11 Hidden Hot Springs in Colorado You Should Probably Know About

Photo courtesy of Mount Princeton on Facebook.

If there’s one thing Coloradans love more than skiing and hiking, it’s hot springs. Nothing beats hot, naturally healing water after a long day, so make sure you relax by exploring some of these hidden hot spring spots that your friends probably haven’t heard about. Skip the crowds in Steamboat and Pagosa, and find your new oasis. But don’t tell too many people about it.

COVID-19 note: make sure to check with county rules and regulations before you go, as some areas may be closed or have new restrictions. 

READ: 5 Colorado Hot Springs You’ve Yet to Discover

1. Indian Hot Springs

Indian Hot Springs. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Where: 302 Soda Creek Rd., Idaho Springs

The Lowdown: Only 30 minutes from Denver, you can experience tropical paradise. With a translucent dome filled with exotic flowers, plants, banana and palm trees, Indian Hot Springs is a dream come true for those wishing they were somewhere warmer. Hot mineral water at 115° will completely relax you, and you can even get a therapeutic massage at the spa if you wish. For more info, visit the Indian Hot Springs website.

2. Valley View Hot Springs

Top Ponds in winter snow. Photo courtesy of olt.org taken by Doug Bates.

Where: 64393 County Road GG, Moffat

The Lowdown: Find yourself surrounded by nature at this secluded spot in Moffat, Colorado. At Valley View Hot Springs, you can witness wildlife such as birds and bats, and enjoy the organic surroundings of plants and trees along the wilderness trails. The springs on the trails are body temperature, so they won’t be too hot, but are still relaxing. If you’re looking for something warmer, Valley View also has a geothermally and hydroelectrically heated hot tub. For more information, visit the Valley View Hot Springs website.

3. Creekside Hot Springs at Mount Princeton

Photo courtesy of Mount Princeton on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Mount Princeton on Facebook.

Where: 15870 Co Rd. 162, Nathrop

The Lowdown: Also known as the Chalk Creek Hot Springs, these naturally fed pools are located in the cold, rushing water of Chalk Creek and are circled by stones that trap the hot spring water that bubbles from the earth. Each pool at the Mount Princeton Resort has a unique temperature and is approximately one foot deep. Relax with mountain views of this famous fourteener, and take a trip to one of our favorite hidden hot spring spots. The Mount Princeton Resort also has a soaking pool at 105° that’s definitely worth checking out. For more info, visit the Mount Princeton Resort website.

4. Piedra River Hot Springs

Piedra River Hot Springs via All Trails

Where: 3-mile out and back trail in the San Juan National Forest near Piedra

The Lowdown: Chill and relax in one of these 100° pools that are completely natural and isolated deep in the San Juan National Forest. If you want some peace and quiet, a short, easy hike along the Piedra River to find these hidden springs is a must.

5. Rainbow Hot Springs

Rainbow Hot Springs via All Trails
Rainbow Hot Springs via All Trails

Where: 10-mile out and back trail in the San Juan National Forest near Pagosa Springs

The Lowdown: Skip the expensive rates and crowds at Pagosa Springs Resort, and opt for a free visit to Rainbow Hot Springs instead. With a waterfall, this natural hot springs location is worth the moderately difficult hike and makes the perfect spot to get those muscles feeling rejuvenated.

6. Radium Hot Springs

Radium Hot Springs via All Trails

Where: 1.5-mile loop trail in Bond
Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Located on the Colorado River, Radium Hot Springs is located between Bond and Kremmling, Colorado and is only frequented by locals who know about it. A short, moderately difficult hike across a mesa leads to a picturesque scene of the famous river and surrounding cliffs—a gorgeous place to let your stress go.

7. Penny Hot Springs

Penny Hot Springs. Photo by Jordan Lee.

Where: Short hike off Highway 33 on Crystal River near Carbondale

The Lowdown: Near Carbondale, this gem in the rough was supposedly frequented by hippies bathing nude, but don’t let its reputation scare you. An extremely short walk off Highway 33 will promise you pools of hot spring water in its natural state. Located on Crystal River, Penny Hot Springs is our favorite place in western Colorado to check out.

8. South Canyon Hot Springs

South Canyon Hot Springs. Photo by Sang Phan.

Where: 0.2-mile out and back trail in Garfield Country near Glenwood Springs

The Lowdown: Glenwood Springs, Colorado may be famous for its hot, therapeutic spring water for which the city is named, but if the crowds become too much, South Canyon Hot Springs isn’t far down the road. A short hike leads to this wild spring that’s a pleasant place to soak your worries away.

9.Durango Hot Springs

Trimble Hot Springs via Facebook

Where: 6475 Co Rd. 203, Durango

The Lowdown: As the only naturally heated water in the Animas Valley region north of Durango,this  hot springs is the secret hideout that will make your stay in the area completely relaxing. With water rich in minerals that flows from volcanic fissures, Durango Hot Springs is located at a resort, but is open to the public for an inexpensive soak. For more information, visit the Durango Hot Springs Resort website.

10. Wiesbaden Hot Springs

Wiesbaden Hot Springs via Facebook

Where: 81432, 625 5th St., Ouray

The Lowdown: Travel publications have featured the Historic Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa in The New York Times and Sunset magazine, so why haven’t we heard about it more? Known for its quintessential, European-inspired charm, this spa in Ouray has a hot springs vapor cave with mineral water at 108°. It doesn’t get more magical than this. For more information, visit the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa website.

11. Desert Reef

Desert Reef Hot Spring via Facebook
Desert Reef Hot Spring via Facebook

Where: 1194 Co Rd. 110, Florence

The Lowdown: Known for being clothing-optional for couples, resort members and females, Desert Reef Hot Spring in Florence, Colorado is the perfect paradise to unwind and lose all your inhibitions—and your clothes if you wish. Located in Royal Gorge country, Desert Reef isn’t in a desert, but it’s a definite oasis. For more information, visit the Desert Reef Hot Spring Resort website.

  1. Radium Hot Springs is not “only frequented by locals who know about it.” It is grossly overrun every weekend by drunk Front Rangers who don’t clean up their dog poop or empty beer cans.

  2. South Canyon Hot Springs has signs warning about human fecal matter in the water.
    Penny Hot Springs can be hit or miss, sometimes it isn’t hot at all.
    Rico Hot Springs are now on private land.
    Indian Hot Springs is not worth the stop.

  3. It’s good to know that I can expect hot springs in Colorado to not that be crowded. I’m thinking about going on a tour there with my friend later this year. We haven’t been able to hang out together in about two years so getting to catch up somewhere scenic would be quite a good time.

  4. Rico Hot Springs are located on private property and are not open to the public. Folks will be charged with trespassing if caught using them

  5. Welp thanks for letting all the magick out…. there is a lot to be said for word of mouth adventure and spontaneous knowing. Rather than yuppie filled locations where force is used to be in said locations via the internet. Bummer

  6. Yeah not so hidden now… And in one breath you mention the “threat” of hippies bathing nude, and in the next, a resort that gives the option specifically for females to be nude? I’m not sure who this was written for but it’s gross.

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