36° 18' 19.764'' N 106° 3' 5.7456'' W

Destination: Five Best Mountain Hot Springs in Colorado and New Mexico

Aaron McHugh

After a full day of snowboarding, a long peak hike or a roadside rest, I’ve enjoyed the five best mountain hot springs peppered throughout southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. I always enjoy my outdoor excursions more when we take the time to stop in for a hot springs soak.

The old west view looking into the Collegiate Range above Mt. Princeton Hot Springs

Soak creek side Mount Princeton Hot Springs Nathrop, CO

This historic bathhouse started in 1867, located underneath the headwalls of Mt. Princeton and Mt. Antero. Mount Princeton Hot Springs offers a rare creek soaking experience. The geothermal engine heats the seeping spring feeding into the riverside river rock pools along Chalk Creek. Skip the big pool above and tuck into a native vibe creekside. Creek side pools close when Chalk Creek swells from snowmelt. Located 15 minutes from Buena Vista and 25 minutes from Salida. Day soak pass $15 to $25. Open late until 11 pm.

Pulling into the family dude ranch after a long day of road tripping

Soak Away Your Stiff Back Waunita Hot Springs Ranch Gunnison, CO

Family owned and operated as a rural dude ranch since 1962, Wuanita Hot Springs Ranch now welcomes day visitors. Old West cliffs create the perfect backdrop for the no-frills hot springs pool, and you’ll find authentic cowboy wear in the quasi gift shop. Day soak pass for two: $25.

We drove through Ouray this spring in our 1974 VW Joy Bus. This photo was taken just a few miles above the Ouray Hot Springs near the box canyon. (Photo: Averi McHugh)

Scenery like Switzerland Ouray Hot Springs Ouray, CO

Big snowcapped peaks, enormous vista views nestled into the San Juan Mountains. Ouray Hot Springs newly renovated and expanded, this is the largest hot spring and has more of a big resort feel. Ouray is a sister town to her more popular taught after sister, Telluride. When Oprah Winfrey and Robert Redford escape the tabloid photographers of Telluride, I’m sure they come here to settle into this quiet escape. Day rate $12-$18.

Shangri-La_Soaking Pools in Silverton, Colorado (Photo: Shangri-La Pools)

Quiet indoor Shangri-La Soaking Pools Silverton, CO

The three indoor Shangri-La Soaking Pools are proof that the gold miner entrepreneurial spirit is still alive. Water is not from a natural hot spring, but the pools are quiet, simple and clean for $12 to $18 a person. The reason I included this one was how unique it was. Picture an old west downtown main street, walk inside the creaky floored entry and sneak behind the spindle staircase-soaking pools.

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa Taos NM (Photo:OJC Spa)

Soak It All In Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Ojo Caliente, NM

Like a treasure at the end of the road trip rainbow, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs delivers a high-end Santa Fe spa feel with Manitou Springs prices. De-stress soaking pools are notched into a sandstone cliffside safe enough for desert bandits like Billy the Kid. One hour from Santa Fe, 50 minutes from Taos, the collection of nine mineral pools are world famous. Day soaking from $20 to $32 per person.