Hot Sulphur Springs

So why wasn’t there a post on Friday? Well, because my girlfriend and I were out of town. We had somehow ended up in the possession of a free weekend, one where I didn’t have to work and where there wasn’t a local SCA event. So what did we do? We went to enjoy some hot water!

We ended up spending the weekend at Hot Sulphur Springs, a natural hot spring about two hours away from Denver. We drove up Friday afternoon, and came back late Sunday morning. In between, we didn’t do a whole lot of anything aside from soaking in one of the resort’s wide selection of pools in varying temperatures.

The resort is set up as a series of small pools, ranging in temperature from 98°F to 112°F, with most hanging in the 106°-107° range. The water is quite mineral-enriched, and ranges from clear to cloudy. The pools are generally small enough (and there are enough of them) so that, even though they are open to the air and boardwalk access, they can feel quite private. We very rarely had to share anything but the largest pools, and even then, the other people were friendly. It was relatively uncrowded except for Saturday afternoon, which we guessed was a result of hikers and mountain bikers coming in off the trail for a quick soak.

When I first started researching this spring, I was a little concerned by the mixed reviews on sites like Yelp. But after my experience there, I can’t help but wonder if the reviewers just didn’t understand what “natural hot spring” entailed. No, it wasn’t a day spa at the Hilton. No, it wasn’t Ten Thousand Waves. The water was cloudy, and there were the occasional sulfurous floaty bits in the pools. There was algae, and an infernal stink permeated the air. But that’s what you get when you take a source of hot mineral water and pump it into pools.

The rooms we stayed in were also quite enjoyable. Sure, the “queen” bed was more like a double, but the room was clean, warm, and even had its own bathroom. There is an active train line that runs through town, so the night was punctuated with the occasional loud horn, but it was easy enough to roll over and go back to sleep. There also isn’t much in the way of services in the nearby town; while the milkshakes from the shack down the road were indeed tasty, we ended up driving the 10 or so miles into Granby for dinner both nights.

If I had one complaint (aside from the aforementioned trains), it would be the mosquitoes. This may be a personal problem, but mosquitoes love me. In fact, if there are any in the area, my getting bitten is pretty much a foregone conclusion. I concede that they probably do try to keep the population down with spraying, but however inevitable this sort of thing is around standing water, it was rather annoying. After dinner Friday night, we headed back out to the water, and actually had to go inside after an hour of attempting to fend off the little buggers.

But overall, I can heartily recommend Hot Sulphur Springs. The water was warm, the prices were reasonable, and the facilities provided quite the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. We may try to head back later in the year, as I can only imagine how enjoyable it would be to soak in hot water up to your chin while snow gently falls from above.