Hot springs are one of the best things about Colorado and one of our favorite destinations. The hot springs plus the awe-inspiring mountains can’t be beat.
The first stop on our year-long adventure brought us to the Steamboat Springs area in northern Colorado to decompress from the stress of pre-travel preparation. Steamboat Springs is a beautiful mountain town with an adjoining ski resort. The town has a nice historic district, plenty of good restaurants and all the summer outdoors activities one could want… hiking, camping, fishing and mountain biking just to name a few.
We stayed about a half an hour north of the town at the Steamboat Lake State Park campground, which we would recommend. The sites are nice and spacious with a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains. Steamboat Lake is such a peaceful and beautiful area. The only caveat is that the Lake is a bit of a ride from town, so if you’re planning on going into town nearly every day like we did, you probably want to opt for a closer place to stay.
Living in Colorado, we’ve had a chance to hit springs all over the state. The Strawberry Hot Springs rank among our absolute favorite! If you’re in the area or planning a hot springs trip to Colorado, definitely add them to your itinerary. Strawberry Hot Springs consists of series of pools of varying temperatures tucked into the tree covered hills just outside of Steamboat. The spring water cascades down from pool to pool and into the adjacent stream. If you’re brave, like our girls, you might try to swim across the frigid river water before returning to a steaming tub. The kids loved the springs!
Strawberry Hot Springs seems to be a true labor of love. Fairy-tale inspired cottages around the springs are hand-crafted marvels that blend into the surroundings. Stone and mortar meet hill and tree. They are also more basic than other developed springs with no food service and limited facilities, which helps keep the character of the site. But you can book a massage! And those of you that are more, how should I say, free of spirit, you may enjoy the hot springs after dark when clothing is optional. No kids under 18 are allowed in the evening.
Steamboat Springs itself is a great town with a ton of stuff to do. We decided to try something a bit different this time, at least for us, and went to the rodeo in town. Yes, this was our first rodeo! The kids absolutely loved it.
After staying in Steamboat we’re a bit sad to leave the beautiful Colorado mountains. But the west coast awaits, so off we go.