Buena Vista is most well-known for its access to world class whitewater rafting, however, now that it’s way too cold, and the river is way too low for river sports, the hot springs are the place to be. 🙂
A Riverhouse Lodge is a short drive away from three different hot springs, each with their own unique vibe.
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Is about 15 minutes away, at the base of 14er Mt. Princeton. Mt. Princeton Hot Springs has several options for soaking, and is very family friendly. The soaking pools are long, deep enough to swim in and are usually range from 90-105 degrees. There is also a small section of riverside pools, which vary depending on river flow, and a separate spa area to soak in. Mt. Princeton also offers a variety of other activities, and has a bar and restaurant on site. As you drive towards Mt. Princeton you can see the striking contrast of the white Chalk Creek Cliffs against the pines of the mountain. The cliffs are called kaolinite and are created by hot spring deposits.
Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa
Is about 15 minutes away, as well, at the base of Cottonwood Pass. Cottonwood Hot Springs is a small, hidden gem, alongside of Cottonwood creek. There are four hot soaking pools, ranging from 96-105 degrees, and a cooler “polar plunge” pool. These hot springs are a designated quiet zone, set up to provide a healing, therapeutic, even spiritual experience. There are also private soaking pools and massage services available. I still can’t decide whether it’s best to go here during the day, and keep an eye out for wildlife on the mountain side while you soak, or go at night to admire the night sky and keep an eye out for shooting stars.
Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center
Is about 30 minutes away in Salida, CO. This is the largest indoor hot springs facility in the country. It houses a large 25 meter, 6 lane pool, (fed by the hot springs!) and a smaller, hotter soaking and play pool including a zero-depth entry and other elements making it great for the little ones. Private soaking areas are also available here.
No matter which hot spring location you visit in Arkansas Valley – Colorado, I promise your body will thank you after soaking in the naturally hot, mineral rich spring water.
Hope you enjoy these soaking tips.
See you soon, Mallory