Mike Nelson's Colorado -- Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Soak Your Cares Away In This Peaceful Place

Colorado is a state with several hot springs.

Some are in the backcountry like Conundrum Hot Springs and Rainbow Hot Springs.

Others like the ones in Glenwood Springs and Ouray are similiar to city swimming pools.

Then there is Strawberry Park Hot Springs near Steamboat Springs. Surrounded by trees, flowers and mountains, it gives visitors a rustic feel.

It's believed the Ute Indians were the first to find the hot springs. Homesteaders came to the area in the 1880s. The city of Steamboat Springs owned the springs until the current owner bought the property in 1981, according to Joe Stepan, manager of Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

The hot water runs off a mountain spring. It is channeled under the pool deck and right into the pool. Stepan told 7NEWS that because the water is so hot, cold water from Hot Springs Creek is mixed into the hot pools to keep the temperature controlled.

"We try to keep the pools, depending on time of year and weather for that day, at 102 to 105 degrees," Stepan said.

And unlike many hot springs in Colorado, Strawberry Park doesn't have that strong sulfur smell. Stepan explained that the typical mineral content is like you'd see at any other hot springs, but Strawberry Park has a very low sulfide content so the water, "doesn't smell like rotten eggs and the water feels very clean when you get out."

Each pool is a different temperature. Visitors can start in the cold creek and as they move up the hillside, the temperature in the pools gets warmer.

Strawberry Park offers massages pool-side and even a massage called watsu right in the pool. Using floats, a therapist works on pressure points while the visitor floats in the warm water.

Admission to Strawberry Park Hot Springs is $10 for adults, $7 for teens 13-17 and $5 for kids 2 to 12 years old. No one under 18 is admitted after dark when the hot springs become clothing optional.

For more on lodging, activities, massage and the hot springs, visit the Strawberry Park Hot Springs Web site.

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