Cottonwood Hot Springs

Sunlight filters through the trees and steam rising off the pool at Cottonwood Hot Springs.

Chaffee County is home to three hot springs that draw visitors from all over.

The water in Cottonwood Hot Springs in Buena Vista contains arsenic, boron, calcium, chloride, fluoride, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, nitrogen, potassium, silica, sodium, sulfate and zinc. Nothing is added artificially to the water.

Originally, Cottonwood Hot Springs was a hotel and then a sanitorium. The original structure burned down in 1911 and was not rebuilt.

As of April 27, the Headpool at Cottonwood Hot Springs was 102 degrees, the Elbowpool was 104 degrees, the Bellypool was 92 degrees, the Watsupool was 84 degrees, and the Coldplunge was 70 degrees.

Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center is the largest indoor hot springs in North America. The temperature of the lap pool ranges from 84-86 degrees, and the temperature of the leisure pool ranges from 97-100 degrees.

The center also has small private soak pools for those 18 and older. The city is currently working on adding outdoor soaking pools to the complex.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop dates back to the 1800s, with the historic bathhouse having been built just after the Civil War.

The hot springs soaking pool at Mount Princeton Hot Springs is kept at about 105 degrees. Also at Mount Princeton, the Cascading Hot Springs Pools range from 101-107 degrees. The temperatures in the Chalk Creek Hot Springs areas can be manipulated by allowing cold water from Chalk Creek to run into the pool. The relaxation pool is kept at about 99 degrees.

Other nearby hot springs include Joyful Journey Hot Springs in Moffat and Valley View Hot Springs in Villa Grove, both in Saguache County.