Friday, October 9, 2020

Largest Natural Hot Spring in the World!

By Tiffany Amber Stockton

Last month, I shared about the history of hot air balloons to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the hot air balloon festival here in Colorado Springs that takes place every year over Labor Day weekend. This year, Covid caused a lot of changes, but it changed from a specific location to a city-wide event and still took place. That inspired me to cover the first hot air balloon ride. If you missed that post, you can read it here:

For today, I thought it would be fun to explore the enjoyment and appeal of natural hot springs. 

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Glenwood Springs - Home to the World's Largest Natural Hot Spring

With the weather turning cooler in a lot of areas, thoughts of staying warm enter a lot of minds. In today's world with talk of viruses and being safe, health is on a lot of minds as well. For Colorado, health was one of the top draws to the original settlers.

Sure, there are stories of gold and silver in the Rocky Mountains and people stopping in this area on their way further west, and most of that is true for the average settler. However, for the wealthy and elite, the draw and appeal connected directly to the benefits of the drier air along with the natural hot springs full of minerals which provided an abundance of physical benefits for a wide variety of ailments.

The historic thermal spring water has been drawing visitors from all over the world since 1888. Can you imagine someone discovering the therapeutic pools then writing a letter or sending a telegram back east to family and friends? It didn't take long for word of these "healing waters" to spread and even for many doctors to recommend treatment to their patients.

The source of the Glenwood Hot Springs’ mineral water is the Yampah spring which produces over 3.5 million gallons of water per day at a temperature of 122°F. The Yampah is a sulfur spring, which specializes in creating a relaxing experience. Nearby Iron Mountain and the Iron Spring is a geothermal spring, which is more therapeutic due to the iron content in the water which can help oxygenate the blood. It's like taking a bath and being rejuvenated at the same time!

“Taking the waters” is a time-honored healing tradition. Members of the nomadic Ute tribe were the earliest known people to soak in the healing hot springs. In fact, the springs retain the original Ute language name “Yampah,” which translates to “Big Medicine.”

The two-block long pool is across the street from the historic Hotel Colorado, a favorite stop of former president Teddy Roosevelt. According to legend, the teddy bear received its birth at Hotel Colorado. To cheer the President after an unsuccessful day of hunting, the maids at the hotel gave him a stuffed bear pieced together with scraps of fine material. Later, when he did manage to snag bear, his daughter admired it and said, “I will call it Teddy.” The term caught on and became the name for the world’s most popular toy, the Teddy Bear.

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* Have you ever visited hot springs? Where? If you haven't yet, would you like to visit one somewhere?

* If you were living during the post-Civil War era and Westward Expansion, what would entice you the most to uproot your life and head west?

* What did you like most about today's post?


Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having a very active imagination and cited with talking entirely too much. Today, she has honed those childhood skills to become an award-winning and best-selling author and speaker who is also an advocate for literacy as an educational consultant with Usborne Books. She loves to share life-changing products and ideas with others to help better their lives.

She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, along with their two children and two dogs in Colorado. She has sold twenty (23) books so far and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. You can find her on Facebook and GoodReads.


  1. Fascinating post! Many years ago we visited Hot Springs, Arkansas. Having moved regularly while growing up, I might be willing to go west if it seemed to offer a better opportunity.

    1. Linda, that was likely a reason. Better opportunity than where someone lived at the time. So, what was it like in Hot Springs, Arkansas?

  2. Thanks for posting! I've never visited a hot spring. I wonder if war-weary people who maybe had their homes and land ravaged, as well as maybe their families, would be the first to move west in an attempt to get the physical and emotional carnage out of their sight.

    1. Connie, that's a great possibility! I had honestly never thought of that perspective, but it could definitely be a strong reason to leave and head west. The west was virtually untouched, and brand new memories could be made to replace the sad or difficult ones. Fantastic insight!

  3. I moved frequently as a military brat. Colorado was not one of my landing spots. I love learning about the natural beauty of America. On my first mission trip to the Philippines the pastor took us to a natural spring for a day of relaxation. It sat on top of an inactive volcano. I think if I think if I heard the Springs had restorative powers I would have taken the waters for sure. Thanks for the fascinating post.

    1. A hot spring on top of an inactive volcano? I'm not sure I would have been able to do that! Lol!