#GetOutThereGuide: Penny Hot Springs, CO

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Caroline C – @carolinegcarlson

You surf, SUP, ski, dive, mountain bike, rock climb, cannonball, and hike. Now MI OLA WORLD Ambassador Caroline Carson shows how to relax after you #GetOutThere. After a sunrise hike or a Bluebird day on the slopes, why not soak in a natural, outdoor hot spring?

#GetOutThere Guide: Penny Hot Springs, Colorado

The Penny Hot Springs are just outside of Carbondale, Colorado. Nestled in a narrow granite section of the canyon, cut away by the Crystal River.

In the 1960’s people started soaking in the hot springs sans bathing suit, and the term “hippy dip” originated. Offended by the nudity, locals bulldozed  the bathroom and hotel, covering the hot springs. In the ’90s  the pools were rebuilt and opened to the public and yes, MI OLA BIKINI required.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Caroline C – @carolinegcarlson

On both sides of the Crystal River,  you’ll see large granite cliffs sometimes called “Hell’s Gate”. Take a short hike down to the river to find the hot springs. There will be several different pools to sit in. They are fed by natural hot mineral water, sit about 2 feet deep and span about 50 feet.

Carefully test the water  with your toe before you head in. The water can get really hot. Temperatures will vary and some are hotter than others. You can regulate the temperature by adjusting the rock wall, letting either more or less cold river water flow in.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Caroline C – @carolinegcarlson

When to go:

It’s best to go during the summer, fall and winter.  The hot springs can  flood out during spring from the snow melt.

What to bring:


MI OLA surf bikini in our new Under the Sea print.

MI  OLA  Selva  Full  X  Back  Top  and  CYA  Double  String  Bottom  in  Under The Sea



Music – Please be respectful if there are other people enjoying the hot springs.

Where to Stay:

Avalanche Ranch, just a short drive upstream from the Penny Hot Springs.

Crystal River KOA

Bogan Flats Campground in Carbondale, CO.

Beaver Lake Lodge Cabin in Marble, CO.

Where to eat:

There is a Whole Foods a couple of miles away in Basalt. I love to go there and grab healthy snacks to enjoy at the hot springs. If you take anything to eat or drink in the hot springs, make sure that you pack out all of your trash.

Nearby Hikes:

Mushroom Rock Hike– an easy but beautiful 2-mile hike with views that overlook Mt. Sopris and the Crystal River.

Mt. Sopris– If you have a full day to spend hiking, this 13-mile trek is as challenging as a 14er.

Other Activites:

My favorite activity to do before relaxing in the Penny Hot Springs is ski touring in Marble.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Caroline C – @carolinegcarlson

From Carbondale continue south on Highway 133 to get Marble. Tour the old marble quarry, enjoy a quiet picnic beside Beaver Lake  or visit the Crystal Mill – one of Colorado’s most photographed sites.

Ski, shop or eat in Aspen! Drive north back up to Carbondale, then take CO-82 E for about 25 miles to Aspen.

Getting There:

From I-70/Glenwood Springs: Take CO-82 E towards Aspen. After 10.2 miles turn right onto CO-133 S for Carbondale. Take Highway 133 for 14 miles and the Penny Hot Springs will be located on the east side (left side) of the highway, a few hundred feet north of mile marker 55.

There will be a small parking area on the left.

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Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com