Asher on Aspen: Soaking Up Offseason

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen

Humor me for a second. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a place where you feel relaxed and content, your happy place. Are you outside in nature sitting next to a rushing river? Curled up on the couch watching your favorite old movie? Perhaps you’re in Disney World with your family in line for Space Mountain. Can you see it? For me, that happy place will always involve being outside, preferably in the mountains, and preferably close to a body of water.

After a long week, I can’t think of anything more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub — or better yet, a natural hot spring. On what was an especially quiet weekend in Aspen’s offseason, a couple girlfriends and I decided to flee town and venture down to Glenwood Springs to have a relaxing day at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs — my newfound happy place.

Located alongside the Colorado River, this unique hot spring location offers 16 geothermal pools, all of which are completely surrounded by panoramic Rocky Mountain views. Guests are required to wear masks at all times when walking around the property, except when they are actually in the water. Each pool has a strict capacity limit to ensure guests are social distancing while soaking. Additionally, the water goes through a sand-based filtration system before it’s pumped into the pools, and since the water circulates continuously, it is completely refreshed every two hours.

It felt like we were at a giant playground of pools for adults — hopping from one to the next with blissful curiosity of how they all compared to one another. Each basin differed in shape, temperature, and experience with no two pools being the same. We started off with the freshwater family pool that was intended for all ages and was also a bit cooler. Eventually, we moved on to try out the heart-shaped pool, infinity view lagoon and a very unique tub that featured a waterfall. Among them all, the pebble-bottomed reflexology pool was definitely the most popular.

Interestingly enough, the water itself is extremely beneficial as people have been using the natural healing powers of mineral water for wellness for thousands of years. Thermal mineral water helps to revitalize the skin, calm the nerves, detoxify the body and refresh oxygen levels. It has even been known to aid health issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, skin conditions, depression and respiratory illness including asthma.

According to the lifeguard on duty, the pools ranged from a mild 98 degrees to a toasty 108 degrees. The naturally heated water worked wonders for my physical and mental state. Upon dipping my toes into the first body of water, I immediately felt less tense and less stressed. Soothing songs of peaceful spa music played throughout the property, helping us to thoroughly decompress. We spotted snowcapped Mount Sopris and rugged Red Mountain off in the distance — an epic view that served as our backdrop for the duration of our visit.

Soaking at the springs is a must if you’re looking to get away and hit the reset button for a few hours. As many can attest, offseason in Aspen can potentially be a very dark and lonely time — hence why so many people leave town. However, it’s days like these that make me appreciate the offseason months. We can’t be on vacation every day in our tourist-driven town. It’s this time of year that is imperative for locals and their mental health. We need this time to reboot and recharge. We need the balance between ordinary life and insane wealth. But on that note, my skis are ready to go. Let the countdown to opening day begin!

Aspen Times Weekly

WineInk: The 2023 vintage

“2023 predicted to be the Vintage of a Lifetime in Napa Valley,” proclaimed the headline this week in a press release sent out by the Napa Valley Vintners, the trade organization that represents the growers and producers in America’s most famed wine region. If there is anyone more optimistic than winemakers, it is the group that represents them.

See more