by Dick Butler
Photos by the author
STEAMBOAT / STRAWBERRY PARK

It was a crisp clear late March day that added to our enjoyment of an afternoon soak in the hot spring pools of Strawberry Park.

After a strenuous day of skiing, our group of five joined dozens of other participants at this popular outdoor facility, part health spa, part local swimming hole, and part natural wonder, just a twenty-minute drive over a bumpy muddy road from the Steamboat Grand Hotel. The setting reminded me of a place left over from the sixties, with its rustic lean-tos and open air shelters of heavy timber, wood shakes and native stone, complete with several small pools, foot bridges, small waterfalls, and stone surfaced terraces. I wondered if it was owned, developed and operated by a hippie architect, whose dream business model had come true.

A full service health spa it is not. But for close contact with nature, this 40 acre wooded and hilly site sensitively improved by man, was much more than I expected. It was a striking relaxed contrast to the built-up, commercialized core of what now has become Steamboat Springs.

Two enclosed pools with hand-crafted stone walls set the warmest water [104 degrees] aside from the much much cooler Hot Springs Creek. The much cooler “creek pool”, provided a cold contrast for those most daring. A brief 30 seconds in the Creek and I was numb all over.

Massages, aromatherapy, and other therapeutic approaches are offered at the Park, along with overnight stays at tent sites and unique rustic cabins.

Check it out at www.strawberryhotsprings.com



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