Chaffee County Press Kit

Colorado adventures created by Nature

Sitting on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, Chaffee County is home to majestic views and outdoor adventures. Between Salida, Nathrop and Buena Vista, there are many recreational activities and opportunities. Sitting in Chaffee County, ‘Collegiate Peaks’—the mountain range of with more 14,000-foot foot peaks than any other Colorado county—is perfect for hiking and backcountry exploration. In summer visitors can enjoy whitewater rafting and kayaking down the Arkansas River, while winter guests can make tracks on Monarch Mountain. After adventure-filled days, tourists and locals alike seek out nearby several hot springs, which are ideal for soaking in any season in Chaffee County.

Cities: Salida, Nathrop, Buena Vista
Elevation: 7,000 – 14,000’ above sea level

Visitor Centers:

Hot Springs

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

15870 County Road 162
Nathrop, Colorado 81236-9703

Overview: Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is a scenic hot springs getaway, with several tantalizing amenities. The resort offers family-friendly lodging, including cabin rentals, a cliffside lodge or hillside hotel rooms. A spa and health club add additional health and relaxation options. In addition to spa treatments and fitness classes, Mount Princeton offers a surreal soaking experience. The 100 percent natural hot springs are found in five different pools, each odorless and offering a unique twist. Other amenities include a 400-foot waterslide and lazy river, a historic bath house and creek-side hot springs, where guests can find their ideal in-river hot pot in Chalk Creek, right next to the cool, rushing water.

Resort Amenities:

  • Spa & Club: Offering exclusive hot springs pools, in addition to fitness and yoga classes, plus spa treatments
  • Waterslide: 400-foot waterslide connecting the upper pools by a lazy river
  • Creekside Pools: Natural hot springs pockets along Chalk Creek, about 1-foot deep; seasonal access only
  • Historic Bath House: Built in the mid-1800s, has public use showers and lockers
  • Lodging: Stay in cabins, hillside, cliffside or in lodge rooms

Elevation: 8,250’ above sea level
Year Established: 1868
Water Source: Chalk Creek
Number of Pools: 5
Temperature Range: 75 – 107° F (24 – 42° C)
Price of Admission: click here

Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa

18999 County Road 306
Buena Vista, CO 81211

Overview: Cottonwood Hot Springs lies in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, near the Collegiate Peaks, surrounded by the San Isabel National Forest. From all-natural hot springs and massage therapy to creek-side lodging, Cottonwood’s focus is on peace, tranquility and healing. Therapeutic modalities include a range of blissful healing treatments including Swedish, Integrative and Deep Tissue massage, with dozens of specialty treatments. Lodging is expansive, with options for every type of budget and visitor—from solo accommodations to group travel. The mineral water is odorless and pristine. Quiet-zones and alcohol-free soaking pools support a sense of calm. The hot springs are open 365 days a year, providing nonstop geothermal relief.

Resort Amenities:

  • Dry Sauna: All pool guests can enjoy the dry sauna, good for blood flow and reducing tension
  • Lodging: Stay on-site, either in the dormitory, guest house, a private cabin or a tent site
  • Spa: Sign up for several massage therapies, from Swedish to Integrative to Deep Tissue

Elevation: 8,592’ above sea level
Year Established: 1878
Water Source: Cottonwood Creek
Number of Pools: 3
Temperature Range: 94 – 110° F (34 – 43° C)
Price of Admission: click here

Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center

410 W Rainbow Blvd
Salida, CO 81201

Overview: Known as the largest indoor hot springs facility in North America, Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center is a community gathering place. The clear, odorless water originally used by the Ute people for healing properties is now funneled directly to the Salida Hot Springs Pools. The Aquatic Center has two main pools—a large lap lane pool and a smaller, warmer soaking pool. These are used to host a range of activities, from public pool time to fitness classes to therapeutic swims. For those looking for a more intimate soaking experience, secluded European-style private pools are also available.

Resort Amenities:

  • Lap Pool: It’s a 25-meter, 6-lane pool; 2 lap lanes are usually available for use
  • Soaking Pool: This smaller, warmer pool is ideal for aqua-therapy, soaking and young children, as the depth gradually increases to 4 feet
  • Private Pools: Private, European-style baths are available for use—a reservation is recommended
  • Pool Activities: The pool hosts 2 swim teams, over a dozen fitness classes each week, special events throughout the year and offers swim lessons

Elevation: 7,083’ above sea level
Year Established: 1937 – to see the full history, click here
Water Source: Poncha Hot Springs
Number of Pools: 2 public, 3 private
Temperature Range: 84 – 100° F (29 – 38° C)
Price of Admission: click here

See also: Several small cabins, located in close proximity to the springs, make ideal locations for private retreats and romantic getaways.