Discover the ancient origins and healing properties of mineral hot springs. Here are five places where you and your family can soak together.
1. Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
In the late 1880s, fur trappers passing through this Colorado enclave heard an odd noise resembling a steamboat. They were pleasantly surprised to find more than 150 geothermal steamy, bubbling springs that today soothe tired muscles après ski or after a long day’s hike. The centrally located Old Town Hot Springs offers swimming pools, a full-service fitness center and a water slide for the children. Just 7 miles from town, the Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers a unique experience with hand-built stone pools of varying temperatures, tepee changing rooms and a natural and serene environment. Note: Children are welcome during the day. Once the sun goes down, you must be 18 or older and clothing is optional. Discover more soaking spots in the state by following Colorado’s hot springs trail.
2. Thermopolis, Wyoming
Visit the world’s largest mineral hot spring in this western town where the whole family can swim, slide, soak and steam inside or outdoors. See the mineral-formed rainbow terraces and other natural creations as well as the local buffalo herd at the Hot Springs State Park. Learn how paleontologists work, participate in a real dig or wander through the museum at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. Don’t miss the 108-foot Supersaurus stretching overhead.
3. Chico Hot Springs. Emigrant, Montana
The Chico Hot Springs Resort & Spa, located in Montana’s picturesque Paradise Valley, is popular for its steaming springs, gourmet cuisine and proximity to a world-class recreation area that includes Yellowstone National Park and the famed Yellowstone River. Cross into the park for a dip in the Boiling River, where natural hot tubs, formed when a natural hot spring meets the cool waters of the Gardiner River, provide a unique experience. (Intermittently closed. Check current status before you go.) Stay in the historic main lodge or in larger, family-style cabins or homes.
4. Calistoga, California
The Palisade Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop to a day spent relaxing in this comfortable, family-run spa in Napa Valley. Warm up in an 80-foot-long lap pool, a 90-degree kiddie pool with a waterfall or the 100-degree pool. The steamy therapy pool is for adults only. Mud baths, massages and a fitness facility are also available. A multi-generational favorite, rooms with kitchenettes make a family overnight easy to handle.
5. Rio Grande Village, Texas
Soak in the scenery as well as the warm water within Big Bend National Park. Look for painted pictographs on the cliff walls as you enjoy the 1-mile loop hike past historic buildings and the area where various Native American groups lived and traveled. The large hot spring on the bank of the Rio Grande River gushes with steamy water that fills the foundation of an old bathhouse, creating a popular natural hot tub. Check for current status as National Parks reopen.