Avalanche Ranch located in Redstone, Colorado, is a short 52-minute drive from Aspen. Centered on three natural hot springs, Avalanche Ranch is a quaint retreat from society. Cabins varying in size and accommodation offer private lodging for individuals, couples, families and groups. Avalanche Ranch promises more than picturesque cabins but also the calming waters of the hot springs and crisp, clean mountain air. Hot springs have been attributed with more than just relaxation. For centuries healers and doctors have acclaimed the healing attributes of natural hot springs. Scientists today attribute these benefits to the geothermal energy and the high mineral content of the water. Joint pain, swollen glands and painful blood vessels can all experience relief from soaking in mineral springs. Breathing in the steamy, thermal water improves circulation, and removes toxins from the bloodstream by dissolving them. An increased metabolism is also attributed to soaking in hot springs. Avalanche Ranch has improved upon the natural health benefits of the hot springs by offering specialty massage and yoga as well. Yoga classes designed for groups, private courses or special needs are influenced by the Iyengar tradition and conducted by Vinyasa trained instructors. Yoga has been shown to improve strength and flexibility as well as reduce stress and pain. Massage, either 60 or 90 minutes, in-room or at the request of a hot springs guest also reduce stress, improve circulation.
Slightly farther away, three hours to the north, in Steamboat Springs another hot springs offers all of the benefits of the hot springs in a slightly larger, more family friendly setting. Old Town Hot Springs and Strawberry Park are popular destinations, complete with water slides, bridges and enclosures. However the fun doesn’t stop there! In the summer months Steamboat Springs offers all sorts of water fun. Beyond the obvious activity; swimming in the lakes, reservoirs, river and creeks, water offers a variety of exercise Boating and rafting on Steamboat Lake or the Yampa River offer a wide range of health benefits. In addition to the fresh air, rafting, paddling and boating are great exercise, burning roughly 350 calories per hour on the water. Rafting is also an often over-looked form of relaxation. The wind on your face, the sounds and sensation of water beneath you help relax the body, but the almost required accompaniment to this is laughter. It boosts endorphins, helps the immune system and relaxes the body for up to 45 minutes after a hearty laugh. Steamboat Springs offers a wide range of accommodations, from resort style to hotels and camping; there are multiple options from which to take in this northern retreat.
Three and half hours due east, Denver, Colorado offers the accommodations, shopping and culture of a big city along with a culinary tradition of health and good living. A weekend in the big city offers a fun change of space, with museums such as the Denver Museum of Art, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Molly Brown house and countless others to provide ample walking, (if the malls and shopping centers are not enough) as well as the opportunity to enjoy new and cutting edge cuisine. Sushi Sasa has won multiple awards for its sushi, from a Zagat award to multiple Top of the Town awards, offering a strong recommendation for fresh, healthy and delicious sushi. Root Down, another Denver restaurant, prides itself on its “Field to Fork” mentality. Here organic, natural and local food is served with “globally influenced seasonal cuisine.” Potager is another “Field to Fork restaurant” whose organic menu changes monthly to reflect the food in season as well as to offer a diverse dining experience. For Aspenites, accustomed to fine dining experiences, with a focus on local and organic eating, Denver is an extension of that mindset, if on a somewhat larger and more diverse playing field. A weekend to Denver will allow you to catch up on your shopping and culture, while ensuring healthy food options are available.
Almost four hours in the opposite direction will take you to Moab, Utah for an entirely different weekend experience completely. The landscape transition from the Rockies into eastern Utah is almost otherworldly. The cool mountain breezes rustling tall evergreens and cackling creeks rolling by are replaced with stark red stone, orange dust and alien land features as far as the eye can see. Here, among the rocks and sand lies some of the best biking the country has to offer. The desert offers a completely new set of biking challenges to those adventure seekers after the next adrenaline rush. Because of its reputation as the best mountain biking on the planet, Moab makes a point of offering every skill level of biking and opportunity. For extremely experienced riders, new challenges will greet them every day, with every ride, like the famous Slickrock Bike Trail. More elementary riders still have lots of trains from which to choose, ensuring an optimal time by all. Biking has been shown to build strength, maintain or lose weight, improve balance and benefit cardiac health. Incredible sightseeing at Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park round Moab out for a multi-faceted weekend destination.
While these are just a few of our favorite weekend destination within a day’s drive of Aspen, there are countless more with their own attributes and offerings. Located near Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and even Wyoming, Aspenites are surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature. This summer, give in to your wanderlust and discover the West as you have never seen it before! Afterwards, make sure to come by Aspen Club and Spa to share your adventures and pictures.
http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1634 , http://www.livinghealthy360.com/index.php/the-health-benefits-of-hot-springs-9072/ , http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm , http://www.smokymountainrafting.com/blog/whitewater-rafting-gatlinburg/top-3-health-benefits-white-water-rafting/