The Hot List

Hot Springs: A User’s Guide

It’s January. You’re cold. So there’s only one place to go: the nearest lava-heated pond, possibly with a few close like-minded companions. So, ladies and gentlemen, five of the hottest hot springs in the country.

Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen, CO

Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen, CO

Consider this the wilderness equivalent of an après-ski hot tub: a set of jacuzzi-sized cauldrons carved into a ravine just 18 miles outside Aspen. The ideal accessory: as much champagne as you can carry.
Peak temperature: 102 degrees
Clothing: Optional

Travertine in Bridgeport, CA

Travertine in Bridgeport, CA

If you’re willing to do a bit of driving, here’s the upside: a spring all to yourself with a fantastic view of the mountains. The five stacked pools here will help you find the perfect temperature: the higher you go, the hotter it gets.
Peak temperature: 105 degrees
Clothing: Discouraged

Travertine, off Jack Sawyer Road, Bridgeport, CA

Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, CO

Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, CO

This ranch sets you up with a cabin and a high-mineral (read: muddy) spring in sight of Colorado’s only geyser. Sprinting through said geyser to rinse off the mud: frowned upon, but we won’t tell if you won’t.
Peak temperature: 106 degrees
Clothing: Strongly suggested

Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA

Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA

Sometimes, the view makes the tub. In this case, it’s a 180-degree view of the Pacific, seen from near the Pacific Coast Highway. There’s also a maze of indoor tubs—in the unlikely event you head inside.
Peak temperature: 119 degrees
Clothing: Common but not required

Tolovana Hot Springs in Fairbanks, AK

Tolovana Hot Springs in Fairbanks, AK

It’s an immutable law of physics: the colder the air, the hotter the water should be. Which is why some of the pools here go to near-scalding temperatures—the better for warming up after any attempted polar plunges.
Peak temperature: 145 degrees
Clothing: In your best interest

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