington Post article, “The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop makes it easy to plan a visit and a long soak” was syndicated in 11 additional outlets. These articles (including syndications) produced $4,112,050 in media value and 95,043,725 impressions.

As a result of distributing the “Colorado’s New Historic Hot Springs Loop Pairs Year-Round Adventures with Rejuvenating Soaking Spots” press release to target media and distributing through PR Newswire, the release was picked up in 102 outlets and produced a media value of $1,000,271 and 33,668,198 impressions.