You might visit Steamboat Springs for its champagne powder and phenomenal skiing, but visiting the hot springs at Steamboat Springs might be a highlight of your journey no matter what time of year you visit! There are two major choices for visiting hot springs at Steamboat Springs, Colorado. You can choose from commercial facilities right in town (complete with rock climbing walls and water slides) or take a more adventurous route to some natural pools. We chose to try one of each! No matter which level of adventure you choose, here is what you need to know before visiting hot springs at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for that unforgettable experience.
What You Need to Know When Visiting Hot Springs at Steamboat Springs
Old Town Hot Springs
If you are new to bathing in natural hot springs, then you might want to ease into the warm pools at the Old Town Hot Springs. This kid-friendly public pool area has pools fed by natural hot springs, fitness classes, massage and more. They have eight different pools, varying in temperature including the following:
- 80-degree lap pool
- 89- to 90-degree shallow kiddie pool
- 89- to 90-degree splash pool (only open in summer)
- 90-degree waterslide pool
- 98-degree main hot pool (includes aquatics climbing wall)
- 102-to 103-degree Heart Spring Pool (for ages 15+, not chlorinated)
- Smaller Hot Pool (steps away from Heart Spring tub)
- 102- to 104-degree waterfall hot pool — the hottest pool there
The water from the Heart Spring pool has been pumping for over 100 years. It pumps 220 gallons of 102-103-degree water out of the ground per minute. The water is not diluted and contains natural minerals such as boron, phosphate, lithium, potassium, chloride, fluoride, sodium, calcium, sulfate, magnesium, silica and manganese.
These hot springs at Steamboat Springs are best for families with very small children because the temperatures are more controlled, and there are shallow pools and facilities close by, plus fun activities for kids.
You’ll need some tips for a great visit to Old Town Hot Springs:
- Research the facility hours before you visit
- Check the water slide and group exercise class calendars
- Check the weather as pools will not operate if there’s lightning or the temperatures dip below 0 degrees
- Sliders must be at least 44 inches
- Kiddie pool is for children 44 inches and shorter
- You must supervise children under 10
- Bring your towels
- They do rent towels and swimsuits if you need them
- Use lockers to secure your belongings
- Bring quarters for lockers
- Keep small children and babies out of hot pools
Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs
If your kids are a little older, it’s worth taking the journey out to the beautiful Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs. These beautiful natural hot springs and natural rock pools are in the forest next to Hot Springs Creek, and they are only about 15 minutes from downtown Steamboat. The journey there is not terribly difficult, but from November 1 to May 1, you need to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires or a vehicle with chains. If you aren’t an experienced snow driver or don’t have the correct type of vehicle/tires, take a shuttle with either Sweet Pea Tours or the Hot Springs Shuttle. The last two miles are steep, winding and unpaved.
There is a fee to use the hot springs. They are open every day of the year, but you might experience surge pricing at holidays (see their calendar for these dates and prices). There are restrooms, but they are a bit of a walk from the springs. There is a heated changing cabin closer to the pools. It is co-ed, but has changing rooms and hooks to hang your clothes or towels. We recommend bringing as little with you as possible.
There are several rock pools. They have some uneven footing and vary in temperature, so you have to approach the pools, edges and steps cautiously. The pools usually run 102 degrees and hotter, so you’ll need to decide if your children can handle those temperatures before visiting. They are not conducive to normal roughhouse pool water play and are calmer and more relaxing. Despite this, the tadpoles preferred these natural pools and slight sense of danger to the kid-friendly Old Town Hot Springs, and our journey out to Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs was the highlight of their trip. There’s something special and rejuvenating about being in nature. The healing minerals in the water certainly don’t hurt, and we all felt great after our soaks. There are massage services on site (including warm water shiatsu in a private pool) as well as cabins for rent and camping. You can also take advantage of nearby hiking, biking and snowshoeing trails.
Tips for visiting Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs:
- Bring cash or check only. They don’t take credit cards.
- Children under 3 must wear a swim diaper.
- All kids under 18 must be supervised by an adult.
- No children under 18 allowed after dark.
- It may be clothing optional after dark.
- Move slowly and deliberately through the pools, and watch for hot spots.
- Wear robes if you have them.
- Wear boots in the winter because the trail to the changing room and pools is snowy.
- Pools are drained and cleaned from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. every Thursday.
- Food is only allowed in picnic areas.
- Check the activities calendar before your visit.
- There’s a tiny, shallow, slightly cooler pool closer to the creek that is perfect for small children to play in.
Whether we visit a commercial hot pool in town or a natural pool in the forest, we find that soaking in natural hot springs at Steamboat Springs after a day of skiing is the perfect way to relax and heal those sore muscles. We are aquatic frogs, so swimming is always one of our favorite après ski activities to do as a family (when available). There’s nothing like soaking in warm water while surrounded by snow! It’s definitively one of our favorite activities to do off the mountain.
We’re sure your family will be hopping excited to dive in to these fun family hot springs at Steamboat Springs on your vacation as well. If you are planning to visit Steamboat Springs, you’ll definitely want to hop over and read up on our Insiders Guide to Steamboat Springs to learn more about that amazing family ski resort. It’s one of the best Colorado ski resorts and a Frog Family favorite. And be sure to check out some more ideas for family fun beyond the ski slopes no matter which mountain you visit.
Related: Guide to Steamboat Springs