Chasing Hot Springs in Colorado
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Chasing Hot Springs in Colorado
Text by Meeta Gajjar Parker
Photography by Francis and Meeta Parker

When most people think of Colorado, they think of skiing.  It is a great place to visit anytime of year.  Colorado has one of the most unique and varied natural landscapes in the entire nation.  The Denver temperature is 105 today and we are looking at snow capped mountains in the distance.  It is July and the summer foliage is bursting with colors.   

As we drive through the mountains, flowers are growing on the slopes and the spirit of life seems abundant. Anticipating the opportunity to experience nature at its finest, enjoy sightseeing and soak in hot springs, we step into our adventure.

After watching many concerts on television where performances took place at the Red Rock Amphitheatre, we head right for it. It is only a 15 mile drive from the Denver airport, in Morrison, Colorado. As musicians, we feel it would be extraordinary to perform in such a state of the art arena.

The magnificent stone structure can be seen from quite a distance and it gets bigger as we zero in on it. The sheer magnitude of the stadium is enough to blow us away. It stands at an elevation of 6,200 feet above sea level. Located inside Red Rocks Park, the amphitheater is actually anchored by two large sand stones that reach three hundred-feet high, creating natural acoustics. It resembles something out of the Flintstones Cartoon. In all seriousness, the architects and builders who constructed this stadium in this natural setting, deserve the utmost applause. Much of our afternoon is spent marveling at it.

Visiting the Indian Springs Hot Spring is a big disappointment. The strong smell of chlorine, in the jacuzzi style hot tub with a privacy fence, leaves a lot to be desired. Considering the $50 we shelled out for our one hour soak, we are quickly bored

On our way to Grand Timber Lodge Resort, in Breckenridge, we stop to buy some local wine to experience this part of the country in as many ways as we can. The journey that leads us onward provides an over abundance of natural beauty.

Having discovered the magic of hot springs, chasing them is the price we pay for the deep seated attraction to this natural glory. No matter where they are in the world. We are willing to drive hundreds of miles to soak in these springs as we consider them gifts from Mother Nature. Meeting the most interesting people while sitting in hot springs, we have lots of inspiring conversations. It seems that hot spring enthusiasts have a similar nature and are almost addicted to them. It’s so exhilarating to soak in them in the outdoors as well as the simple fact that each one is unique in its surroundings and mineral content.

Our next hot spring is the Cottonwood Hot Spring. Using a guidebook to pick out which ones to drive to, we focus on temperature, direction and distance. Driving in different directions to see more of Colorado, we are immediately struck by the old Wild West style building where we park to go in. Entering the soaking area of the spring, we notice the mystical appearance of being nestled into the side of a mountain. There are three pools open for use and several others that are closed for maintenance. Each one ranges from 94 to 110 degrees. There are trees in the distance and brush upon the side of the mountains that our eyes rest upon while soaking.

The pools are dotted with black and white stones in a decorative pattern throughout the concrete. Piping channels hot mineral water into the pools. People of all ages are already soaking, but it is not very crowded today as it is midweek. The children seem comfortable in the cool pool. The largest is just right, about 103 degrees and it feels incredible. Frank goes into the hottest one. Talking to different people in the pools while soaking, we take in the atmosphere as well as the friendly conversation. This hot spring is known to contain lithium and boron.

Next: Chasing Hot Springs in Colorado - page 2, Glenwood Hot Springs

 

 

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