I have been traveling quite a bit lately and have discovered some amazing natural (and not so natural) hot springs that I wanted to share with you. If you like the idea of finding yourself bathing in a natural hot tub after a stroll through beautiful outdoor surroundings, then read on.
Penny Hot Springs, Colorado – I have been visiting this tiny natural hot tub since I was a little boy. A small hot springs trickles out of the mountain side here and mixes perfectly with cold mountain river water. The views are amazing and you feel like you are sitting in a warm river bath as deer and elk graze in the meadows across the river. Penny Hot Springs is located between Redstone and Carbondale. Google Map.
Valley View Hot Springs, Colorado – Located 3 hours from Denver I visited Valley View this past weekend and it was worth every minute of the drive. They have several small natural pools which you can hike to and the views of the San Luis Valley below and the snow capped mountains are incredible. You can camp here or even rent small cottages if you prefer. A 2 mile hike from the hot springs takes you to the largest bat cave in Colorado which houses over 250,000 bats. During the summer this can be quite an incredible natural show. Be warned, this is a clothing optional area. Most people are completely naked. Google Map.
Radium Hot Springs, Colorado – This natural pool is located on the Colorado River near Vail. It requires about a 1 mile hike to reach it. If you kayak or raft you can simply park on the banks of the Colorado river and enjoy the relaxing warm waters. Locate a Spring Map.
Seljavallalaug, Iceland – A highlight of a recent trip to Iceland was a hidden gem tucked away in the mountains on the way to Vik called Seljavallalaug pool. It is a 20 minute hike into the small hot springs pool which is one of the oldest in Iceland. Most people miss this so, if you have the chance I would say this is a do not miss. The water is lukewarm, but warm enough to take a swim surrounded by snowcapped mountains. In summer it would be ideal. Google Map.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland – Yes the Blue Lagoon is a tourist trap. Yes it can become crowded. Yes it is about as unnatural as you can get as well. All of these things aside, I very much enjoyed my visit to the Blue Lagoon. The aqua-blue waters come from the waste water of a nearby power plant which I found to be hilarious. Many years ago when this geothermal power plant was built, locals started bathing in the water that was released from the plant. The silica and minerals in the water are supposed to be very healing. It is no longer a nice little local hangout but I still think it is worth a visit. Don’t forget to book in advance because many times it is sold out. You will also save some money if you book online. Because it is so popular with tourists you will find many professional photos online. I wanted to provide a more realistic, non-doctored photo below which I simply shot with my iPhone. Blue Lagoon Information.
Travertine Hot Springs, California – Near Bridgeport, this free hot springs is in California State Park. The best part about this hot springs is the view. As you soak you are surrounded by spectacular views of the Sierra Nevadas. Google Map.
Hot Springs Cove, British Columbia – This geothermal hot springs is located 27 miles north of Tofino on Vancouver Island. You won’t just happen to visit Hot Springs Cove. You should plan for this and if you love the outdoors, you will love this place. It requires a boat ride or sea plane ride to get there and then you will find several small pools waiting for you after you hike for about 30 minutes through old-growth rainforest. Google Map.
Heviz, Hungary – This spa town is located on a naturally heated lake in Hungary. Even on the coldest winter days you can swim in the lake because of the hot springs that feed it. During the winter the lake water temperature is 75 °F. During the summer it hovers around 100 °F. Spend a few days floating in this large thermal lake. It feels like a man made swimming pool until you open your eyes and see water lilies growing next to you. Google map.
Punning Hot Springs, Philippines – Located at the foot of Mt. Pinatubo near Angeles City, this hot springs is more of a resort/spa than a natural hidden pool but still worth the visit. You can even bury yourself in sand which is an interesting experience. It requires a 4X4 Jeep ride to reach it but the bumps get soothed by the warm waters that await. Google map.