There’s a stretch of the ruggedly stunning San Luis Valley — 32 miles south of Salida and 50 miles north of Alamosa — that Native American elders and spiritual gurus have dubbed one of the most sacred and energetically active spaces in North America.
Rejuvenating waters spiral up from the earth. The red-hued Sangre de Cristo mountain range stretches along the horizon. Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve rises and drops in a sandy natural wonder, and the mystical mecca of Crestone is just 30 minutes away. Embracing cool summers and sun-soaked winters, Joyful Journey Hot Springs intersects the valley floor at 7,700 feet, inviting guests in for a relaxing pause.
Joyful Journey waters are said to be encoded with the energy of the earth. Water rises from the travertine springs at Fahrenheit temps between 120 degrees and 145 degrees, and the spa maintains pools at a comfortable 98 degrees to 108 degrees. Each pool is drained and cleaned nightly, and Joyful Journey is one of the few hot springs with natural hot mineral water that does not give off an egg-like sulfur odor.
Three pools — including a peaceful whisper-only pool with postcard mountain views — and two Jacuzzi hot tubs dot the rustic property. Guests melt into therapeutic artesian waters to absorb mineral contents that have been known to soothe muscles, improve blood circulation and detoxify the body’s lymphatic system.
Accommodations range from minimalist hotel rooms with private bathrooms and aspen wood furniture to native tipis, furnished all-season yurts and RV and tent campsites. All walks of life are welcome; Joyful Journey is LGBTQ friendly, cannabis friendly and pet friendly. Walk the meditative labyrinth path and then retreat to the community dining room for nourishing homemade meals, (breakfast and dinner are included with overnight stays) that include eggs, pancakes, pastas, grain bowls, soups and salads with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options available.
Joyful Journey is a special hot springs and spa for those who appreciate a magical, no-frills destination wrapped in genuine appreciation for straightforward zen and rejuvenation. Happy soaking!
Don’t Miss: The Joyful Journey Yoga Combo. Guests looking for a restorative Sunday can join a yoga class from 8 to 9 a.m., enjoy a healthy breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and then soak in the hot springs from 10 a.m. to noon for only $25. Call to reserve a spot.
The Minerals + The Benefits
Joyful Journey pools are filled daily with natural, mineral-rich geothermically heated water. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most beneficial minerals found in the therapeutic waters.
Important in brain function, an essential mineral found in every cell of the body, lessens the duration of colds, flu and infections. Assists in controlling mental apathy.
Aids in hair growth, helps counteract fatigue, important for regular heart and kidney function.
An electrolyte found in the body, regulates blood pressure and heart function, maintains the body’s fluid levels.
Strengthens muscles, vital for the nervous system, helps protect against cardiovascular disease and lowers high blood pressure.
Helps prevent osteoporosis and arthritis, assists in building and repairing joints, plays a role in brain function.
Assists with heart rhythm, blood clotting, nerve transmission, foot/leg cramps and menstrual and menopause issues.
Photos courtesy of Joyful Journey Hot Springs.
Originally published in Summer + Fall 2022 issue.
Lisa Blake is a freelance writer living in Breckenridge, specializing in dining, outdoors, ski resorts and wellness. She is happiest on her mountain bike, yoga mat or in a raft with her husband, son and pug. Her work has been featured in Aspen Modern Luxury, Purist, 5280 and GoBreck. Find her at lisablakecreative.com.