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Fun Guide: Hot Springs

May 16, 2014 Updated: May 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm
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photo - Patrons soak in one of the "Top Ponds" at Valley View Hot Springs in the San Luis Valley Friday, November 9, 2012. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Patrons soak in one of the "Top Ponds" at Valley View Hot Springs in the San Luis Valley Friday, November 9, 2012. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

- Conundrum Hot Springs, 1.usa.gov/1sm2gyG: A favorite of adventurous soakers, this remote backcountry springs has a series of undeveloped mineral pools between Aspen and Crested Butte. Getting there involves climbing 3,000 feet over an 8.5-mile trail. Camping is encouraged. Clothing is optional.

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- Dakota Hot Springs, 372-9250, dakotahotsprings.com: Venture to Penrose to enjoy the legacy of a happy accident. In 1924, an oil rig drilled to a depth of 2,000 feet, seeking crude, and found hot water instead. Why let it go to waste? The soothing water contains therapeutic salts, soda and calcium.

- Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, 970-945-6571, hotspringspool.com: Treat your family to a spa getaway along the scenic Colorado River in downtown Glenwood Springs. For an additional fee, check out the two fast-moving water slides that feature more than 300 feet of twists and turns cascading down four stories.

- Mount Princeton Hot Springs, 395-2447, mtprinceton.com: Located between Buena Vista and Salida in south-central Colorado, this newly expanded resort is popular with those relaxing after adventures in the mountains and with those for whom the soak itself is the goal.

- Orvis Hot Springs, 970-626-5324, orvishotsprings.com: Drink in spectacular views of the San Juans from the pools at the clothing-optional and naturist resort between Ridgway and Ouray. The site offers seven soaking areas - four outdoors - that range in temperature from 98 degrees to 112 degrees.

- Ouray Hot Springs Pool, 970-325-4746, ouraycolorado.com: Ouray boasts a year-round, sulfur-free soaking experience in one of the state's more scenic locales. Water slides are free. The hot springs range in temperature from 80 degrees to 150 degrees.

- Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, 539-6738, salidarec.com/public-pool: This year-round destination bills itself as the state's largest indoor hot springs facility. The center, located conveniently off U.S. 50, features a 25-meter, six-lane pool, with two lanes reserved for lap swimming.

- Springs Resort and Spa, 970-264-4168, pagosahotsprings.com: Enjoy all the amenities at the recently renovated resort in Pagosa Springs. The resort features a natural mineral pool for swimming and 23 soaking pools that range in temperature from 83 degrees to 114 degrees.

- Strawberry Park Hot Springs, 970-879-0342, strawberryhotsprings.com: A family destination by day and clothing optional after dark, Strawberry Park Hot Springs is known for its late-night party atmosphere. Located outside Steamboat Springs, the site offers camping and cabins for overnight stays.

- Valley View Hot Springs, 256-4315, olt.org/vvhs: Free spirits flock to this spot in Villa Grove and generally keep their clothing stashed in a bag next to the pools. This secluded park is run by the Orient Land Trust, a nonprofit. Reservations are encouraged as admission to the pools is limited, especially on weekends.

Lance Benzel, The Gazette

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