The soothing Yampah Hot Springs |

The soothing Yampah Hot Springs

Snowmass Sun

Feeling a bit tired? Muscles aching after a hard day of hiking and biking? Try the steamy Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves to soothe those aching muscles. Less than an hour from Aspen, in Glenwood Springs, Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves is a unique, 106-year-old spa that offers numerous body treatments like massage, body wraps, herbal wraps, facials, body mud and body scrub in addition to the caves. They also have salon services such as hair and nail treatment, waxing, facials and cellulite treatment.

The Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves are natural underground steam baths. Hot mineral waters flow through the cave floors at 125 degrees Fahrenheit to create the natural geothermal steam baths. These are the only known natural vapor caves in North America, all others are manmade excavations.

Even before the white man discovered the soothing and restorative powers of the caves, Glenwood’s hot springs was one of the oldest known gathering places for the Ute Indians. They named it Yampah, meaning “big medicine” and regarded the caves as a sacred place of healing and rejuvenation.

Visitors today still honor that tradition. The Vapor Caves purify body and spirit as they soothe away aches and pains. The first bath house at the caves was built in 1893.

Now, more than a century later, the spa’s present owners have completely rebuilt the former structure and remodeled the entire interior. Present facilities include separate dressing rooms and shower rooms for men and women, individual private massage rooms and a bright solarium with a skylight and fountain.

The caves are a truly freaky place to melt into a higher state of consciousness.

Guests change upstairs before descending into the subterranean rooms through which hot subterranean water winds its way, keeping the air hot and humid. Sit or lounge on rock benches in the dimly lit caverns.

After just a few minutes, the cares and aches of the world melt away to be replaced by quiet calm.

Afterwards, cool off in the solarium, a place so calm and relaxing that one quickly forgets their name, serial number and e-mail password.

“Our spa is a pampering place for adults,” says owner-manager Patsy Boecker. “People come here to relax and allow others to take care of them for a change.”

Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, 709 East Sixth St., Glenwood Springs, just east of the Hot Springs Pool. Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Reservations suggested, but not required for spa treatments. Private cave group rentals available after hours; lodging and spa packages available. (970) 945-0667