Welcome back friends and Happy Friday!!!
Today I’m sharing the last leg of my trip to Aspen. Seriously, reminiscing this trip has made me very eager to get back there! I’ve already nonchalantly started planning a trip out there for this upcoming winter. Don’t get me wrong, Aspen in the summer is beyond stunning but there’s something extra special about Colorado with a nice layer of crisp white glistening snow. Ah, Aspen with snow, I can only imagine is dreamy af!
If you missed Day 1 and Day 2 of this trip; just click on either link to go back in time!
Day 3 was our nice and relaxed leisurely day, which was a great change of pace from the previous day of adventuring. We slept in for as long as our internal body alarm clock would allow us, usually ~8/9AM and lounged till about 10AM until we decided we needed our cup of jo! Andrew also knows my dire love of donuts and found a sweet donut shop in Glenwood so we picked some up to enjoy on the balcony (of course because uh did I mention how much we LOVED that spot- haha).
Shortly thereafter, we got ready for the day and decided to head into downtown Aspen to stroll through the John Denver Sanctuary.
If you love botanical gardens as much as I do, then this is a must-see! A gorgeous park to stroll through.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, everyday we were there, the weather was a solid high 80’s low 90’s- therefore HOT. By the time we finished up the sanctuary, we were dying from the heat so we hopped back in the car and decided to drive through Red Mountain Road to gawk at some of these Aspen mansion homes. Andrew and I were both just bewildered because who are these people that own these homes?! They were UNBELIEVABLE. When you have gigantic art sculptures (yes, multiple) in your backyard, you’re for sure making $$$. I didn’t snag any photos of the homes but this is the view that those homes had, just casually overseeing all of Aspen.
Driving through the luxurious neighborhoods got us hungry so we stopped back into downtown, grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the airbnb to get ready for our next adventure.
Penny Hot Springs
Okay so our original plan was to check out a hot spring in Glenwood because like I said in my Day 1 post, Glenwood is notorious for their hot springs. To me, the hot springs in Glenwood weren’t exactly what I was looking for per say. A lot of these hot springs have been overtaken by resorts and have been turned into like swimming pools or it’ll look like a typical hot tub. Granted the water temperatures are probably regulated but I wanted something more authentic. Not to mention you usually need to pay to get into these pools that are within the resorts and to me, I’m just like why? When it can be a free experience. So in my research, I found in the town we were staying in, Carbondale, there was a hot spring that looked like what I was in search for.
We actually drove by it the previous day to check it out and YES! It was exactly what I was hoping to find. When we did the drive by we weren’t equipped with our bathing suits which is why we decided to do it for Day 3.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: It’s on the side of the road, no signs, but the GPS will bring you to the location just type in Penny Hot Springs. There’s a small pull off parking lot and from there you need to climb down the side of the mountain (we did it in slides so, totally do able) and you’ll find true natural hot springs. COMPLETELY FREE!
I was blown away. Let me show you and then I’ll get a little more into detail.
There was about 8 pools give or take that have been carved out with rocks. In the photo above, the pool in the bottom left corner (there were about 3 others to the left of that one) the hot water was literally coming from the bottom of the pool, through the sand and pebbles. You know when you dig your feet into the sand at the beach and it’s usually cool, well if you did that here, it was HOT! I don’t understand or know the science behind it but it’s really neat.
This one in particular was a great temperature because there was a slight opening to let some of the cold creek water to get in and the combination made it really soothing and comfortable to sit in.
This pool in particular was ravenously hot and situated right next to the one I just showed above. My little disclaimer would be to obviously check the temperature and make sure your body can withstand how hot they are. Some pools were definitely hotter than others and just dependent on if there was a way for the cool creek water to get into it.
Okay so on the right side there were about another 4-5 of them. I didn’t capture them because people were sitting in them and out of respect didn’t want to photograph them. But you can see the rim of the rocks which is where the pools were.
For those pools, there was SCORCHING hot water streaming out from the side of the mountain and into the pools. And when I say scorching, I mean like HOT HOT to the point you could see the steam. Needless to say, these ones were little extra hot because of the continuous hot stream pouring into the pools. It’s nice because you can finagle and tampering with the rocks to help regulate the temperature and create a little perfect oasis. And truly, the view while soaking is just so gratifying.
Andrew and I LOVED it. I would literally go back SOLELY for the hot springs.
EXTRA: If you continue driving past the hot springs (again its a beautiful drive) you can check out the Redstone Coke Ovens. Coke ovens back in the day would burn impurities out of coal which then created “coking coal” which was used to create steel to build the railroads which I thought we’re pretty cool. But I also love old run down historical things.
Day 4 was our last day. We honestly decided to head back once we checked out of the Airbnb, since we had Vin with us and it’s just too hot for him to be outside for that long. I was honestly excited for the drive back because we drive through The Glenwood Canyons and if I had to choose I’d say THAT is/was my favorite scenic bypass road. Every drive in Colorado, I’m flabbergasted but I will say this little bypass has got me ooh-ing and aww-ing, eyes wide and jaw dropped. The river adjacent to the canyon is the Colorado river! It’s also a very popular spot for white water rafting. There’s some parts where the water is viciously rapid and then others parts it was completely still. Really cool, and we’ll be going back to do some rafting for sure!
I’m going to end this post with a quick peak and pit of the trip.
Pit- Honestly nothing really but if I had to choose… On our last night at the Airbnb, a little mouse got into the home but thank God for Vinny because he caught that sucker so quick. In retrospect, hilarious. But at the time not so funny because I was actually sitting on the toilet when the mouse ran in and is where Vin caught it LOL.
Peak- So hard to choose, but even with the stunning views of Maroon Bells or the drive through Frying Pan Road and everything else we saw and did- the Penny Hot Springs is my peak!
Probably the best trip of 2020, granted, the only other travel destination this year was San Francisco (which I also loved) back in February. I love Colorado because it’s a vacation in its own, and sometimes right in your backyard…. or 3 hours away. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself by saying best trip of 2020, we still have 2 more local trips planned for this year but I will say this one will be tough to beat!!!
If you plan on visiting and/or have any questions on anything from this trip, just ask me 🙂 Comments or email- I’m here for you!! I really do hope each and every one of you get a chance to visit at some point!