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Sacred Minerals: Indian Hot Springs



Close enough for a last-minute trip and far enough for getaway vacation vibes, the hot mineral baths at Indian Hot Springs have been used for over 150 years (not including native use prior) and are known to relax the mind, body, and soul.

Turn Back Time

These waters are believed to be from some of the greatest mineral zones in the world. The Ute and Arapahoe Indians discovered the hot springs, long before White men took over the land by force. The waters were considered sacred: a magical place for worship and healing. Soda Creek, the road the springs lie on, was the line dividing Ute and Araphoe Indian nations. The hot springs were neutral grounds, but not for long.

Around 1859, the White men traveled to the Rockies and took it upon themselves to change the way natives lived. This was the year that George A. Jackson scribbled the first written statement of the hot springs in his diary. He also made the first discovery of placer gold in the Rocky Mountains, which is known as the Chicago Creek today (a 25-minute drive from Indian Hot Springs. Check it out, maybe you’ll find some gold!).

In 1863, Dr. E. M. Cummings invested in mining property and built a log and wood frame house near the “hot water mine” and charged people for health baths. His house was torn down when he sold the property to Harrison Montague in 1866 and replaced by a stone bath house called the “Ocean Bath House.” He also built a gazebo, in 1869, which is still standing tall in the swimming pool area and the center section of the Indian Hot Springs.

Present Day Indian Hot Springs

The mineral content of the water here is refined enough to make you feel like a better version of yourself after each soak. It’s all about geology. According to a 1908 United States Geological Survey Report, the ores of the area were deposited from waters and gases radiated from igneous magma deep within the mountain core. The water is dense with minerals including calcium, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, silica, sodium, sulfate, and zinc. What else could your body need?

There are multiple bathing options. Their mineral swimming pool remains an average of 90 to 100 degrees and is surrounded by live banana and palm trees. A tropical vibe without having to leave Colorado? We like it. Their geo-thermal caves, driven into the solid rock mountain side, have walkin hot tubs with temperatures from 104 to 112 degrees. These caves are gender-specific and clothing is optional. Being nude on vacation isn’t so bad. The 108 degree jacuzzis and 106 degree indoor private baths have more privacy.

Need a break from the hot water? Take a mineral mud bath that helps clean your skin from toxins. Creature from the blue lagoon while in, Venus in a clam shell after you get out and rinse. Mud never sounded so clean.

Local Winter Sports

There are a few must-do winter activities to get your blood flowing before you get to the relaxing part of your trip. Within a short drive, St. Mary’s Glacier offers exciting views of a beautiful snow-blanketed glacier that flows into a lake. You can hike or snowshoe. Echo Mountain is also ready for Indian Hot Spring visitors to strap on their skis and face the slopes, or hike.

Drive out of town and explore the location. Destination: Indian Hot Springs.

Indian Hot Springs

302 • Soda Creek Rd. • Idaho Springs, CO
Boulder: 56m. 45 miles.
Denver: 38m. 33 miles.

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