Along the Colorado River, this natural hot springs mineral water has served residents and visitors for well over a century.
Cleansing Vapors For Centuries
The Ute Indians took advantage of the caves curative powers for hundreds of summers before white men discovered the area in the mid-1800s. The original Ute cave was on the south side of the river and was used until 1887, when it was sealed over by the railroad. Vapor Cave #3 was developed along with the Hot Springs complex in the 1880s, when the cave received an enclosed entrance, electric lights and marble benches. Men and women bathers had separate bathing times and, for modestys sake, wore heavy linen bags with a draw string at the neck.
From A Walking Tour of Downtown Glenwood Springs,
Today, Yampah Spa, Vapor Caves & Mineral Baths take the hot mineral waters naturally high in sulphur and other therapeutic minerals and create a modern day spa with all of the comforts you'd expect in a World-Class Colorado Day Spa.
Those Good Old Days In Glenwood Springs
The hot springs and mineral caves in Glenwood Springs are not only a prime attraction to tourists today, but were a main reason for the settlement of this city.
Long before the white man came to this area, the hot springs were well known to Indian tribes for their healing aspects. The tribe in possession of the Yampah Hot Springs possessed the big medicine of that time (Yampah meaning big medicine in Indian language).
Glenwoods Early Days
There were 50 hot springs on both sides of the Grand River when white men first came here, with an aggregated flow of 6,000 gallons of mineral waters a minute and a temperature of 127 degrees F. The sulpo-saline-alkaline medicinal waters are world-renowned for their therapeutic value for both bathing and drinking. Natural vapor caves were found in Glenwood when palefaces first stopped by. Those on the town side were the most generally used and average temperature of the caves was 112 degrees F.
Nellie Duffy The Glenwood Post
The Vapor Caves Today
Visitors to the 100 year old Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves continue to experience a long tradition of healing and rejuvenation. The caves and a wide range of excellent spa treatments combine to purify body and spirit as they soothe away aches and pains.
In addition to the revitalizing vapors of the underground cave chambers, the spa features a full range of contemporary health and beauty treatments: massage, facials, herbal body mud treatments and private natural mineral baths.
Today the Vapor Caves consist of three adjoining underground rock chambers. Visitors descend a stairway inside the main building and pass through a stone corridor into the caves. An atmosphere of well-being pervades throughout the soothing stillness of the caves. Relax on slab marble benches in the rocky alcoves, and inhale the natural steam vapor in the warm, dimly-lit cave chambers. Stress and tension melt away effortlessly.
Cave temperatures average 110 -112 degrees F., allowing repeated visits of 10 -12 minutes separated by brief rests in a nearby cooling room, or upstairs in the spacious solarium. Cold water and small tubs are also available for cooling off in the caves.
The hot springs source is in the hillside behind the spa. The natural, untreated therapeutic water contains 34 minerals and trace elements, and is especially high in sulfate, nitrate, zinc and potassium. The hot springs water flows through the caves at a simmering 125 degrees F. by way of narrow, shallow channels.
The present spa owners undertook an extensive renovation in 1990. They completely rebuilt the former structure, replaced plumbing and wiring, and remodeled the entire interior. Present facilities include separate dressing rooms and showers for men and women, many individual massage rooms and a bright solarium with a skylight and fountain. An adjacent wing of the spa contains natural mineral bath soaking tubs and the spas exceptional body cleansing, toning and beauty treatment area. A full service salon added in 1994 offers complete personal care for hair, facial, skin, nails and waxing.