Active + Adventure

America's Best Hikes

by Sarah Tuff

Conundrum Hot Springs, Colorado

The hike: Yes, you should probably wear clothes while hiking the nine-mile trail from Aspen to Conundrum Hot Springs. After all, there are sometimes patches of snow here in the Maroon Bells Wilderness, even in summer. And hikers gain 2,700 feet in elevation as they pass waterfalls and wildflower-studded meadows, so layering strategies are key. But once you get to the crystal-clear pools of steaming water—about 20 feet wide and a steady 100 degrees—feel free to strip down and join your fellow hikers (hippie wannabes and Aspenites fleeing the scene) for a soak.

Peak experience: Letting your toes go pruny in the geothermal pools, of course.

Base camp: After an overnight at "The Bluffs" backcountry campsite next to Conundrum Hot Springs, revel in your fanciest swimsuit at Aspen's Sky Hotel, a 90-room Kimpton property with a city-meets-mountain aesthetic and a fleet of Cadillac Escalades for weary hikers (doubles from $269).

When to go: Year-round, though you'll have to don cross-country skis in the winter.

Photo: Courtesy Sam Ley, Flickr

Next: A truly superior trail in Minnesota ›

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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