Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa: Heal Your Mind with All Things Natural

You’re either camping, hiking, or maybe even on your way to Cottonwood Pass for your road trip, and all of a sudden you stumble upon a building that you think looks like a motel – just like the kind you’d see in the movies. Well, that’s where you’re wrong, because behind these lined-up rooms, floors, and humble appearance hides a geothermal paradise full of all things natural and mineral. 

Tucked into the small town of Buena Vista, Colorado, and operating all year round, Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa triumphs as one of the most frequented and best-suited facilities for ultimate relaxation. With Its multiple soaking options and gravity-fed mineral pools of varying temperatures, all kinds of therapeutic and tranquil massages, and on top of that, numerous lodging options to accommodate your stay, you’re in for one hell of a rejuvenation session.

The main pool at Cottonwood Hot Springs
Address18999 County Road 306, Buena Vista, Colorado 81211
Location5.5 miles from Buena Vista; 2.5hrs from Denver
OpenYear round
Road AccessEasy. Any Vehicle

And if you decide to take advantage of the countless outdoor activities that come with the convenient location of this beautiful Inn & Spa, Cottonwood HS can also serve as a reward after a long day of tiring physical activities.

All You Need To Know

Cottonwood Hot Springs served as a place for spiritual reminiscence and gathering for Ute Indigenous Americans for centuries. With its medicinal benefits stemming from the abundance of minerals that includes sulfate, lithium, manganese, boron, and fluoride (the pools are surprisingly odorless), Cottonwood had always been cherished for its spiritual and physical healing properties. 

Main pool

Many owners, years, and a fire later, Cottonwood Hot Springs now operates as a rustic multi-service inn & spa that prides itself on its numerous advantages. It is very much loved by locals and visitors alike and is recommended for everyone looking for diverse-technique therapeutic massages, hot n’ cold plunges, and spiritual restoration.

Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa is also very conveniently located close to three ski resorts: Monarch Mountain Ski Resort, Cooper Mountain, and Copper Mountain Ski Resort giving travelers the option to include this Inn & Spa as a potential destination – and place to stay – during their trip.

First Impressions

Let’s be honest here when you first look at the facility, you wouldn’t consider it anything other than an ordinary inn, so who would’ve thought that this humble facade opens up to an incredible geothermal oasis filled with the purest of waters?!

Entrance to Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa

Once you go inside the lobby, it’s all rustic countryside-style bliss with wooden furniture and concrete walls with stones built into them.

When you step outside the back, you’ll be greeted with several thermal pools of different appearances that are nestled in the middle of the rugged mountainous landscape. The pools are also built into stony concrete. Some of them give off more traditional vibes whereas others have a more commercialized appearance. All the pools are of varying temperatures and are situated very close to each other, which is perfect for people with mobility issues.

Two pools at Cottonwood Hot Springs.

On the other side of the facility near the creek, you’ll find another pool that’s filled with creek water and surrounded by a man-made stone wall to keep it in. This pool is perfect for those who love alternating between hot n’ cold plunges. Even if you don’t, it’s still highly recommended to do so because even with the lowest temperature of the pools being 80°F, the hottest can reach a solid 106°F, so staying in too long can lead to extreme dehydration.

The quality of the Cottonwood HS water, which is very jovially referred to as ‘Happy Water’ by its owners, is considered exceptional and is one of the reasons the facility stands out in the visitor’s eye. Nothing artificial is added to the pools.

Guests also have access to a sauna, two private creekside pools, spa services, and accommodation options that include but are not limited to, cottages, cabins, dormitories, tents, and RV sites.

Hot Spring Fees

Monday Through Thursday

Ages 16 and up (adult)$20
Ages 16 and below (children)$16

Friday Through Sunday

Ages 16 and up (adult)$24
Ages 16 and below (children)$20

Accommodation Fees

  • Lodge Rooms 

(2 double beds or 1 king-size bed) 

Monday through Thursday – $149 

Friday through Sunday – $169 

2 nights minimum on Saturdays

One of the lodge rooms
  • Dormitories  

$55 per person Single bed (loft)

$65 per person Double bed.
$95 for 2 people in a Double bed 

Exclusive for Co-ed Dorm $500 (10 people max)
Exclusive for Family dorm $450 (8 people max) 

* 2 nights minimum on Saturdays

  • Tent Sites/Camping 

$45 per adult
$35 per child * 2 nights minimum on Saturdays
Dogs are allowed in the tent sites

Camping sights.
  • Creekside Cabins

Cabin 1: 

One-room cabin with a king bed 

Private soaking tub 


Capacity – 2 people

Creekside Cabin No. 1.

Cabin 2:

2 bedroom cabin with 3 double beds

Private soaking tub


Capacity – 6 people

Creekside Cabin No. 2.

Cabin 3:

2 bedroom cabin with 2 double beds

Private soaking tub


Capacity – 4 people

Creekside Cabin No. 3.

The Cottage:

3 bedroom house with 2 double & 2 queen beds

Private soaking tub


Capacity – 8 people

The Cottage.

All cabin rentals and the Cottage require a 3-night minimum stay.


Terra Verde – a 5-bedroom private country house, located 1.5 miles down from the Inn & Spa. There are no private soaking pools but of course, the use of the hot springs is included in the rates.

