A few weeks ago, Alex and I decided to go on a quest for a hot spring. I have been talking about finding a natural hot spring all summer long but never came around to it. One time back late September, we went up to Aspen to hike up to conundrum hot springs. It was a two day camping experience near maroon bells and we had an amazing time. However, the hike to the hot spring was nine miles and I was having some trouble with the journey we were about to take, unfortunately due to some personal difficulties we weren’t able to find the hot spring. I was pretty bummed that I was unable to make it but in my heart I knew that I would still stumble upon a hot spring eventually. I desperately wanted to see what all the hype was all about. So one day, a few weeks ago, Alex reached out to me and asked if I wanted to go up near vail and go find a hot spring.
It was a day-cation. We packed up a lunch and head out early morning. At first it was slightly stressful, mostly because the spring we were looking for has no signage to lead us in the right direction. The only directions that we did have were some GPS coordinates that I had found online and a few sentences someone kindly wrote on google to help travelers like us find our way. These were our directions.
“Follow the jeep road about a mile to an overlook of the river. Climb down to the river and walk up stream a short ways to hot spring. It is located below a large rock outcrop”
This time we were determined to find the hot spring and we weren’t going to let a little mis-direction lead us back home defeated. Around noon we were still lost so we drove into a campground to ask for directions. I walked up to a women in a trailer and asked her if she might know where the trail could be. She smiled at us and she pointed to a trail head about 10 feet from where we were standing. Alex was still a tad skeptical that we weren’t in the right place but I knew by her smile that we had finally found what we were looking for. We started on the trail, bottle of red wine in my hand and we hiked. It was a beautiful afternoon, breezy with open skies. We walked for about a half an hour, and only passed four other individuals walking. It was almost too quiet as we took this path into the woods, still no signage and still no people. It was eerie but beautiful like we were the only two people walking through this mountain.
Until ever so softly laughter and music started filling up my ears. We followed the directions we had found on google and walked down to the Colorado River to head up stream toward the sounds. Then out of nowhere, we were no longer alone. Fifteen souls were floating around in this tiny little pool on the side of the Colorado River. How is it that we saw no one on the way up but this entire spring is filled with people? I took a look around and noticed that they had boated down the river and pulled their boats up to the hot spring. All of these people in this small little corner of Colorado, laughing, drinking, and being. It was a really cool experience. Alex and I continued our hike higher to take a larger look at the views of the Colorado River, it was my first time there. After we journeyed we finally settled back down toward the hot spring that I was so heavily anticipating..and…EW. The reality of the hot spring itself was not as glamourous as I had hoped for. This “hot spring” was more like a giant septic tank. It was manmade so there was little filtration; it was mostly muck. Honestly, it was nasty but I did not let the grossness ruin my day-cation and the idea behind a hot spring still excites me. Now I am on a quest to find more, naturally flowing hot springs.
If you have any suggestions on where we could travel to next, please comment below!