Is there anything better than soaking in a hot body of water after skiing all day? I would argue that is one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. There’s something so rejuvenating about soaking in hot water after wearing your muscles out. If you are heading to Steamboat Springs, Colorado then you have to take a trip to Strawberry Hot Springs!
In the past year, I have been living in a van and traveling the entire country with my partner. We have been to over 15 hot springs, and this was one of our all time favorites! I have been to Strawberry Springs twice now and I would go back again another time. It is one of the most scenic springs in Colorado and I would argue in the entire country. You should put soaking in these springs on your bucket list!
Below, I have compiled all the information you need for a visit to these springs including how to get there, when to go, and what to bring. Read below for all the details and this full guide. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
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Table of Contents
Visiting Strawberry Hot Springs
What are Strawberry Hot Springs?
Strawberry Hot Springs are some of the most famous springs in all of Colorado. Here you’ll find geothermal pools are nestled into the mountainside and are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. This springs site has multiple pools with access to the river next to it. You can soak in the springs and then go for a dip in the river beyond.
These pools are heated by the natural spring water and the staff works to make the area nice for all guests. There are multiple pools on site as well as lounge chairs around the deck to relax. You could spend a couple hours or a full day enjoying the hot water around.
Because the springs are so popular, make sure to plan in advance to make reservations. If you have a large group, then try using the shuttle systems, so you can all go together! Every visit to the springs is special and memorable.
How do I make a reservation?
You used to be able to at all times by just walking into the springs, but COVID changed the policies. Now, you have to make a reservation in advance. You can either make it on their website or you can book a tour through one of the shuttle companies that is listed below! You must pay $20 in cash when you arrive, they do not accept credit card for any of their services.
When is the best time to go?
Strawberry Hot Springs are a hot destination year round, but the best time to go is during the ski season in Winter. The springs get covered in snow and have a very romantic feel to them.There’s nothing better than hitting the slopes all day and relaxing in the hot water afterwards to soothe the muscles. Now that they require reservations, the pools are also usually not horribly packed even during the peak season.
However, if you are visiting Steamboat during the summer, you can also go for a visit. You will just experience a lot of heat at all times without much of a respite. The great thing about the summer though is that the pools are usually less crowded and they are still fun to see.
The hot springs are open during the day and at night, so you can choose what time of day to go. It is a bit freaky to visit at night, because there’s not a lot of lighting around the pools, so it gets hard to navigate them. The first time I went was during the night time and it was a bit scary to walk down the snowy hillside without any lights to guide you to the pools. The lighting around the pools themselves is also very dim, but it is a fun atmosphere at night.
How do I get there?
The map above shows you how to get from downtown Steamboat to the springs. The drive can take anywhere from 17 minutes to 30 minutes depending on road conditions and traffic. If you are coming from town, you can take Route 36 all the way until Strawberry Park Road. Once you get to that road, you just have to follow it up the mountain until you reach the springs. However, this road can be very hard to drive on and I recommend that you have 4WD with high clearance.
There are two companies that will drive you to the springs and pick you up after the trip. It’s a great way to get a group of people to the springs and not worry about your vehicles getting stuck on the road. Also, both companies guarantee you a reservation into the springs, which means you don’t have to worry about them filling up.
Strawberry Springs Shuttle Companies:
- The Hot Springs Shuttle– Shuttle drivers will pick you up where you are staying and drive you to the Springs. The fee for this shuttle is $50 and covers your fee into the springs as well. They allow you to stay there for two hours. In the summer, they run a limited schedule, because the springs are less popular. You can call them to book a shuttle, check the website for update, and shuttle schedule changes.
- Sweet Pea Shuttles– These shuttles only run operationally in both the winter and summer. The Winter season runs from November 15-April 15 and summer runs from Memorial Day through September 30th. You can pay the fee of $30, but then you will pay the entrance fee to the springs when you arrive. Again, they will allow you to stay there for two hours.
What should I bring?
Everytime I visit hot springs I get confused about what to bring. Below I have compiled a list of the things you should bring for a trip to these pools. If you have all of these things, you should be ready for a great day of soaking.
- Flip Flops
- Change of clothes (including sweatshirt for the winter)
- Sneakers to get to the springs
- $20 in cash for the admission
- Water Bottle
- Plastic bag/garbage bag to put wet stuff
- Book to read
Things to Know Before You Go
- 4WD vehicles with snow chains are required to go up to the springs in the Winter (from November 1st to May 1st)! Two wheel drive is only allowed in the summer time.
- In order to get into the hot springs, you will need to pay the fee of $20 in CASH! They do not accept credit cards at this time.
- There are bathrooms, changing rooms, and a massage hut, but there are no other amenities on site. So, you will want to make sure to pack everything you need.
- You cannot bring alcohol, food, or any glass bottles to the springs. Make sure to pack a bottle of water because the springs will dehydrate you.
- You can also book cabins or lodging on site. This is a great option if you want to get off the grid and really enjoy the solitude of the mountains and springs. If you stay overnight, then you have overnight access to use the pools, however you would still need to book a day pass to see them otherwise.
- There is no cell service at the hot springs, so you should plan to not use your phone at all while you’re there.
Let me know in the comments if you found this guide to the hot springs helpful!
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