Seven Hot Springs to Visit This Winter

Before there were hot tubs, and even before there were bath­tubs, there were hot springs. Hot springs are, though the def­i­n­i­tion is infa­mous­ly debat­ed, nat­ur­al pools filled with geot­her­mal­ly heat­ed ground­wa­ter that has risen from the crust of the Earth to form pock­ets of warm water all around the plan­et. While many of these springs are obvi­ous­ly too hot for human con­tact, think Old Faith­ful, many are just right for soak­ing. In hon­or of this age-old tra­di­tion, and because we all need a lit­tle thaw­ing out this time of year, we’re fea­tur­ing a hand­ful of hot springs that would make great win­ter escapes, all with­in the US.

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Mead­ows Hot Springs — Utah
These hot springs are tucked away in a moun­tain pas­ture just 2 hours out­side Salt Lake City, Utah. With the moun­tains as your back­drop, they make the per­fect place to let loose after a long day hik­ing or riding.

Crab Cook­er Hot Springs — California
These hot springs are a lit­tle hit or miss, often times being too hot for humans to soak, and the name says it all (it comes from the fact that they can lit­er­al­ly get hot enough to cook a crab). But when the tem­per­a­ture is just right, this pool can be the per­fect place to soak after a week­end up at Mam­moth Moun­tain, which is just a half hour away, plus the views are not to be missed. 

Dun­ton Hot Springs — Colorado
Not all hot springs are for those look­ing to rough it. Dun­ton has gained its rep­u­ta­tion by being one of the nicest hot springs resorts the states has to offer. Just across the moun­tain from Tel­luride, this resort is a great oasis for those look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle nicer, per­haps a cab­in with a nice fire­place. And if you can cough up $19,000, you can even rent the whole resort.

Conun­drum Hot Springs — Colorado
Though it is also in Col­orado, Conun­drum Hot Springs are basi­cal­ly the oppo­site of Dun­ton Hot Springs. Tucked away in a remote moun­tain val­ley in between Crest­ed Butte and Aspen, to access these springs there is a gru­el­ing 8.5‑mile hike, and that’s just one way. Not to men­tion it’s much hard­er in the win­ter, but don’t be deterred, these are some of the nicest springs in Col­orado, with com­mand­ing views of the Rockies.

Bag­by Hot Springs — Oregon
Tucked away in Mt Hood Nation­al For­est these hot springs are sur­pris­ing­ly well main­tained for how remote they are. The wood­en pools are reserv­able for per­son­al use, and for groups, just make sure to get there ear­ly, they tend to fill up quickly.

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Pho­to by Suzie Gotis

Sykes Hot Springs — California
These hot springs are a lit­tle more par­ty friend­ly than most, though many have tried in recent years to clear the trail of any unfriend­ly debris. How­ev­er, that does­n’t mean these hot springs aren’t a must see and com­pared to many oth­er hot springs you’ll vis­it in win­ter, these ones are prob­a­bly going to be snow free, see­ing as they’re locat­ed right near the icon­ic, Big Sur, CA, which is beau­ti­ful any time of year. 

Straw­ber­ry Park Hot Springs — Colorado
These hot springs are just out­side Steam­boat Springs and are inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the his­to­ry of the city. When James Har­vey Craw­ford first sur­veyed the area in 1874 he based the via­bil­i­ty of build­ing a town there on the hot springs. Since then the area has flour­ished and Straw­ber­ry Park is now a pri­vate­ly owned com­mer­cial bathing spring, though it still main­tains its rus­tic aura, this is one of the nicest places to soak west of the con­ti­nen­tal divide.
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