By Kim Fuller Published in the Denver Post
Summertime play may leave your muscles craving more than just a dip. Colorado’s many natural hot springs may heal both body and spirit with their rich mineral content, but many of these water meccas also have full on-site spa menus with a variety of specialized treatments.
1. Front Range Day Trip: SunWater Spa, Manitou Springs
All seven of SunWater spa’s cedar tubs are filled with mineral water and heated with on-site solar panels to 100-104 degrees Fahrenheit. As the water temperature rises, cedar oil is extracted for an added soothing effect and pleasant scent in the tubs. A day pass to soak is $30.
“We all use the mineral water for traditional healing,” said managing partner Don Goede. “SunWater is truly like a mountain spa in the sense that we’re actually using the water thatMother Nature gave us.” Yoga classes, facials and massage spa treatments are available at SunWater, but the facility also offers mind-body water treatments, likeWater Shiatsu (known asWatsu), a form of aquatic therapy to stretch the body and calm the nervous system, and well as craniosacral therapy in the water. Treatments start at $45 for 30minutes. sunwaterspa.com
2. 1-70 Corridor Stop: Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, Glenwood Springs
West of Denver, just off the highway in Glenwood Springs, is the only known natural vapor cave in North America. Hot mineral waters flow through the cave floors at 125 degrees Fahrenheit to make 110-112 degree rock-coated steam rooms.
“This natural phenomenon helps to purify and cleanse the body and soul,” said David Anselmo of Yampah Spa. Yampah also has a full-service Aveda spa, offering skin, hair and nail services, as well as skin-specific facials that include treatment elements like exfoliation, mist steam, masks and extractions. The 85- minute heated stone massage, at $150, is the most expensive body treatment—reasonable by spa standards. Body wraps and scrubs are also available, and guests can add a high-altitude-helpful oxygen session to any treatment for an additional price. yampahspa.com
3. Overnight Mountain Retreat: Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs
The natural, secluded environment of Strawberry Park Hot Springs gives it a remote mountain feeling. Large warm pools in the center are surrounded by smaller pools of varying heat—all connected by stone pathways and surrounded by tree-covered hillsides.
“We maintain a rustic setting that provides a natural hot springs experience, keeping the focus on the natural beauty and the restorative waters,” said Joe Stepan, general manager.
Cabins are available for lodging, and guests can also reserve tent sites along the creek below the spring-fed pools.
Guests can book a massage in a private water-side hut, or an aquatic therapyWatsu session that combines elements of massage, joint mobilization, stretching and shiatsu in a private pool. Massages start at $55 for 30 minutes;Watsu at $65; combine massage and Watsu starting at $130. strawberryhotsprings.com