Steamboat Springs is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, famous for its champagne powder and legendary ski resorts, and also a terrific mountain town to spend some time in just enjoying nature and relaxing.
It’s no secret that hot springs are one of Colorado’s most popular attractions, and there are over 90 of them in the state. We’ve been to a few of them, but none compare to Strawberry Park Hot Springs, tucked away at the end of a long dirt road in Steamboat.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
This is the ultimate relaxation destination. Located just three hours from Denver it’s the ideal getaway from the Mile High City. Perfect if you’re in need of a little romance with your partner or you’re just looking to treat yourself. Many have concluded that these are the very best hot springs in the Rockies and we would have to agree. There’s nothing that feels better after a day spent in the mountains!
In the past, the Yampa Valley area was a summer hunting ground for the Ute Indians. The name Steamboat Springs is believed to have come from a few French trappers known as coureurs des bois (or “runners of the woods”), traveling along the Yampa River when they heard a “chugging” sound. Thinking they had reached a large river, one yelled, “Steamboat!” After looking into it, they discovered the sound actually came from a natural mineral spring nearby.
These natural mineral springs form from groundwater that is heated geothermally from the interior of the Earth. The water percolates down through porous rock that increases in temperature with depth. When it reaches the surface again the result is one of mother nature’s greatest gifts!
Native Americans saw hot springs as a sacred healing place and it’s easy to see why. We’ve always left feeling renewed, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
What are the benefits of soaking in hot mineral springs?
- Stress relief
- Increased blood circulation
- Helps treat skin ailments
- Eases aches and pains
- Encourages deep sleep
- Clears sinuses and aids in digestion
- Endorphin production
- Increased immunity
During a soak the body absorbs minerals such as – boron, calcium, chloride, sodium, sulfur, lithium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, silica, zinc, phosphate and nitrogen.
Sulfur is important for optimal health. It’s been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and plays a role in detoxification processes in the body. Countries like Japan and Iceland with higher sulfur intake, are also some of the healthiest in the world. Cowinkydink? Probably not.
Also worth noting is that the pH of the water is close to the pH of your skin, which acts as an anti-bacterial and some believe may even help slow the signs of aging. Who couldn’t look a little younger?
Where to stay and when to visit
The best time to visit is midweek. The weekends tend to be more crowded. You can either visit on a day trip or spend the night. There are some unique lodging options including a train caboose and a covered wagon. We stayed in the large rustic cabin for $95. The price included soaking on both the day we arrived and the day we left. Entrance is $15 per day otherwise, so it’s a pretty sweet deal.
We’ve come here in winter and summer. Both seasons are nice and well worth a visit. Winter is more picturesque, but it’s also a helluva lot colder when you get out of the water! The road is a bit steep and if there’s any snow at all, you’ll need a 4×4 to get up there.
Things to keep in mind
Clothing is optional after dark and children under 18 are not allowed. In case you’re worried about being surrounded by naked people, realize that it’s pretty dark. Unless there’s a bright moon, nobody will be seeing much. So throw off your suit and let that freak flag fly!
Bring your own water to avoid paying $4 a bottle. Unfortunately, no food or alcohol is allowed inside the hot springs and there isn’t any for sale either. However, there are picnic tables up near the entrance you can use if you decide to bring anything.
Bring a towel and a robe if you’ve got one. If you’re staying in one of the cabins, you’ll need to bring your own bedding/blankets too.
Hours for the public are Sunday to Thursday from 10-10:30 and Friday and Saturday from 10-midnight. But if you book accommodation, you’ll gain access to the pools before and after hours.
Bring cash. They don’t accept credit cards.
No pets are allowed.
Fish Creek Falls
If you’re in the area, we’d also recommend a hike to Fish Creek Falls. This is likely one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Colorado and it’s easily accessible, only requiring a quick five-minute walk to the base. For those that feel a little more ambitious, you can continue to the top on a 5 mile out and back trail. There’s a $5 entrance fee if a ranger is present.
Happy Soaking! Have you visited any hot springs? If so, where? Taking recommendations…