A Full Guide to Visiting The Glenwood Hot Springs
With over 27 natural hot springs in Colorado – your road trip has to include at least one! We chose Glenwood Hot Springs, and we weren’t disappointed. A little back story: The Yampah Spring naturally feeds the Glenwood Hot Springs. The waters flow from the source at 122 degrees, and by the time the waters get to the pools, they’re the perfect temperatures! Founded in 1890, this historic naturally fed spa was a must-do on our USA Bucket List!
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What To Expect During Your Visit
Reasons to add Glenwood Springs to your bucket list? Body restoring minerals, the relaxing heat bath, and the epic views!
First things first – Glenwood hot springs is huge! There are two separate pools, a spa and lodge attached, along with a giant waterslide and splash pad for kids. Typically we like more backcountry finds and if this is you – trust us when we say you’ll still love this experience. (Right down to the sulfurous mineral smell!)
The minerals present in these thermal spa pools are renowned for their bodily healing. People have soaked in them for generations now and touted their healing properties for anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. We’re not certain about the nature of the healing properties, but then again.. we’re not that certain about other modern medicines either sometimes? One thing is for certain – when we left Glenwood’s Hot Springs – our tired, achy muscles after hiking all day were absolutely soothed, and our skin felt incredible. (Maybe it heals eczema?!)
Fun fact: “Taking the waters – bathing – in mineral-rich geothermal springs for health purposes is known as balneology. It’s a practice that dates back to ancient Roman times and is deeply rooted in the spa cultures of Europe and Asia.” – Glenwood Hot Springs
This hot spring is the largest mineral pool in the world with the two sides sitting at different temperatures. The pool to the left when you walk in is kept at 90 degrees at all times, and the pool to the right is kept at 104 degrees the whole time. We loved hopping in and out of both pools to really shock our systems!!
You can also rent cabanas and chairs to make your day more comfortable. If you’re going with a family – a cabana might be a good idea for the kids to have a place to relax!!
What To Bring With You
Anytime you’re visiting a public ‘pool,’ you need to pack a few necessities—flip flops, sunscreen, towels, and potentially a change of clothes.
- Backpackers Towel: We use this one! It’s a fast-drying microfiber towel and perfect for budget travelers! (Towels cost extra to rent, and you could bring your own!)
- Waterproof Solar Charger: You’re going to need your phone at some point – probably to figure out what awesome restaurants you’re going to try! We use this charger for most of our trips!
- Beanie Hats! These are a necessity if you go in the winter or fall. You don’t want to let your ears freeze while your body is toasty warm!
Don’t bring your electronics unless you’re getting a locker!
Other Natural Hot Springs In Glenwood, Colorado
Glenwood Hot Springs is not the only natural hot springs in the region. The other hot springs in the region are mostly primitive pools – but they’re gorgeous!! (And just as relaxing and rejuvenating as the main Glenwood Hot Springs!)
Iron Mountain Hot Springs
These hot springs are also private but more accessible than Glenwood Hotsprings. There are 16 different pools with varying temperatures, plus one pool with wheelchair access. These hot springs are perfect for families (especially with aging parents or anyone wheelchair-bound!)
Penny Hot Springs
The Penny Hot Springs is on an unmarked pull-off on the Crystal River’s side, near Aspen. For directions:
“located at the base of a granite cliff about 100 yards north of mile marker 55 along Highway 133. A large, unpaved turnoff provides parking for several vehicles, then it’s just feet down to the banks of the river and into the rejuvenating pools.”Outdoor Project
Since they’re free to use – we highly recommend getting there early! Use the map below to help you find this hidden gem!
South Canyon Hot Springs
Only 5 miles from the iconic Glenwood Hot Springs, South Canyon Hot Springs is a primitive hot spring requiring a little hike. By little – we literally mean 1/8 of a mile.
The biggest problem with this natural spring is that it’s free so people tear it up. Please practice no-trace principles when you’re visiting. Preserving natural springs like this is so important for the wildlife of the area and for future generations to use.
(We also highly recommend heading there super early to catch a sunrise and packing your water shoes! The party crowd comes later in the afternoons.)
