6 Must-See Hot Springs Near Buena Vista, CO 

Colorado’s vast selection of thermal springs is no secret to anyone, but did you know that a respectable number of those are located in (on near) Buena Vista alone? Some are public while others are privatized but they offer an equally memorable experience for all types of soakers and cater to all personal preferences.

1. Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa

This small rustic and multi-service retreat establishment is said to possess the clearest thermal waters in the state of Colorado.

What To Expect

Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa is a place of unassuming appearances but countless wonders to tend to that anxious mind of yours. There you’ll find several twisty and curve-shaped pools with a blue bottom, giving the waters of ​​80 – 106°F a crystal hue.

As an inn, you’ll also find various accommodation options if you’d like to prolong your stay.

Don’t Miss

Obviously a visit to Cottonwood wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t check out their vast selection of spa and wellness services. Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa is the kind of facility that cherishes spirituality and self-healing. This mindset, together with their wellness treatments, is sure to provide you with an extremely memorable experience. 

Cottonwood Hot Springs is conveniently located within close proximity to three ski resorts: Monarch Mountain Ski Resort, Cooper Mountain, and Copper Mountain Ski Resort which makes Cottonwood an ideal destination either before or after you conquer the ski tracks. Obviously only if you’re into that sort of thing.

Good To Know

It’s an eco-friendly and digital-free facility. 

Cottonwood has a specific set of rules and policies that we suggest you familiarize yourself with before heading out. 

Standard admission price ranges between $16 – $24.

Address: 18999 County Road 306, Buena Vista, Colorado 81211

The main pool at Cottonwood Hot Springs. Screen cap from a YT promo video.

2. Merrifield Homestead Cabins

While we’re in the area it’s only fair to pay a visit to Merrifield Homestead Cabins.

What To Expect

Merrifield is an ideal alternative to public hot springs. If you’re in Buena Vista and want something laid-back, peaceful and private then you can reserve Merrifield in advance and spend some quality time with your loved ones. 

Located close to Cottonwood Pass and surrounded by scenic views, The two cabins you will find there – Merrifield Cabin and the Holloway Cabin – are equipped with all the necessities for a comfortable and fulfilled stay. Most importantly, they both come with private thermal baths.

Don’t Miss

You can enjoy a massage upon request. 

Just like Cottonwood Hot Springs, you can use Merrifield as an overnight lodge for your trip to the nearby ski resorts.

Good To Know

Holloway Cabin standard price range is $450-$550.

Merrifield Cabin standard price range is $600-700.

Cabins are pet-friendly.

Address: 19320 Co Rd 306, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Merrifield Cabin. Source: coloradohotspringsresort.com

3. Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Mount Princeton is another frequented hot springs destination in this area. It’s home to countless thermal soaking pools and guarantees you an amazing rejuvenation-time.

What To Expect

Nestled at the base of rugged hills and mountains, Mt. Princeton boasts about a dozen soaking options ranging from thermal to chlorinated. These pools – surrounded by highland scenery which is a lot more appealing in snowy months – hover between a comfortable 70°F and a scalding 120°F. Good thing you’re able to alternate between them whenever the heat gets too much to handle, then!

Don’t Miss

At the resort you can also find:

  • Accommodation options 
  • Spa
  • Steamroom 
  • Sauna 
  • Fitness center
  • Separate dining area along with a juice bar

Good To Know

No advanced reservations required for day use. Walk-ins are welcome. 

Standard day-use admission fee is $40 – $45.

Address: 15870 County Road 162, Nathrop, Colorado 81236-9703

Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Source: @mtprinceton.poolevents on IG.

4. Joyful Journey Hot Springs

Joyful Journey Hot Springs is probably the most unique pick on this list with its spanish-style architecture and location.

What To Expect

Even though Joyful Journey Hot Springs is not nestled at the base of the mighty mountains like most of the springs on this list, it’s still exposed to some of the most breathtaking mountain views in the distance that makes your soak calming and mind-numbing. 

