Hot Sulphur Springs: Hot soak on a cold day
December 26, 2007
It doesn’t get much better. After a day enjoying Grand County’s fresh snow, submerge yourself in the local hot springs.
Over the bridge and through the woods lies Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa, which has just the thing for those tired muscles.
Twenty-two pools hug a small mountainside, overlooking the Colorado River as it carves its way down Byers Canyon. Pools vary in temperature from 96 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sixteen pools are open during the winter season. Lupe’s Pool is the hottest seat in the house. MAT, Char’s and Jeff’s pools are only a little cooler at 109 degrees. Then there is Cottonwood (108), Hot Rocks (106-108), Ute and Hide-a-Way (107), Hillside, Backyard and Last Pool (106).
The Resort also has several pools at a comfortable temperature for children, including the Baby Ute pool (102-104) and the covered Elk (102) and Solarium (105) pools.
That’s about as hot as the average person can handle, though there are some brave souls who like it hotter.
Four extra pools are tucked inside the Resort’s main guest house and can be rented for private use for up to five people comfortably, at half-hour intervals for $13 per hour per person. The Sun Room is usually the coolest of the four. The courtesy desk will let you know otherwise.
Half a dozen natural hot springs feed the pools, with the temperature regulated by the rate of flow, said manager Charity Greene. She’s one of the massage therapists who work in the Resort’s eight massage and two facial rooms.
All nine therapists and two aestheticians have years of experience and can customize the experience to meet customers’ needs. Treatments include traditional Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, incredible hot stone and raindrop therapies, Ashiatsu oriental bar therapy, Shiatsu and acutonics (an energy-based, noninvasive treatment similar to acupuncture).
Prices range from $50 to $115 for 30-minute treatments. Herbal wraps, facials, mud body masks, salt and citrus glows and waxings range from $50 to $90.
“Everyone here, from the owners down, definitely believe in the healing of the waters, the relaxing and rejuvination,” Greene said. “It’s a great Colorado experience.”
The medicinal powers of the waters have attracted visitors since Ute Indians bathed in the waters, bringing along their dogs and horses.
Natural minerals and vitamins found in the water, coming up from what is believed to be 35,000 feet beneath the earth’s surface, include sodium, sulfate, chloride, silica, potassium, calcium, fluoride, magnesium, lithium and trace elements of iron, manganese, zinc and arsenic. Just a few of the medicinal properties include strengthening the hair, bones, nails and skin, ridding the body of toxins and increased circulation.
The Resort also offers rooms for overnight stays, including a 1847 cabin the Resort calls the Honeymoon Suite with free champagne and snacks for guests on their first night’s stay. Room rates include a soaking pass on the day of check-in and check-out.
As a local’s favorite, it is not hard to see why some residents go almost every day (locals discounts are available for Grand and Summit county residents with a driver’s license). A regular pass is $17.50, children ages 6 to 11 are admitted for $11.50, and children 5 and under can soak for free. An eight-visit pass is available for $110. Annual and family passes are also available.
To get there, take U.S. Highway 40 to Hot Sulphur Springs. If you are coming from the west, take a left off the highway just after Byers Canyon and another left over a bridge and road leading to the resort. If you are coming from the east, as you enter into town, take a right onto Grand Avenue into the lower, business district. The Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit http://www.hotsulphursprings.com.