Hot Springs Haven: A 36-Hour Geothermal Itinerary in Glenwood Springs
Home to three extraordinary and very different geothermal amenities, you’ll want to experience them all when you visit Glenwood Springs. For those with limited time in town, plan for full-immersion hydrotherapy with this handy hot springs itinerary.
Day 1: Iron Mountain Hot Springs and Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves
Noon: Arrive in Colorado’s favorite hot springs town in the early afternoon. Check into your Glenwood Springs accommodation, or at least drop off your luggage, and get ready for a world-renowned day of relaxation.
1 – 4 PM: Iron Mountain Hot Springs opened in 2015, offering visitors a spa-like soaking experience along the Colorado River. The resort’s 27 soaking pools vary in size, shape and temperature. In 2023, the geothermal attraction added 10 new “world experience” pools for ages 21 and over. Dubbed WorldSprings at Iron Mountain Hot Springs, these mineral pools are inspired by famous hot springs from around the globe. They feature local fresh water infused with mineral formulas that mimic hot springs from France, Iceland, Australia, Japan and other countries. Additionally, there are two confluence pools and a highly popular cold plunge pool located in the WorldSprings area. In all, Iron Mountain Hot Springs and the WorldSprings section offer visitors 32 unique pools in which to luxuriate.
Local’s Tip: Access to the WorldSprings area is just $10 more than the general Iron Mountain Hot Springs and gives you access to the entire property for the duration of your three-hour visit. With full access, you’ll be able to experience the entire range of soaking experiences.
While you’re here, stop in at Sopris Café or Sand Bar for a light lunch, a fruit smoothie or a cocktail, which you are welcome to sip while soaking.
Locker rooms have everything you need to get ready for a casual dinner out. You’ll find shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hair dryers to spruce up for a laid-back hour or two in town before it’s time for your evening massage.
4 – 7 PM: Enjoy an early dinner and stroll through town. Since there’s another hot springs experience waiting for you, don’t fill up too much. Go for a light meal such as a salad at CO Ranch House, sushi at Ming’s or the Primo Corso, an appetizer ideal for two, at Brava Italian Bistro.
8 – 9 PM: After a little sustenance and some souvenir shopping downtown, head over to Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves for the ultimate before-bed vapor bath.
Yampah’s caves are touted as the only known natural vapor caves in North America and have been around long before Glenwood Springs was a twinkle in the eye of town father Isaac Cooper. The Ute Native Americans who originally inhabited this region visited the caves for centuries and regarded them as a sacred place of healing and rejuvenation.
The caves are located underground and filled with mineral-rich vapor that seeps through from the nearby mother spring, creating a natural steam bath.
Local’s Tip: Grab a bucket from the stack provided and fill it with cold water from the spigot in the caves. Dip a washcloth in the bucket as needed to keep cool during your steam.
In addition to sweating it out, visitors also have the option of adding on a soothing therapeutic massage to their cave experience, and what better time than right before turning in for the night? Yampah Spa’s menu runs the gamut from Swedish and hot stone massages to Reiki and reflexology. Be sure to book your Yampah massage in advance to secure a desired time slot.
10 PM: With a full day of hot springs pampering behind you, snuggle in for a night of sweet dreams!
Day 2. Glenwood Hot Springs Pool & Sopris Splash Zone
8 AM: Start your day with a delicious, hearty breakfast. Some favorite local places to fuel up include 19th Street Diner, Bluebird Cafe, Daily Bread, Hotel Colorado Restaurant and Bar, River Blend, Local on Cooper, Rosi’s Bavarian Inn and Sweet Coloradough.
9 AM: Glenwood Hot Springs Pool opens for early bird soakers and swimmers.
The largest and most historic hot springs, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, features two enormous geothermal pools that have soothed and entertained visitors for well over a century. The temperature of the largest pool ticks in at around 93˚F or 32˚C. It’s perfect for swimming in the lap lanes, playing a game of catch with the kids or lounging on inflatables.
The smaller Therapy Pool is a splash-free zone where adults like to hang out, warm up and let the mineral-rich water go to work on stiff joints and tired muscles. You’ll find plenty of places to sit, read a book or converse with a neighbor. There are also underwater benches lining the Therapy Pool and jetted chairs and power showers for an extra boost of relaxation.
Local’s Tip: At Glenwood Hot Springs, you can soak as long as you like and also come and go as you please. Take the opportunity to grab lunch at one of the nearby restaurants on Seventh Street, an easy walk across the pedestrian bridge. Afterwards, head back to the pool for more warm water fun. Or stay on-site and enjoy a bite to eat at the poolside Grill.
For action-oriented water play, take a turn (or multiple) on Shoshone Chutes, a fast-moving river ride that mimics the experience of tubing whitewater rapids. Sopris Splash Zone also has waterfall attractions, a zero-entry pool, and a splash pad that doubles as a lighted fountain at night. Sopris Splash Zone is open all summer and on weekends in fall if weather and staffing permits and is closed during the winter season.
Soak It All In
For the ultimate hot springs’ getaway, immerse yourself in every one of Glenwood Springs’ geothermal experiences in a single visit. Our 36-hour hot springs itinerary makes it easy to squeeze it all in. Learn more and make plans to visit Glenwood Springs today!