Our Top 5 Free Hot Springs To Discover In Colorado

Shh! We’ve got some gems for you here, and you might not want too many others to know about them. Colorado boasts a great choice of free, natural hot mineral soaks – whether you want to slog it out through the wilderness to get there, or whether you prefer a dip by the highway on your way to your next adventure, we have the perfect pools for you to try. Just remember the etiquette when hot-springing- click here for some great tips. And when you’re done soaking in Colorado, head over to our list of free hot springs in Arizona and our top natural hot springs in New Mexico.

1. Nathan’s Hippy Dip Hot Spring

Nathan’s Hippy Dip Hot Spring. Source: Compass Real Estate

Nathan’s Hippy Dip Hot Springs is a little roadside gem that is popular with the locals for its hot mineral goodness pumping from 1000 feet underground to soothe and rejuvenate its riverside soakers. And it is totally free to enjoy!

What To Expect

A large PVC pipe pumps 104-105°F water into a large, rock-walled, sandy-bottomed pool. This water then flows into the river, meaning the water (and all its mineral benefits) is constantly replenished. Take a seat on a pool-side rock; the scenery isn’t much, but you’ll likely find friendly locals to chat with, and it makes a nice break on any journey. There are other rock-walled hot springs pools, some shallower, some deeper, further along the river bank.

Don’t Miss…

  • The town of Pagosa Springs, where you can take a hot air balloon ride, discover historic trains and geological history, and go river tubing, biking or hiking. Click here for all the details.

Good To Know

There is a free parking lot near the river. 

There are changing facilities nearby.

Clothing required.

For a quieter soak, head there on a weekday.

Where: 321 Hot Springs Blvd, Pagosa Springs, Colorado

2. Radium Hot Springs

Radium Hot Springs. Source: ultimatehotspringsguide

Radium Hot Springs is a primitive, rock-walled pool on the edge of the Colorado River. Soak and enjoy the colorful views of the surrounding hills and cliffs…or get your adrenaline going and jump!

What To Expect

The 20-foot, rock-walled pool is nestled between the Colorado River and a rocky cliff in a tiny alcove. Due to the hot geothermal water mixing with the river water, this pool is more warm than hot, at 80⁰F, but it makes a pleasant soak nonetheless.

Adrenaline seekers can jump from the nearby cliff. As always, we advise caution before you take the plunge – check the depth and rocks before you dive!

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

Though many choose to access this hot springs pool by raft or kayak, you can park on Warm Springs Road and follow the short trail instead. The way is mostly flat, until then end, when some steep rock-scrambling is required. Shoes with good traction are a must! 

Camp at Mugrage Campground, a dispersed campground in a Colorado state wildlife area (you’ll need a hunting or fishing license to camp), or opt for the Radium Recreation Site, which has fire rings, picnic tables and toilets. 

Best visited summer to fall. The pool often becomes submerged during snow melt. 

Head there early on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowds.

Where: Country Rd 111, Radium, Colorado

3. Penny Hot Springs

Penny Hot Springs. Source: onlyinyourstate

The Penny Hot Springs pools have been lovingly crafted out of rocks by locals and past visitors and sit on the Crystal River beside the highway. The shallow soaks boast views of lush Colorado mountains and make the perfect stop-over on your journey through the state.

What To Expect

Penny Hot Springs is a primitive, hot mineral, rock-walled pool, 20 feet wide and 2 feet deep, which can accommodate 10 soakers. The big pool is sometimes divided into several pools by visitors. Flowing out at 180℉ form the source, the pool is cooled by the river water – and you can adjust a few rocks yourself to let more or less cold water in.

Don’t Miss…

Local hiking, climbing and skiing opportunities.

Good To Know

Easy to get to, but there’s a steep dirt path down to the river that needs some care traversing.

Best visited early summer to early fall. Note that the hot springs usually get submerged by the spring run-off. 

Choose to go early on a weekday to avoid the crowds.

Clothing officially required.

Where: Hwy 133, Redstone, Colorado (near Carbondale)

4. Conundrum Hot Springs

Conundrum Hot Springs. Source: amongthewildco

Deep in the Colorado wilderness, Conundrum Hot Springs is a great place for adventure-seekers who enjoy a hike with treasure at the end, and it’s a worthy one for your list, too, being the highest hot springs in the US!

What To Expect

Conundrum Hot Springs, despite its name, is no conundrum – the 8-hour walk-in trail is challenging but not difficult to follow. Expect magical views and an incredible sunset to balance out the 2,400-foot uphill climb and four river crossings you’ll have to make, not to mention the warm mineral soak at the end.

Two 98°F, 10-person pools await you. The largest is 15 feet and 4 feet deep.

To find out how to get to the hot springs, head over to our main article on them here.

Don’t Miss…

Good To Know

Most accessible (and busiest!) in summer.

Designated campsites accommodate 4 to 6 people. You must get a $10 camping permit before heading in. 

The road to the trailhead may close due to snowfall or avalanches from October to June, so best head there in summer.

Bring bug and sun protection with you, and plenty of water and a water filter.

No toilet is available at the trailhead.

Clothing optional.

Where: Take Highway 82 East to Aspen. Turn onto Castle Creek Road, then onto Conundrum Road to reach the trailhead. See the map here.

5. Rainbow Hot Springs

Rainbow Hot Springs. Photo by Robert Stump

Rainbow Hot Springs is a beautiful, mineral-enriched, colorful waterfall-fed primitive hot spring that is reachable by a 9-mile roundtrip hike into the Weminuche Wilderness Area.

What To Expect

The two rock-edged pools at Rainbow Springs sit on the edge of the San Juan River. A comfortable 95°F, the water makes a great place to unwind as it collects at the bottom of a mineral-stained and algae-laden smooth rock waterfall.

The larger 20 x 8-foot lower (and cooler) pool seats up to 10 soakers and is situated on the river, while the smaller 3-person pool is in a grassy meadow just a little uphill from the large pool and is closer to the source of the hot springs and so hotter at 105°F. Both pools are silt-bottomed, so move slowly so as not to stir it all up!

Don’t Miss…

Review by Karen Watkins

Good To Know

You can camp on designated sites nearby which have fire-rings and picnic tables.

On your way there, expect old forest roads, log bridges, and streams to ford. The route offers little shade so bring plenty of water and sun protection in summer, while in winter it can get muddy and even blocked by snow.

In summer, take plenty of bug spray and watch out for ticks.

Best visited summer to early fall. Expect snow and/or flooding at other times of the year.

Clothing optional.

Where: Weminuche Wilderness Area, near Pagosa Springs, Colorado


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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