Best Places To Eat In Glenwood
Even though it’s a small town – there are some really amazing foodie spots! Surprisingly Nepalese and Asian food are some of the best restaurants. No surprise – a great brewery and great pizza. In case you didn’t know – it’s our mission to find the best pizza in every state!
Slope & Hatch – On Travel & Leisures Best Tacos in America list – this place is a must-visit. Their vegan tacos are incredible – but what really impressed us? The margaritas. Made from scratch and the perfect treat after hiking all day!
Glenwood Canyon Brewing – Not just a brewery – they also have awesome pizza! Is there really anything better than a flight of craft beer to put you to sleep after a long day of hiking? Not to mention, they have a charming patio to sit and enjoy the fresh mountain air!
Masala & Curry – Asian food with vegan options? Checks all the boxes. We have a Thai restaurant near our house in Louisville, and it’s the best we’ve ever had! This place rivals Simply Thai in Louisville! Try the samosas and spicy vindaloo!
Nepal Restaurant – Maybe even better than Masala & Curry – Nepal Restaurant encompasses more Himalayan food. Try the chicken chili and spinach SAAG.
Sweet Coloradough – You may not know this yet – but we love doughnuts. The good kind that area perfectly fluffy and the icing doesn’t leave that weird taste in your mouth? That’s Coloradough. (Plus, it’s vacation -eat the doughnuts!!)
What To Do After You’ve Visited The Hot Springs
Visiting the hot springs will be amazing for the time you’re there, but you won’t spend more than a few hours there, most likely! Not to mention some really great sites around Glenwood deserve your attention.
Hike the 1.2 miles to this incredible lake! This one has been on our bucket list forever. This crystal clear lagoon is protected to preserve its natural beauty. Often, because locations get so Instagram popular and heavily trafficked by photographers (#guilty), they needed to limit access. Yay for ecological preservation! (Too many people = devastation for natural areas!) Permits are $12 a person and require you have to reserve your spot for the day!
The Yampah Spring Sauna Caves
Remember Yampah Spring that feeds Glenwood Springs? These caves are at the Yampah Spring source and open to visitors every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving!
Where To Stay In Glenwood
Whether you’re looking for something upscale – or a more budget-friendly option – Glenwood has a range of accommodations.
- Mountain Log House Chalet – This is one of the finest examples of true luxury in the area. You have to see these vies to believe them! Not to mention that this gorgeous home holds up to 10 people. Perfect for couples or if you’re traveling in groups! (We also included this cabin on our Cozy Winter Cabin Getaway Round-Up for inspiration across the US!)
- Hotel Colorado – This hotel is a mustbook becuase you can buy packages that include spa time, skiing at Sunglight Mountain Resort, and passes to Glenwood Hot Springs! You’ll even be able to bring your furry friend along becuaes they have doggy packages do add to your room to keep your pooch comfortbale!
- Hotel Glenwood Hotsprings – This hotel has everything families need to enjoy a long weekend. The spa is a 15-minute walk for parents, and there’s a year-round indoor pool with a waterslide for the kids. (It’s also next door to do Yampah Sauna Caves!!)
- The Treehouse Guesthouse – This downtown guest suite is just a short walk from Glenwood Springs and super cute! It’s perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway!
- Roaring Fork River – This cozy little guest sweet is perfect for two and provides everything the budget traveler needs for a quick weekend getaway! (And leaves you money in the budget to try a few awesome restaurants!)
- The Bear’s Den – This cute mountain cabin is perfect for couples or groups of 4. The cabin has views of the mountains and allows pets! If you don’t travel without your doggo – this would be a perfect spot!
The Best Time to Visit Glenwood Hot Springs
If you’re traveling for a romantic couples trip – your best time to visit would be non-holiday weekdays. The later at night or earlier in the morning, the better if to avoid the family crowd! If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly time – we highly suggest going midday/early afternoon! There are more kids there to play with near the left pool!!
Go in the fall or winter! It’s so much more enjoyable! – Also we highly recommend going at night!! It’s so much easier to enjoy when the stars and moon are out!! (Notice how pretty the moon was over the mountains in our picture up top?!)
Pin for later to help you plan your Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado road trip!
Make sure to snag all of your road trip basics (below) and have fun jamming to a new playlist!
Until next time friends,