One of the most popular backpacking trips in Colorado is to Conundrum Hot Springs. With its amazing alpine scenery along the Elk Range Peaks, it is a truly unique backcountry experience. Another reason for the popularity is the irresistible and stunning hot springs at the end–entirely impossible to resist when you need to soak your weary muscles. If you’ve never been to Conundrum Hot Springs, pack your bags today. Fall is the best time to go.
Hike through summer, fall & winter beauty
When you hike this trail during mid-October, there’s no guarantee of which season will be dominating the landscape. You may very well be hiking in 75-degree summer temperatures amongst the golden and fall-tinged glow of the hillsides, while snow-covered peaks loom ahead. You’ll pass through sun-drenched meadows, under towering aspens with fall foliage and evergreen forests, with the ground being a mixture of ice, snow and frozen mud, quite like no other place on earth.
Beat the crowds
While the hike to Conundrum Hot Springs will never be totally crowd-free, there are far fewer people in mid-fall that you’d find during winter. There are quite a few bonuses to this, including snagging a parking place in the designated lot, the chance of landing one of the highly coveted designated campsites near the hot springs, and a much better spot on the hot springs themselves.
Take advantage of the best Colorado weather
When you hike to Conundrum Hot Springs in autumn, this means you can wear shorts and a t-shirt during the day, and a down jacket at night. Taking this trip in the fall also means you’re not as likely to encounter afternoon thunderstorms, and fall’s chilly temperatures mean soaking in the hot springs a borderline divine experience. The nippy air will chill your head and shoulders just so, while the rest of your body is soaked in warm and soothing waters.
Easily cross the creeks
There are three creek crossings on Conundrum Creek Trail, which have high water levels during spring and while fordable in the summer, your shoes and socks will definitely end up sopping wet. The level of the water during the fall is low enough to cross them easily, meaning your feet will be dry and happy. There are three creek crossings on Conundrum Creek Trail, which have high water levels during spring and while fordable in the summer, your shoes and socks will definitely end up sopping wet. The level of the water during the fall is low enough to cross them easily, meaning your feet will be dry and happy.
Photo by wanderstruck. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.