2 king & 3 queen beds

  • Room #1–$145 – Queen
  • Room #2–$145 – Queen
  • Room #3–$145 – Queen
  • Room #4–$155 – King, Creek-side exit downstairs and private bath
  • Room #5 –$165 – King Suite, downstairs, extra sofa bed, very private and private bath

$35 for each additional adult /$25 additional each child.

Exclusive Rental $650 per night

* 2 nights minimum on Saturdays

A full look at Terra Verde

Havens – 2-bedroom cabin with 2 double beds located down the road. There are no private soaking tubs here either but the use of the hot springs is included in these rates as well. 


Capacity – 4 people

The Havens rentals require a 3-night minimum stay.

Note: Recommended for people who want to celebrate a special event in a unique mountain cabin with a secluded, very private, and beautiful setting.

A full look at Havens.

Spa Service Fees

Integrative Massage Sessions

  • 30 minutes: $60
  • 60 minutes: $140
  • 90 minutes: $195
  • 120 minutes: $270

Reflexology: Hand and Foot

  • 30 minutes: $60

Prenatal/Postnatal massage 

  • 60 minutes: $120

Trigger Point Therapy

  • 60 minutes: $140
  • 90 minutes $175

Dry Cupping Therapy

  • 60 minutes: $145
  • 90 minutes: $180

Learn more about massages and their qualities here

Additional Information To Take Into Account

  • Working hours: 8 am – midnight.
  • No alcohol, smoking, food, and glass containers are allowed.
  • There are no WiFi, TV, or refrigerators available in some of the rooms.
  • Pets are allowed in cabins only but need to be kept on a leash at all times. Medium-large dogs are $15 per night. Dogs lighter than 20 lbs are $10 per night. Noise that affects other guests’ comfort is not allowed.
  • Kids under 16 are not allowed near the pool area without supervision. 
  • Check-in time –  after 4 pm. Check-out time – 1 pm.
  • You need to contact the facility at least 24 hours before you go to make advanced reservations. 
  • If you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment, your card will still be charged 100% of the total cost of the services that you booked.
  • If you arrive late by 15 minutes or more, staff will automatically consider you a no-show and you will be charged 100% of the total cost of the service that you reserved.

How Do I Get To Cottonwood Hot Springs?

Cottonwood is located 5 and a half miles from Buena Vista. 

From Denver, take US-285 South for 121 miles to BV. Turn left on State Highway 306 and Cottonwood will be on your right in 5 miles.

Alternatively, you can take I-70 W for 75 miles until exit 195 right by Copper Mountain. Head south on CO-91 until it turns into US-24. Drive for 63 miles and then take a right-hand turn onto State Highway 306 in Buena Vista. Cottonwood will be on your right.

Review by Lindsay B on TripAdvisor!

Accommodation Alternatives

If you opt for a one-time day soak and would like to stay overnight elsewhere, the closest lodging options are in Buena Vista – a beautiful and friendly town in Colorado. The opportunities are countless and all of them have excellent reviews. 

See accommodation options here


The area that Cottonwood Hot Springs is located in is very popular in terms of outdoor activities all year around. As we have already mentioned, Cottonwood has ties to 3 different ski resorts (Ranch Mountain, Cooper Mountain, and Copper Mountain) that turn from skiing tracks to a campsite real quick when the season is right. If you want to visit during one of these seasons, the most obvious camping choices would be there.

But with faces comes crowds, so if you are looking for something more secluded, here are some alternatives that you can check out: 

  • Mountain Goat Lodge Tipis
  • Lone Rock Retreat
  • Camp Brandonwood Aspen Glen
  • Evil Wood Camp

What You Can Explore

If you decide to prolong your visit, there are quite a few things to explore or have fun with. Some of the obvious choices are the mountains/skiing resorts mentioned above, but apart from them you can:

  • Visit Old Town Hot Springs which is conveniently located on your way to or from Denver. It’s a multi-complex facility that offers all sorts of physical exercises, therapeutic massages, and of course, countless soaking options.
  • Try out activities such as rafting and rock climbing. 
  • Visit some of the attractions that are most favored by visitors such as Cottonwood Lake, Buena Vista River Park, Collegiate Peaks Scenic Look, Huron Peak, Mount Harvard, McPhelemy Park, Buena Vista Heritage Museum, etc.

Final Thoughts

Based on all that is mentioned above, we can confidently say that Cottonwood Hot Springs is one of the best hot spring facilities in the state. Seclusion, therapy, relaxation, convenient location – it’s all there. If you’re a hot springs enthusiast or just a person who wants to take a day off of work or school or take your loved ones for a little retreat, Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa is an option worth considering. As we said, with such an abundance of great features, Cottonwood really deserves a spot on your road trip itinerary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Cottonwood Hot Springs?

Cottonwood Hot Springs is owned by Cathy Manning.

When did Cottonwood Hot Springs Burn?

It burned down in 1911.

Does Cottonwood Hot Springs have showers?

Showers are available in lodgings only.

Does Cottonwood Hot Springs require any fees?

Yes, it requires an admission fee.

Is Cottonwood Hot Springs clothing optional?

swimsuits are required at all times at Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa

Which minerals are in Cottonwood Hot Springs?

Arsenic, Boron, Calcium, Chloride, Fluoride, Iron, Lithium


While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!

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