Glenwood Springs Colorado Attractions

Colorado Mountain Town Boasts World’s Largest Hot Springs Pool

A visit to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, isn’t complete without a soak in the gigantic hot springs pool and steam in natural vapor caves.

You can’t miss seeing the huge pool from the highway, as you approach the exit off I-70 to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Or perhaps it’s the initial whiff of sulfur (okay, it’s more like rotten eggs) that alerts you something of interest lies up ahead.

Don’t let the funky smell of the hot springs’ natural mineral content keep you from pulling off the interstate to check out Glenwood Springs’ most popular tourist attraction (and community pool for residents). It’s actually been attracting visitors for centuries.

Hot Springs Pool

Native Americans from the Ute tribe considered the Yampah Spring, which feeds the Hot Springs Pool, a sacred healing spot. More recently, Glenwood Springs’ most notorious resident Doc Holliday took to the waters in the late 1800s, soon after the present-day pool was built, in an effort to cure his tuberculosis (he’s buried in downtown Glenwood Springs).

Two pools actually make up the Glenwood Springs attraction (across the street from the historic Hotel Colorado) and together they reach more than two city blocks long. The water temperature of the large pool is set at 90 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit; the “therapy pool” is at a hot 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They are both fed by water from the Yampah Spring (blocked off from anyone getting too close) which is a blistery 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

A toddler’s wading area is open in the summer, and kids of all ages love the two twisting water slides. Summer also brings a full-service snack and ice cream bar, and there’s a huge grassy lawn to kick back in a chaise lounge and soak up that Colorado sun. (Don’t forget your sunscreen! The high-altitude rays are brutal.)

Yampah Spa & Salon

Right next door to the Hot Springs Pool is the Yampah Spa & Salon, where hot mineral waters flow underneath the all-natural Vapor Caves. The steam’s heat is a bit shocking when you first descend to the underground caves and enter the rock chambers. Cave temperatures average about 110 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

But once you settle in on the giant slabs of locally found marble, you’ll find yourself breathing a bit easier, fully relaxing and letting the healing powers of the steam bath go to work on stressed-out or sore muscles, opening up nasal passages and soothing the spirit.

The Yampah Spa offers pampering treatments such as facials, massages, body scrubs, manicures and pedicures. Large Japanese soaking tubs are used for couples’ healing baths. The spa’s setting is definitely rustic, but if you’re willing to embrace the less-than-luxurious environment, you’ll fully enjoy this unusual spa.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Another beloved attraction in Glenwood Springs—about an hour’s drive from the chic ski resort of Aspen—is the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, with its scenic tram ride, alpine coaster, climbing tower, cave tours, and casual mountain-top restaurant.

For some active fun, check out local outfitters that rent bicycles for visitors to ride the gentle paved path along the Colorado River, which is also a popular place for whitewater rafting trips—both mild and wild. And if you’re visiting in the wintertime, consider a few runs down the locals’ favorite slopes.