Charlotte Hot Springs

Buena Vista

Charlotte Hot Springs and Botanical Gardens, whose namesake honors the legacy of Merrifield’s grandmother, exudes a distinctive charm reflective of the family’s deep roots in the region’s mining and agricultural history. Visitors are treated to three intimate soaking pools ranging from approximately twelve by twelve to sixteen by sixteen feet, all easily accessible via handicapped-friendly pathways. Enclosed by a privacy fence, the soaking area retains its cozy ambiance while still affording breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and national forest.

Charlotte Hot Springs & Botanical Gardens
19256 Co Rd 343
Buena Vista, CO

A Quick History of Charlotte Hot Springs & Botanical Gardens

A  Long-time Vision

The Merrifield family’s legacy in Colorado traces back to 1875 when William Merrifield immigrated from England and worked as a miner in the region. Roy Merrifield, William’s youngest son and Glen’s grandfather, continued the mining tradition, collaborating with the Holloway family, early homesteaders in Buena Vista. In the 1920s and ’30s, they not only mined gold and silver near Cottonwood Lake but also tapped into hot water sources in the mountains. Plans to pipe the water into town were halted by World War I. Later attempts at public baths faced challenges due to distance and elevation. In the 1970s, water rights were obtained for greenhouse heating. Despite setbacks, in 2000, a development plan was approved, and construction began in 2006. The recession of 2008 slowed progress, but with backing from Gunnison Bank and Trust a few years ago, the dream of a public hot spring became a reality.