Conundrum Hot Springs: The Best Hot Springs In Colorado
Conundrum Hot Springs – A Wilderness Paradise
There I was sitting at 11,200 feet in a hot spring… naked. At around 11:30pm the full harvest moon rose up over the ridge top shining so brightly that you could see the yellow aspen leaves shimmering down below. We passed a bottle of whiskey to our new friends as we rested our sore bodies after the 9 mile hike up.
It was fall and it was the first weekend after I had moved to Colorado. My new roommates (who I met on Craigslist) asked me if I wanted to join them for an adventure to USA’s highest hot springs, during the brightest full moon of the year, when the leaves were just right… Of course!
I knew I had found the right roommates. It was the perfect start to my life long goal of living in Colorado.
Hiking To Conundrum Hot Springs…
Start out with a nice breakfast in Aspen, then drive 15 min to the trailhead at the end of Conundrum Creek road. The trail starts at around 8,700 feet in elevation and ends at 11,200. the hot springs are a straight 9 mile hike up through the valley. The trail itself is stunning, especially when the fall leaves are just right.
How Long Does It Take?
It takes the average backpacker hikes 2 miles per hour + 1 hour for every 1,000 feet in elevation. Lets do the math…
- 9 miles (one way) = 4.5 hours
- 2,400 ft gain = 2.5 hours
It should take about 7 hours to get from the trailhead to Conundrum Hot Springs.
What To Bring…
- Warm clothing – The trail ends just above tree line so the weather can can change quickly.
- Swimsuit (Optional)
- Bottle of whiskey – It’s likely you won’t be the only ones there, bring something to share with your new friends!
Conundrum Hot Spring Camping…
Camping is a must when visiting the hot springs. There are plenty of flat spots to pitch a tent near the hot springs, as well as plenty of trees the string up your hammock.
- If you get a late start you can camp half way up and finish the hike the following morning. This might be a good option when hiking on the weekend to avoid the groups that gather in the springs at night.
- If you’re staying for more than 1 night there are plenty of peaks to summit and day hikes surrounding the springs.
- Conundrum hot springs is also accessible from Crested Butte. Next time I hope to take this route. It’s a good option for those who prefer not to backtrack (like me).