Upon rolling over the quiet mountain road toward Strawberry Park, you’d half expect a jolly hobbit or gnome to wander out of make-believe to make your acquaintance. From its babbling brooks to its covered wagons, this natural-spa getaway feels like a magical realm. A series of terraces overlook the hot-springs pools, enticing bathers to lounge lazily after their sunrise plunges.
Stay for a day or hole up in one of the comfy accommodations, like the aforementioned covered wagons. These cute lil' shelters are tucked away in secluded nooks ringed by aspens and wildflowers and offer amenities like private picnic tables and gas grills. Alternatively, you could treat yourself to one of the cabins lining the perimeter of the park that look like they're built with Lincoln Logs
What makes it special?
Strawberry Park is a relaxing hideaway for year-round travelers. With access to five pools of varying temperatures, you can comfortably enjoy the gentle cascade of a winter flurry or the whisking leaves on a breezy fall day while you soak.
The most “Colorado” thing about this place
When you check in, take a look at the sentimental vintage car and antique Colorado license plates that adorn the reception area.
The quirkiest thing to expect
How does spending the night inside a caboose sound? This charming strawberry-red train car sits atop one of the highest points at this hot-springs destination. The interior is complete with wood finishes, a gas fireplace, solar lights, a sofa, a bathroom and a shower.
Most unexpected amenity
Our favorite traveler review
“This was the most spectacular trip ever. Worth every penny. It was simply a winter wonderland. The springs were well kept and there were different pools with different temperatures of water so you could ease your way in. Best experience ever, came out feeling so refreshed. Highly recommend ... especially after a few days of skiing.” — Bradenj29, Tripadvisor
Things to see & do nearby
Strawberry Park Hot Springs sets you right in the heart of Routt National Forest — 1.25 million acres of northwest Colorado’s most breathtaking scenic beauty. Walk or snowshoe a half-mile down Routt County Road 36 to Lower Bear Trail. This 5.2-mile out-and-back jaunt offers up a plethora of leaf-peeping opportunities, as well as sweeping views of Steamboat Springs.
Speaking of Ski Town USA, as Steamboat is known: If the weather’s right, take advantage of the trademark Champagne Powder® at Steamboat Ski Resort. This light, airy snow has a way of bringing skiers and snowboarders year after year to barrel down nearly 3,000 acres of chutes, rollers and tree runs.
This iconic mountain town is no stranger to après-ski indulgences, either. Give your feet a rest at Salt & Lime, offering a twist on classic Mexican cuisine. Grab a few carne-asada tacos topped with pickled-onion slaw, crispy-poblano bits, crema and a honey-chipotle vinaigrette. And, to drink, choose from a selection of tequila- and mezcal-infused specialties like bittersweet smoke, made with pasilla-chili-cilantro mezcal, Aperol, sweet vermouth, lime and an orange twist.
Photos courtesy of Strawberry Park Hot Springs