Nestled in the heart of Colorado and surrounded by the Gunnison National Forest and Pike and San Isabel National Forest, Buena Vista is home to some of the most breathtaking natural environments in the state and boasts one of the most significant concentrations of hot springs in The Centennial State.
With several thermal pools within an hour’s drive from the city, Buena Vista is a fantastic destination to base and offers a healthy combination of arduous outdoor adventures and soothing mineral water soaks.
Whether you are seeking to unwind after a long and strenuous hike or want a weekend retreat lathered with tranquility, the hot springs near Buena Vista offer a wide array of experiences.
From simple primitive pools to full-fledged luxury resorts, these six hot springs near Buena Vista, CO, offer the best settings for unwinding in the state’s idyllic countryside. (Distance from Buena Vista city center in brackets).
Top 6 Hot Springs Near Beauna Vista
- Cottonwood Hot Springs
- Merrifield Homestead Cabins
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs
- Salida Hot Springs
- Joyful Journey Hot Springs
- Valley View Hot Springs
1. Cottonwood Hot Springs (5.5 Miles)
The most accessible hot springs near Buena Vista, the Cottonwood Hot Springs, are only a ten-minute drive from the town and have been attracting visitors to soak in its mineral waters long before settlers began building the community.
While the thermal pools today are operated by a luxury resort, the spring has existed for millennia. Modern visitors can still soak in the natural waters once enjoyed by the Ute Indians in several maintained pools that range between 80- and 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The natural spring is famous for its high mineral concentrations and therapeutic properties.
Visitors seeking a cooler plunge are also invited to dip in two private Creekside pools or even into the Cottonwood Creek itself, which weaves its way behind the property.
Also available within the resort complex is a quaint shopping center, an extensive spa facility, and several luxury and budget-friendly accommodation options.
2. Merrifield Homestead Cabins (5.7 Miles)
Located just down the street from the Cottonwood Hot Spring Resort, the Merrifield Homestead Cabins is a private thermal pool complex and provides one of the most calming soaks in the state, combining the comforts of onsite amenities with the simple solitude of a private pool.
Reserved only for overnight guests, the Merrifield Homestead Cabins offers two private lodgings —the Holloway and the Merrifield. Both provide a historical stay with modern amenities and operate out of a restored 1800s and 1920s home, respectively.
Along with their remote isolation in the Gunnison National Forest, providing a serene setting for plenty of outdoor adventures and explorations of the natural environment, the Merrifield Homestead Cabins also feature their own private mineral spring hot tubs connected to the aquifer for a soothing private soak.
And if the plethora of modern amenities available in the complex is not enough, Buena Vista is only a short ten-minute drive away and offers plenty of shops and facilities that will meet your needs.
3. Mount Princeton Hot Springs (9 Miles)
Another great hot spring near Buena Vista, the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is only one of the many thermal pool facilities operating out of the Mount Princeton Area. Nevertheless, while the small community about 15 minutes south of Buena Vista offers several ways to soak, this full-service hot spring resort is the best way to enjoy the region’s mineral waters.
Accentuating the sheer beauty of the surrounding mountains, the resort features several large outdoor pools and a small selection of primitive pools for a more rustic soaking experience. Most of the resort’s thermal pools are maintained at temperatures averaging 105 degrees Fahrenheit, while the complex’s extensive exercise pools maintain a more comfortable 90 degrees.
Along with soaking in the region’s natural mineral waters, the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort also serves as a fantastic base for exploring the region’s other natural attractions.
During their stay, guests enjoy several onsite amenities and services, including dining options, a country store, a full-service spa, and even modern accommodation options.
Direct Access to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs
"The staff was excellent, the facilities great, and the location/setting beautiful"
4. Salida Hot Springs (25.5 Miles)
The largest indoor hot springs facility in the U.S., the Salida Hot Springs, is located about half an hour south of Buena Vista and features three large indoor pools for a diverse soaking experience.
Each of the facility’s pools features mineral waters high in bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, and sulfate and are sourced from the nearby Poncha Springs.
The largest pool in the complex is 75 feet long and features average temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a comfortable soak. Alternatively, visitors can dip into the facility’s warmer pool, which is divided into two sections and maintained at around 100 degrees. The final pool also features warm waters but is only 18 inches deep for a kid-friendly dip.
While these public swimming pools are fantastic for group soaks and offer an array of activities, from water aerobics to water volleyball, the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center also offers smaller pools for a more private bath.
These pools are maintained just over 100 degrees and are only available with a reservation.
Easy Access to Salida Hot Springs
“The whole design concept was great. The retro feel worked, and the little red mini fridge was cute as a button."
5. Joyful Journey Hot Springs (52 Miles)
Nestled in the San Luis Valley, just under an hour’s drive south of Buena Vista, the Joyful Journey Hot Springs offers a unique hot spring resort complex that features modern amenities with rustic designs for a traditionally serene setting that accentuates the overall beauty of the surrounding region.
Once known as the Mineral Hot Springs, the resort complex features three thermal pools that are gravity fed from an artesian spring deep beneath the earth. The mineral waters average a balmy 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit upon reaching the earth’s surface.
Luckily, they reach much more comfortable temperatures by the time they are filled into the complex’s pools. The property’s cool pool averages a comfortable 98 degrees, while the tower pool and view pool are around 104 and 108 degrees, respectively.
Also available within the resort’s complexes is an extensive spa facility and several accommodation options that combine simple elegance and luxury amenities for a comfortable yet traditional stay.
Onsite accommodations include a room in The Lodge, The Casita, and even private Yurts and Tipis.
6. Valley View Hot Springs (58 Miles)
The Valley View Hot Springs is another luxurious hot spring resort nestled at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Range in San Luis Valley, about an hour’s drive south of Buena Vista.
As the name suggests, visitors to the resort will enjoy some of the best views of the naturally serene valley while soaking in seven thermal pools scattered throughout the property.
The resort features three maintained pools a large swimming pool that averages high 80-degree temperatures and two hot pools that maintain average temperatures between 100 and 106 degrees. Also available on the property are four natural ponds a Soaking Pond, a Waterfall Pond, a Meadow Pond, and the Tops Pond.
Accommodation is available on the property, with the resort offering several room options and camping opportunities. Also located nearby are the Orient Mine and Ghost Town, which visitors can access from hiking trails starting on the property.