Buena Vista, Colorado is one of the many places that offer hot springs from the Rocky Mountains. For residents of the state it is a prime location to head as it is set in the center of the state. The trip is a few hours from Denver for visitors who fly in. Cottonwood Hot Springs is just one location in Buena Vista to visit. The springs are actually 5.5 miles outside of Buena Vista.
The springs are at the entrance to Cottonwood Canyon, where there was a hotel and Sanitarium. The lodge on site is one of the oldest buildings, having been built in 1878 by the Reverend and Mrs. J AD Adams. The house/ hotel provided a reception room, office, library, parlor, and private rooms. There were medical attendants on site, along with a bridal chamber, dining hall, and kitchen. The two wings of the structure offered the rooms and sleeping apartments.
In the early history of the springs, they were used for medicinal purposes. People would come to drink and soak in the water from the lower springs. The upper springs took a bit to reach and thus the water was piped into the house for bathing. Specifically the upper springs was thought to be good for rheumatism and dyspepsia. At the time the water was thought to be 132 to 150 degrees. Since the original house was built before the railroad all of the materials had to be brought in by freight teams from Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, the original house that was there burnt down in a fire. The springs were almost entirely destroyed. At the time Gabe Durst owned the property and did not want to rebuild.
Today the land looks much different than it did in the 19th century. Today visitors can swim for $15 per person and $10 for children 16 and under. Kids must leave the area at dusk. The pools are created out of Natural Stone. One can soak all day or stay and soak for several days. There is also a dry sauna on the property. Swimsuits are required at all times. Alcohol, smoking, and dogs are not allowed.
The lodge offers private Jacuzzi tubs, and reservations for non guests must be made. The personal tubs are closed during the winter season, though the main pools do remain open. The pools range in temperature from 94 degrees to 110 degrees F. The area around the pools is all rustic with old structures of wood. It offers a Wild West like feel in the mountains. One is often surrounded by aspens and other leafy trees, and of course the mountains.
Spa services are also available. One can choose a package or just choose one spa service. Massages, salt treatments and much more are offered. They also provide hypnotherapy. Lodging is available at the Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa. They are open all year round, even holidays for those who wish to enjoy the healing waters of the pools and the relaxation found at the large lodge.