Plan a Colorado Road Trip with Rest Stops at Hot Springs along the way! The Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway connections between five premier hot springs locations along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop transform the 720-mile drive into a motorist’s dream. It’s as much about the journey as the destinations.
The ultimate Colorado road trip is comprised of diverse scenic views, mountain vistas and, of course, stops at the state’s best hot springs.
The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop spans over 720 miles and connects five top-tier soaking locations, ending at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. In addition to sizzling hot springs experiences, this journey gives drivers a chance to behold the state’s diverse beauty via Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways.
Start With: Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway (Meeker to Steamboat Springs, 113 miles)
The Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway includes six historic stops and miles of unpaved road ready for exploration. This leg of the trip is closed in the winter and begins in Meeker and passes through Buford, by Trappers Lake, over Ripple Creek Pass and arrives in Yampa. Look for several impressive scenery changes along the way, from lava flow formations to sweeping meadows.
The historic town of Steamboat Springs is only 113 miles from Meeker and named for the whistling, train-like sound the hot springs made when flowing out of the ground. Be sure to visit these famed pools.
- Old Town Hot Springs
- Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Up Next: Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway (Copper Mountain to Granite, 42 miles)
Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway is a fantastic way to get to know to Colorado’s diverse landscape. Drivers will cross the Continental Divide and pass two of the state’s highest peaks: Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, sitting at 14,440 and 14,421 feet.
Back on the Road: Collegiate Peaks (Granite to Salida, 57 miles)
Chaffee County is home to the highest concentration of 14,000-foot mountains in North America known collectively as the Collegiate Peaks. These glorious 14ers with Ivy League-inspired names gleam 7,000 feet above the Arkansas River Valley. Drivers cruise through an impressive and ever-unfolding landscape, filled with lush riversides, national forests and public lands.
Once you’ve made it through the mountainous byway, pull over for a pit stop at one of Chaffee County’s hot springs to soothe, relax and recover.
- Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, Salida
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs, Nathrop
- Historic Cottonwood Hot Springs, Buena Vista
The next stop is Pagosa Springs, about a 150-mile drive from Salida. Be sure to enjoy the beautiful Wolf Creek Pass on the way—stopping at the scenic overlooks, the Continental Divide and the gushing Treasure Falls. Once you’ve arrived in town, there are three different hot springs facilities.
- The Springs Resort & Spa
- Overlook Hot Springs
- Healing Waters Resort & Spa
Keep Going: San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway (Durango to Ridgway, 81 miles)
After a rejuvenating soak, drivers can keep the fun going by continuing to Durango, a gateway to the San Juan Skyway. This winding road will take you through the San Juan Mountains, including two jaw-dropping passes. The byway then follows the Million Dollar Highway, a road known for steep cliffs and tight turns, as well as expansive views.
Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray is surrounded by what looks like powdered-sugar dusted peaks in the distance. Four public hot springs facilities are available in the Ouray-Ridgway area for a rest stop pick-me-up.
- Ouray Hot Springs Pool
- Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings
- Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs
- Orvis Hot Springs
Finally: West Elk Loop Scenic Byway to Glenwood Hot Springs Resort (Hotchkiss to Carbondale, 118 miles)
The West Elk Loop is picturesque year-round, with winding curves through local farms and orchards, before crossing through the North Fork Valley’s beautiful McClure Pass.
Continue through the Roaring Fork Valley to Glenwood Springs, where two rivers converge and Glenwood Hot Springs Resort awaits.
The resort is home to the world’s largest hot springs pool, as well as a lodge, spa and an aquatic adventure zone. Guests can rest after several full days of travel, while soaking in the beautiful surrounding views, seen right from the pool, making for a perfect final stop along the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop.