Strawberry Park is Colorado’s Best-Kept Hot Springs Secret
While you will find hot springs at various locations in the state like Ouray and Glenwood Springs, Strawberry Park Hot Springs near Steamboat Springs might be Colorado's best-kept secret.
I've lived in Colorado for some 30 years but yet had never even heard of Strawberry Hot Springs Park, until my first visit to the pools a few years ago.
Strawberry Park is not on the main strip, and so there is no way to accidentally find it. Outside of Steamboat Springs, you wind through the countryside - without seeing any signs of what is ahead. In fact, the last two miles is an unpaved road, and though the park is open year-round, in the wintertime four-wheel-drive vehicles or tire chains are required in order to traverse those final two miles.
When You Arrive
Once you arrive at the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, you will find a dirt parking lot with a limited amount of space, but there is someone there to help you find a parking spot. Admission to the park is $20, cash or check only.
You won't find a locker room and lockers, only a changing cabin. That means you definitely want to leave valuables in your vehicles, and it's not a bad idea to have your swimsuit on when you arrive. Some people have been known to change in the parking lot.
There are little areas around the park to lay your towel, shirt, shoes, etc, and there are a few wooden loungers - about 50 or so I counted --where you can lay your stuff down.
There are pools of varying sizes and degrees of temperature from extremely hot -- to warm. The floor of the pools will be anything from sand or rocks or vegetation. And what you have to keep in mind, these are natural pools, so the water is not going to look "clean" like a swimming pool.
It's not a huge place, but yet there seems to be a lot of room, and though there were quite a few people on hand the day we were there, it never felt crowded.
One last thing. If you want to make this a family outing with the kids, it will have to be a daytime excursion. After sunset, clothing is optional and no one under 18 is allowed.
It's a cool place, albeit a bit on the primitive side. It's a beautiful setting - and most importantly - the water feels SO good. The photos below will give you a good idea of what to expect when you go.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Alphabetical Tour of Colorado's Ghost Towns
LOOK: See Photos of the Year From the International Photography Awards