A Getaway in Conundrum Hot Springs
Looking for one last mountain retreat before summer comes to a close?
Looking for one last mountain retreat before summer comes to a close? We recommend trekking to Conundrum Hot Springs in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness near Aspen. Like many challenging Colorado hikes we’ve been on, this one left us sore, blistered, and in a dreamlike (or endorphin-induced) state of bliss.
An 8.5-mile hike (one way) trailing alongside Conundrum Creek leads you through vast meadows and aspen forests and across scree fields and streams. After a steep ascent during the last couple of miles, tired muscles are rewarded with three natural 98-degree hot spring pools at 11,200 feet. Surrounded by towering pines, 14er peaks, and Conundrum Creek valley, the sweeping views from the springs are something to gawk at.
IF YOU GO: Unless you’re a skilled hiker, prepare to camp overnight. There are 16 designated fire-free campsites within a quarter-mile of the springs, as well as a few sites that allow campfires about a half-mile from the springs. Trail use is very heavy, so make the trip during the week if possible. With up to 150 campers visiting the area on peak season weekends, Friday and Saturday nights can look more like a MTV Spring Break party than a place of solace. Wake up before dawn for a chance to soak in private.