- Conundrum Hot Springs, 1.usa.gov/1sm2gyG: A favorite of adventurous soakers, this remote backcountry springs has a series of undeveloped mineral pools between Aspen and Crested Butte. Getting there involves climbing 3,000 feet over an 8.5-mile trail. Camping is encouraged. Clothing is optional.
- Dakota Hot Springs, 372-9250, dakotahotsprings.com: Venture to Penrose to enjoy the legacy of a happy accident. In 1924, an oil rig drilled to a depth of 2,000 feet, seeking crude, and found hot water instead. Why let it go to waste? The soothing water contains therapeutic salts, soda and calcium.
- Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, 970-945-6571, hotspringspool.com: Treat your family to a spa getaway along the scenic Colorado River in downtown Glenwood Springs. For an additional fee, check out the two fast-moving water slides that feature more than 300 feet of twists and turns cascading down four stories.
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs, 395-2447, mtprinceton.com: Located between Buena Vista and Salida in south-central Colorado, this newly expanded resort is popular with those relaxing after adventures in the mountains and with those for whom the soak itself is the goal.
- Orvis Hot Springs, 970-626-5324, orvishotsprings.com: Drink in spectacular views of the San Juans from the pools at the clothing-optional and naturist resort between Ridgway and Ouray. The site offers seven soaking areas - four outdoors - that range in temperature from 98 degrees to 112 degrees.
- Ouray Hot Springs Pool, 970-325-4746, ouraycolorado.com: Ouray boasts a year-round, sulfur-free soaking experience in one of the state's more scenic locales. Water slides are free. The hot springs range in temperature from 80 degrees to 150 degrees.
- Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, 539-6738, salidarec.com/public-pool: This year-round destination bills itself as the state's largest indoor hot springs facility. The center, located conveniently off U.S. 50, features a 25-meter, six-lane pool, with two lanes reserved for lap swimming.
- Springs Resort and Spa, 970-264-4168, pagosahotsprings.com: Enjoy all the amenities at the recently renovated resort in Pagosa Springs. The resort features a natural mineral pool for swimming and 23 soaking pools that range in temperature from 83 degrees to 114 degrees.
- Strawberry Park Hot Springs, 970-879-0342, strawberryhotsprings.com: A family destination by day and clothing optional after dark, Strawberry Park Hot Springs is known for its late-night party atmosphere. Located outside Steamboat Springs, the site offers camping and cabins for overnight stays.
- Valley View Hot Springs, 256-4315, olt.org/vvhs: Free spirits flock to this spot in Villa Grove and generally keep their clothing stashed in a bag next to the pools. This secluded park is run by the Orient Land Trust, a nonprofit. Reservations are encouraged as admission to the pools is limited, especially on weekends.
Lance Benzel, The Gazette