While others may fear driving through the Colorado Rockies in winter, we joyfully honk to the classic hit “Rubber Ducky” as we weave through Interstate 70’s mountain peaks and ski resorts.
We do it all for Glenwood Hot Springs. Or as we like to think of it, Rocky Mountain Nirvana.
Glenwood Hot Springs was built in 1888 in Colorado’s pristine Glenwood Canyon pass, which was the last patch of I-70 to be completed. Containing America’s tallest vehicular tunnel, this bit of highway required monumental feats engineering in order to get America’s collective 1992 Honda Civic up and down a near-vertical slope of the Western Rockies.
It’s hard to see in these photos, but the pool edges and walls are coated in a smooth layer of mineral deposits, as if the pools had been carved from stone.
Glenwood Hot Springs is the world’s largest hot springs pool, with an adjacent “smaller” pool that’s more or less a massive hot tub. It’s fun to bounce between them, heating up in the hot pool and cooling off in the warm pool, with pitstops at the diving board and nifty coin-operated bubble chairs (bring quarters!).
Forgot your bathing suit, but want to swim? Don’t worry, you can rent one for just a few bucks. Plus, in the locker room your eyes will get assaulted by all the shriveled bare butt you can take.
The crowd is pretty evenly divided between kids (little pishers) and middle to late-aged spa-goers. A lot of people rent rooms in the attached hotel and spa.
U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt came here 1901 and returned to Glenwood year after year, staying in nearby Colorado Hotel, dubbed the “Little White House of the West.” The Colorado Hotel is definitely worth a visit and if you stay overnight, watch for ghosts.
My favorite time of year at Glenwood is always dead of winter. The milli-seconds it takes to speed walk from the building to the pool is worse than any death you could imagine, but when you’re floating in the middle of the super-big pool, enveloped in fog with snowy mountain peaks above you and an occasional blur of a head bobbing in the distance, all the road weariness disappears.
2013 is Glenwood Hot Springs’ 125th Birthday. Check out this collection of old photos and stories. It’s cute!
If you’re left hungry after your poolside pit stop, drive directly to Beau Jo’s in neighboring Idaho Springs and order one of their legendary Colorado-style pizzas. We recommend the honey whole wheat crust!