A guide to the best hot springs after a long day on the hill

There’s no better way to unwind after a long day of skiing or snowboarding then soaking your body in some warm water while enjoying an adult beverage (or two).

And while hot tubs are well and good, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of relaxing in a hot spring. Like Ty Webb told Carl Spackler in Caddyshack, the natural spring water is good for you.

But unfortunately, there aren’t hot springs near most ski resorts across and some of the springs can be a bit difficult to find if you don’t know where to search.

So we compiled a list of some of the most alluring hot springs near famous ski resorts across the country to help you take your apres ski game to the next level.

Mammoth Mountain, California: Wild Willy’s and Hilltop Hot Springs

The view from Wild Willy's hot spring outside of Mammoth Lakes is nothing short of magical. Photo: Courtesy of Lars Dugaiczyk/Flickr
The view from Wild Willy’s hot spring outside of Mammoth Lakes is nothing short of magical. Photo: Courtesy of Lars Dugaiczyk/Flickr
The Eastern Sierra is peppered with hot springs, and the areas surrounding Mammoth Mountain has a plethora of options to choose from for anybody looking to soak their sore legs.

The two most famous hot springs near the mountain are Hilltop and Wild Willy’s, and for good reason.

Hilltop is the smaller of the two hot springs and has hotter water. Bathers at Hilltop can choose to move as close to or as far away from the hot spring source as they’d like depending on how warm they want the water to be. Wild Willy’s, while not as hot, is larger and more kid-friendly due to its cooler temperatures.

Hilltop and Wild Willy’s are adjacent to one another, offer some of the most scenic views in all of the Eastern Sierra (for free) and are clothing optional if you want to go au natural.

To get to them, take US 395 South for roughly five miles, turn left onto Benton Crossing Road and continue for 2.5 miles. There you will be able to access both Wild Willy’s and Hilltop.

Steamboat Resort, Colorado: Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Located about 10 miles away from the iconic Steamboat Resort in Colorado, the Strawberry Park Hot Springs are a major draw in their own right.

A massive collection of natural hot springs with 104-degree water, Strawberry Park been built up to include small, man-made waterfalls and easy stairway entrances which makes the whole thing seem like the Disneyland of hot springs.

And that polished vibe extends past the layout of the hot springs: Strawberry Park offers special massage packages you can order to really up your relaxation.

The hot spring is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Entrance is $15 dollars for adults, and clothing is optional in the pool after dark.

To get to the springs, follow County Road 36 north for five miles to the signed parking lot.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado: Penny Hot Springs

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Located along the Crystal River just past the town of Carbondale, the Penny Hot Springs are a collection of natural, untouched hot springs just a short drive away from Aspen Snowmass.

The hot springs were originally named for Dan Penny, who ran a small hotel and bathhouse nearby. In the 1960s, as more and more people started flocking to the Penny Hot Springs to soak in their birthday suits, local residents grew tired of the behavior at the bathhouse and decided to bulldoze it.

Subsequently, Pitkin County acquired the hot springs, and reopened them to the public. Now, the hot springs are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.

To get to the hot springs, drive south of Carbondale on Highway 133. You’ll see the springs on the eastern side of the highways near from mile marker 55. Clothing is required if you’re hoping to soak.

Brundage Mountain Resort, Idaho: Burgdorf Hot Springs

The Burgdorf Hot Springs were built by Fred Burgdorf in the 1800’s and have remained largely untouched since then. In fact they’re so steeped in Old West style that the property is on the National Register of Historic Places.

A collection of 15 rustic cabins surrounding a naturally-fed, gravel bottom geothermal pool, the Burgdorf Hot Springs sit amid the stunning Idaho backcountry roughly one hour north of the Brundage Ski Resort in McCall.

They’re accessible only by snowmobile in the winter, so if you’re looking to get to them you’d do well to rent a snowmobile from Cheap Thrills Rentals in McCall.

While they’re remote, the hot springs are rewarding for anyone willing to make the trek out to them: Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 8 p.m. on the weekend, the water in the hot springs sits near 110 degrees and offers the opportunity for visitors to witness the many elk and moose that roam near the property.

Admission to Burgdorf costs $8 for adults, and clothing is required.

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