Ease tense shoulders and relax your mind with a trip to Moffat’s Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa. You’ll be dazzled by winding views of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains as you soak in steamy pools. Just 35 minutes to Salida and under an hour to Alamosa and the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Joyful Journey is comfortably secluded but within quick reach of Mystic San Luis Valley adventure.
This hot-springs spa and resort delivers three toasty pools all serving different temperatures: 98 degrees, 104 degrees and, the hottest, 108 degrees. Views from the “hot” pool are pretty special, too. You can marinate to your heart’s content while gazing soulfully at the Sangre de Cristo’s jagged ridges through the panoramic window. Soaking, for overnight guests, continues well into the evening. And there’s nothing like seeing the grand, yellow moon rise in the velvety night sky while stars glimmer overhead.
Take your pick of comfy digs, all offering easy access to the pools. The Lodge’s cozy hotel rooms boast their own outdoor decks and aspen-wood furniture. Or, if you’re traveling with the fam, book the two-bedroom casita that’s loved for its cheerful red roof and open-living concept. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider reserving your very own colorful, cloth teepee (BYO sleeping bag) or a secluded and heated all-season yurt. RV and tent-camping sites are also available.
Joyful Journey is pet friendly, serves breakfast and dinner (gluten-free and vegan diets are accommodated!) and even has two electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot.
What makes it special?
The on-site spa is pretty luxurious. Head on over before or after your thermic soak for a mind-quieting massage (Swedish and deep-tissue options are both available). If you have some extra time, and we’re betting you do, consider tacking on a foot-soothing reflexology treatment or a Radiance facial that blends organic ingredients and aromatherapy.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
It’s all the wildlife! You’ll likely spot numerous pronghorn along highways 285 and 17, and you just might see a fluffy-feathered great horned owl with gorgeous eyebrow tufts and liquidy-yellow eyes hanging around Joyful Journey’s grounds.
Find inner peace while lengthening your limbs: Joyful Journey offers its own relaxing yoga classes from 8 to 9am every Saturday and Sunday at no additional charge for overnight guests. If you plan to participate, please bring your own mat.
Quirkiest thing to expect
Walk on over to Meditation Hill for a long moment of Zen. You’ll love the worn and sun-warmed stone benches placed in a circle as you gaze upon the often-snowcapped Sangre de Cristo peaks. Feel tranquility wash over you as you watch the fluffy clouds meander slowly through the sky like cotton candy.
Our favorite traveler review
“I loved this place. My friend flew in from NY and we went to explore the beautiful outdoors for a long weekend; this place was our first stop and set a great vibe for the trip. The three hot springs pools are a good size for four to five people comfortably, all at different temperatures, and I loved that only guests can go into them after 4pm and before 10am. We watched the full moon rise over the mountains from the hot springs — so amazing. They have an indoor sauna near the hot springs as well. We LOVED the food — they easily accommodated our GF/DF and vegetarian requests; it tasted great and you could tell it was fresh and healthy, such a nice treat when you're on the road. We stayed in Yurt 6A: Comfy beds, a deck perfect for yoga and amazing views. It felt secluded and was only a short walk to the bathhouse/hot springs/kitchen. Overall, this place was tranquil, healthy, beautiful and fabulous.” — kristin4555, Tripadvisor
Things to see and do nearby
Just 45 minutes from Joyful Journey by car, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa is a must. You’ll love this epic dune field, spanning 30 square miles, where Coloradans are known to sand-ski or sled any time of year. While you’re there, plan a day hike to the cascading Zapata Falls. It’s just 3 miles south of Great Sand Dunes and well worth a detour for its scenic grandeur. (The views from the parking lot are even amazing!)
Or hop in the car for a 30-minute drive to Crestone, an artsy and spiritual mecca that’s home to a Hindu temple, a Zen center, a Carmelite monastery and a handful of Tibetan centers.
Photos courtesy of Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa