The Springs Resort and Spa in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is home to multiple geothermal pools that make for a totally relaxing spa experience!
Pagosa Springs, in southern Colorado, is home to the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring.
That spring, located within The Springs Resort and Spa, also feeds several other pools in the area.
I recently spent some time there after a multi-day backpacking trip. It was the most relaxing way I could have imagined to reward myself for all that hard work!
Here's a glimpse of what to expect if you visit The Springs, which is open year-round.
Hot springs have long been thought to have health benefits from the added minerals in the water. The resort even lists the specific minerals in their water.
Whether or not the minerals actually help your health, soaking in the warm water is certainly relaxing! We found it to be a great way to ease our aching muscles after a long hike.
Free Soaking Options in Pagosa Springs
The town of Pagosa Springs has a few different hot spring pool options, some free and some paid.
The San Juan River includes several spring-fed pools right off the Riverwalk, an easy paved pathway in the downtown area. They're free to use.
Want to get off the beaten path before you take a dip?
The Piedra River Hot Springs requires a drive of about an hour and then a mile-and-a-half hike.
Or, for an all-day outing, you could drive about 30 minutes to the West Fork Trailhead and hike to Rainbow Hot Springs. It's about 10 miles out and back!
Normally, I’d be more inclined to go for the free experience (especially if it includes a hike!). This time, we went for a paid option. Why?
For one thing, I was tired from that long backpacking trip in the Weminuche Wilderness and didn’t want to hike anymore.
Also, the idea of lounging at a resort after a long hike was super appealing.
If you’re on a tight budget, some of the other spa options in the area are cheaper, but The Springs Resort looked so incredibly beautiful that I couldn’t resist.
The resort allows the minerals to collect on the man-made walls and pools, creating a gorgeous, natural appearance that reminded me of Mammoth Springs in Yellowstone.
While this wasn’t part of a national or state park, in some ways it felt like it!
Also, at The Springs, current pool temperatures were clearly posted every few hours, which is helpful info.
Summer is busy here, and so is ski season. So for the most laid-back experience, aim for spring or fall.
Pool Options at The Springs
When we visited, The Springs had 25 pools, all with evocative names like "Paradise," "Waterfall," or "Clouds in My Coffee."
The resort website lists off the features of all the pools with the idea that they each have a unique personality.
Secluded? Social? Scenic? Closest to the grill? Best views of the sunset? Most kid-friendly? They've got you covered.
You can rent lockers, towels, and robes, or buy any water gear that you forgot to bring along.
If you purchase a general admission day pass, you get access to 20 of the pools.
We tried "The Warrior Plunge," and it was so invigorating! Start with a soak in one of the hot spring pools, and then take a dip into the cold water of the Plunge Pool (actually a section of the San Juan River).
Look for "Mud Beach" near the Burg pool, and if available, you might be able to ask for their specially formulated therapeutic mud. As it's right next to the river, you can also go for a cold rinse afterwards!
The Relaxation Terrace
The Relaxation Terrace day pass gives you access to all 25 pools, including the five pools in a child-free area.
These are likely to be less crowded during peak hours.
If you book an overnight stay, you can access the pools 24 hours a day.
The Mother Spring
The Mother Spring that feeds all these pools is so deep that it hasn't even been measured all the way to the bottom.
The water at its source is about 144 degrees Fahrenheit. Even at the surface, it's much too hot for a person to soak in! As it's pumped to the pools, the temperature decreases until it's safe.
But it's beautiful to look at, anyway.
The Mother Spring even provides geothermal heating for the interior of the resort.
The Spa at The Springs
If you’re visiting after a long hike (like we were), or if you just want to be pampered, The Springs also offers spa services!
Some of the spa options include free admission to the hot springs pools, so it’s a win-win.
Spa reservations can be made online or on the phone.
I had trouble with the website reservations, so I definitely recommend calling as soon as possible to book any spa treatments (because they do book up!).
They offer a wide variety of massage options, and I was particularly intrigued by the “Wrath of the Rockies” sports massage option.
However, since I mostly just wanted to relax after an incredibly long hike, I went for the hot stone massage option (Pagosa Stone massage).
The massage was absolutely fabulous and made me feel human again after five days in the backcountry.
The Springs doesn’t allow outside food or drink into their hot springs area, but they did have filtered cold water available throughout the pool areas. Bring your reusable water bottle!
We like these Klean Kanteen bottles.
There were several different food options on-site: a café with breakfast and light lunch options, the Barefoot Grill with burgers and salads, the Canteen (an outdoor bar) and the Phoenix Bar (an indoor bar).
We tried the Barefoot Grill for lunch and really enjoyed it! The sweet potato fries were fabulous.
If you're also looking to eat outside the resort, there are lots of other food options in town!
We visited Root House for coffee and breakfast, which was great because it’s within walking distance of The Springs!
For dinner, we wanted to find a place where we could eat outdoors, and it took a little exploring.
We visited four restaurants before finding anywhere that was using their outdoor seating. (Temperatures do start sliding in the fall, so I guess most places prioritize the indoors.)
We eventually ended up at Los Dos Charros Mexican Restaurant, and were pleasantly surprised to find that they have a pretty decent seafood selection!
Lesson learned: If you prefer outdoor seating, it may be worth calling ahead before driving to a restaurant.
Our whole experience in Pagosa Springs was so positive. If you’re looking for a way to relax, do take advantage of the natural phenomenon here. And for an extra layer of luxury, The Springs Resort is a great choice!