At Joyful Journey you will find three pools (both indoors and outdoors) of varying shapes, sizes and temperatures. They hover between 98 – 108°F which is ideal for soakers to alternate between in case of overheating.

Don’t Miss

At the time of writing, the summer 2023 menu consists of different country inspired meals each day. 

The facility offers wellness services such as:

  • Spa
  • Yoga
  • Dry sauna

Good To Know

Joyful Journey Hot Springs is an environmentally- and eco-friendly establishment, supporting local agriculture. The meals served there are vegan and gluten free. 

Accommodation options include standard rooms, casitas, yurts and tent & RV sites. 

Admission fee is $18 per adult.

It’s pet and queer-friendly.

Address:  28640 CR 58 EE, Moffat, CO 81143

One of the outdoor pools at Joyful Journey Hot Springs. Source: @joyfuljourneyhotsprings on IG.

5. Treehouse Hot Springs

A thermal soak in a treehouse, anyone?

What To Expect

Yeah, okay, in case you got the wrong idea, Treehouse Hot Springs isn’t exactly built into an actual treehouse, but the appearance and the feel of it is as authentic as what you’d get in a real one, so we count it as a win. 

Treehouse is definitely one of the most unique overnight lodgings in Colorado. It can serve as a terrific romantic getaway for couples who live in Buena Vista or other nearby areas. 

These two octagonal buildings have a rock-walled base and a wooden top and come with their very own private thermal baths. Their water temperature sits between 98 – 104°F.

Don’t Miss

There you will also find an indoor lap-pool looking directly onto a magical forest view. 

Outside there are also some additional amenities for your personal use such as a fire ring, creekside tents, BBQ grills, etc. 

If you love fishing then you’re in luck because you can fish in the creek.

Good To Know

Rates vary depending on the season so keep a look-out. 

Address: 16390 County Rd 162, Nathrop, CO 81236

Treehouse Hot Springs at night captured by @treehousehotsprings on IG.

6. Aqua Hot Springs

Rustic, secluded, peaceful, spacious and a lot more. You will find it all at Aqua Hot Springs.

What To Expect

Aqua Hot Springs is an ideal destination for group getaways. Even though it only consists of one 3-story-cabin, there are enough rooms to accommodate up to 6 people.

The back patio leads to its very own private hot springs tub. It’s neatly and charmingly organized with wooden planks that the pool is built into and has lounge chairs around it. It looks directly onto a breathtaking forest view which is amplified by the sunset every evening.

The temperature is between 101-108°F degrees.

Aqua Hot Springs – mineral tub in the backyard. Source: aquahotspring.com

Don’t Miss

If you’re lucky enough, you may manage to reserve their one and only private RV site. 

Aqua Hot Springs does have a day-use option but it’s very limited and is only available on certain days each month between 9am to 4pm, so keep a lookout for this if you’d like to have a soak without staying overnight. 

With an additional cost you can also reserve:

  • Reiki sessions
  • Massages
  • Yoga

Good To Know

The price varies depending on when and how many rooms you’d like to book.

A minimum stay of 2 nights is required. 

Unfortunately, it is not pet-friendly.

Address: 15654 CR 289A, Nathrop, CO 81236

Aqua Hot Springs – cabin. Source: aquahotspring.com

Etiquette Guidelines

Every hot spring has its own quirks. They all have a set of rules that visitors need to follow regardless of what kind of spring you’re visiting. 

For more general and very important “hot springs etiquette,” we highly recommend you take a moment to check out our carefully compiled easy-to-read list of “dos and don’ts” here. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE.

Final Thoughts

Buena Vista, CO offers its guests one of the largest selections of hot springs in the state. Whether you’re looking for private or public, rustic or fancy, secluded or close to town, it is all there, waiting to be explored by you. 

So take a look, plan ahead and enjoy your soak.


While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, 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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