Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa - Hot Springs in Colorado


It was snowing in Colorado even in October.

I visited a hot spring inn deep in the mountains, thinking that it should be nice to soak in the snowy landscape.

Rustic lodge

In 1878 Cottonwood Hot Springs started the business as a hotel, which was used as a sanatorium later on.

Information Board

After it was burned down in 1911, a few inns have been doing the business in the area.

The location is a deep mountain valley in the San Isabel National Forest near Mount Princeton.

ReferenceMount Princeton Hot Springs Resort - Hot Springs in Colorado

Do not expect too much of such a beautiful hotel, if you are a kind of hot spring enthusiast. Water in the pool was chlorinated. Only Creekside Hot Springs was fabulous to me. Luxury atmosphere Although it looks new, the ...


Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa consists of a rustic lodging facility, some cabins, and camping sites.


Walk-ins are available from 7 AM to around 10 PM.

The rate is $20.00 for weekdays or $24.00 for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays (as of this writing).

Five pools with different water temp


The pool area looks like a beautiful courtyard beside the parking lot.

Free-flowing gravity-fed water is in the five pools.

Cold Plunge 1

“Cold Plunge” is located in the right side of the entrance.

The pool is painted in light blue, has the coldest water in 81 degrees F.

Why did you go there on such day?
I am not sure.
Cold Plunge 2

“Watsu” is in the closest place to the riverside.


Watsu is originally developed by Harold Dull in the US, which is a form of aquatic bodywork inspired by Japanese Shiatsu.

The pool is deep enough for the kind of treatment, fed by 90 degrees F water.

Cottonwood River

The cottonwood river is right next to the pool.

The largest pool is “Belly.”

Belly 1

It is around 46 feet long by 20 feet wide.

The 5 feet depth pool is fed by 84 degrees F water.

Belly 2

“Head” is located at the slightly higher position; spilled water is flown into Belly.

Head 3

Hot, 104 degrees F water is in the pool.

Clear, colorless, and odorless water is piped from the source of the springs.

Head and Belly

The water is used in a state of nature, not chlorinated.

Head 2

The small building is for changing rooms and showers.

Clothing is required in all the pool areas.

A very small sauna is in the back of the cabin.

Lastly let’s finish with the hottest “Elbow.”


The U-shaped pool surrounded by stonewalling has 106 degrees F water.

It was crazy to go outside for soaking in such freezing day.

Belly 3

However, it was fully rewarding for me to see the snowy landscape while soaking.


Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn & Spa, Buena Vista, Colorado, U.S.

My rating

Type: Walk-in, Lodging

Rule: Clothing required, Room with thermal water

Chemical use: Not detected

Water temp: Up to 106 degrees F

Official website

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

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