Conundrum Hot Springs - Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

White River National Forest

Conundrum Hot Springs, at 11,200 feet in elevation, are a special feature of the 181,976-acre Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This area carries special legal designation to protect its natural, undeveloped and untrammeled qualities as well as to provide outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation.

Be Prepared for a Challenging Hike!
The distance to Conundrum Hot Springs from the Conundrum Creek trailhead is approximately 8.5 miles (one-way) with an elevation gain of 2,400 feet. The trailhead starts at 8,800 feet elevation and climbs continuously through the valley to the hot springs at 11,200 feet. The effects of the high elevation environment, including altitude sickness, should not be underestimated.

The trail crosses Conundrum Creek three times before the hot springs. Primitive log bridges span the first and the second crossings. The third crossing requires wading through the creek. This crossing can be challenging, especially during spring and summer runoff, and is noteworthy for trip planning.

The best time to visit Conundrum Hot Springs is July through September. Remember: these hot springs sit high in the Rocky Mountains. From early October to late June, the campsites and trail are snow covered and the trailhead is inaccessible. Avalanche hazards exist in the valley. Snow makes route finding difficult. If you’re not prepared to travel and camp in snow, plan your trip for the summer.


Why Do I Need a Permit?

We’re excited that you want to visit Conundrum Hot Springs and thank you in advance for being a good steward. The camping permit system, and the regulations, are in place to help protect this unique Wilderness treasure. Camping in designated campsites minimizes disturbance to the hot springs area and surrounding ecosystems while still providing access to and enjoyment of this special place. Remember, you’ll need to a bear canister. Campfires and dogs are not allowed. There are no toilets so now’s the time to brush up on backcountry bathroom etiquette. As a visitor to the area, it’s up to you to help protect this amazing place, and we know that you will!

Permit & Season Information

The permit allows the permit holder and their group (up to maximum allowable group size at the campsite) to reserve and occupy a campsite in the Conundrum Hot Springs permit zone. The permit holder and group are required to camp in their reserved campsite.

The permit is required year-round for overnight camping in the vicinity of the Conundrum Hot Springs. The best time to visit Conundrum Hot Springs is July through September. From early October to late June, the campsites and trail are snow covered and the trailhead is inaccessible. Avalanche hazards exist in the valley. Snow makes route finding difficult.

The permit zone includes all of Conundrum Creek Valley from Silver Dollar Pond to Triangle Pass.
View map of permit zone
View map of reserveable campsites

Need to Know

When planning your trip, please keep the following in mind:

A few more items to agree to and consider when planning include:

Fee Policy

The reservation fee is $6 per permit. This fee is non-refundable. This fee is retained by Recreation.gov to complete the transaction. No part of the fee goes to the White River National Forest.

Cancellation Policy

Change Policy

Cancellation Policy

Contact Information

Mailing Address

620 Main Street Carbondale CO 81623

Phone Number

970-963-2266

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