Ah! What could be better than luxuriating in natural hot springs? While adrenaline junkies flock to Colorado for our action-packed outdoor adventures – including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, cycling, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing – we know how to relax here, too. After all, we are famous for our laid-back, inclusive vibe. Among the Centennial State’s seemingly endless awe-inspiring natural wonders, our mountain hot springs stand out as enchanting gems – offering mind-blowing restorative benefits for the heart, mind, body, and soul.
While beautiful hot springs exist all over the world, Colorado boasts outdoor soaking in an alpine atmosphere. This means that you can revel in the crisp mountain air while enjoying the soothing warmth of mineral-rich, geothermal pools at the same time. Because of their reliable and unwaveringly-cozy temperatures, Colorado hot springs are popular all-year round – even and especially during the icy winters when the snow is falling on top of our majestic mountain peaks. It’s an invigorating experience – one that makes you feel fully alive and utterly captivated by nature.
Now, to address which of Colorado’s many hot springs are most welcoming to seniors…I would argue that they are all very inviting for everyone, no matter what their age group. From Ouray Hot Springs nestled in the San Juan mountains, to Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs – multiple generations convene daily across Colorado in thermal springs to appreciate natural beauty. Like most other types of outdoor recreation here, hot springs to tend to be family-friendly and enjoyable for children and adults.
However – although they entertain and delight all kinds of humans – these magical places are insanely beneficial for seniors.
All Hot Springs Are Senior-Friendly By Nature
While not all hot springs resorts offer senior discounts, their waters are still ideal for older adults. Why? Because researchers have proven just how powerful they can be for restoring and maintaining our health.
In fact, modern science is just now catching up to what past civilizations – including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans – realized long ago: that they are basically fountains of youth. The Romans, in particular, constructed elaborate bathhouses to enjoy the medicinal benefits of soaking in mineral-rich waters, while simultaneously enjoying the company of others. In these ways, they have always been places to socialize, relax, and make new friends.
Likewise, indigenous cultures have long-standing traditions of using hot springs for both curative and spiritual purposes. For centuries, Native American tribes across North America have deemed hot deemed hot springs as sacred spaces, while many other world cultures also have their own hot-springs traditions. For these reasons, the historical use of geothermal waters as mediums for enhancing human vitality have made us feel connected while inspiring and laying the foundation for modern spa culture.
As it turns out, they were onto something…
The Magic in the Water
Currently, scientists are revealing how various forms of hydrotherapy improve immunity and help manage pain. Hot springs, in particular – due to their rich minerals and steam – prove therapeutic for a variety of ailments. As we age, we experience more daily aches and pains, as well both acute as well as chronic health conditions. Researchers have discovered that bathing in hot springs works wonders for eliminating inflammation, pain, and musculoskeletal problems. There is likewise empirical evidence that inhaling the steam and vapor from hot springs “is beneficial for almost all manifestations of respiratory diseases.”
Hot springs also help detoxify the body by causing us to sweat – our body’s way of purging impurities through the skin. Additionally, bathing in hot springs has been shown to expedite the healing of wounds. Moreover, the sulfur, iron, calcium silica, and other minerals contribute to healthier skin by addressing persistent conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
That’s a lot already. But wait, there’s more! Many people also find that hot spring bathing improves sleep quality and overall well-being. By eliminating muscle and joint tension, enhancing circulation, reducing stress, and inducing serenity, natural thermal waters support health on many levels – something we have to fight for as we age.
In short, hot springs are very friendly for seniors.
Now that you understand how magical they are, let’s explore the 4 most senior-friendly hot springs in Colorado. Most of these offer discounted rates or special offers for those who are 55 or 65 years or older, depending on the facilities. And they have installed handrails, ramps, and steps to make entry and exit from pools more manageable.
1. Glenwood Springs
As the largest hot springs pool in the world, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort – located in Glenwood Springs on the Western slope in Colorado – knows a bit about entertaining its guests. Sourced from the Yampah Spring – with temperatures ranging from 94°F to 104°F (34°C to 40°C) – the mineral-rich waters serve as the heart of this bustling resort town, which welcomes, on average, 2.3 million visitors a year. The energizing contrast between the hot springs and the cold mountain air helps make the hot springs a year-round attraction that caters to relaxation, wellness, and an enduring connection to both nature and history. Like most resorts, this one has various pool temperatures to cater to different preferences.
While there are no senior discounts for day passes – which are $32 – you can get a nice discount for an annual pass. A regular adult annual pass costs $437, whereas a senior annual pass drops to just $328. This rewards repeat customers who want to make their health a priority.
2. Pagosa Springs
The quaint town of Pagosa Springs sits on a geothermal hot spot. It therefore offers an abundance of geothermally- heated water and is home to several lovely soaking spots. Situated approximately 35 miles north of the New Mexico border in Archuleta County, it is nestled in the stunning San Juan mountains. There are several places here to enjoy hot springs.
The Great Pagosa Hot Springs, also known as The Springs Resort & Spa, for example, is one of the most popular hot springs destinations in this small mountain community. Featuring 25 individual soaking pools of varying temperatures, the resort enables visitors to customize their soaking experience. There is also has a large swimming pool fed by the hot springs water. Day passes for regular adults are $65 but go down to $62 for seniors.They also have adult-only relaxation terrace if you’d like to escape the kids for awhile.
Similarly, Healing Waters’ Hot Springs is a popular destination and does give a senior discount. Regular adult admission is $20 per day whereas anyone over 55 will be admitted for just $17.
3. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
I almost hate to write about this fairly-hidden gem lest it get too much attention. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is nestled in a beautiful forested area in Steamboat Springs and has designated family and adult soaking areas. The pools are rustic but well-maintained, and they offer a serene and relaxing atmosphere. Despite not offering a discount – adult admission is $20 per day across the board – I am including it here due to its adult-only evening policies. From sundown until the following day’s opening, clothing is optional, so no minors are not allowed to enter after dusk. Therefore, these hot springs are extremely peaceful in the evening for adults seeking some quiet reflection.
4. Mount Princeton
Last but not least, we find Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Located in Nathrop, the resort lies in the central part of the state, in the Upper Arkansas Valley, and is approximately just seven miles south of the charming town of Buena Vista. You will find multiple hot spring pools here, all with varying temperatures – ranging from 70 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit – and the resort even has an historic bathhouse with private pools. They also offer accessible accommodations and facilities. Day passes for seniors and children are $35 whereas adult passes range from $40-$45 depending on whether you visit during the week or stay for the weekend.
|4 Best Senior-Friendly Hot Springs in Colorado
|What makes them so awesome
|1. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort
|Accessibility plus a great discount on annual passes.
|2. Pagosa Springs – several resorts
|Several hot springs to choose from with special amenities, adult-only relaxation terraces, and/ or senior discounts.
|3. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
|Adult only and clothing optional after dusk.
|4. Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
|Senior discount on day passes.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Victoria Ditkovsky/Shutterstock.com
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