The pool is 35 feet wide and 90 feet long - big compared with Colorado's other squares constructed and fed by geothermal waters. But the soaking is often reserved for the private parties staying at Waunita Hot Springs Ranch, the vacation getaway 10 miles west of the Continental Divide at the edge of the Gunnison National Forest. Since 1962, the Pringle family has made their ranch a home away from home for groups treated to much more than the springs once held sacred by the Ute Indians.
In the rooms of a historic ranch house and separate lodge, guests might wake up to the smell of bacon cooking and coffee brewing. On special occasions, they take their fill from a country-style breakfast while a cowboy poet tells tales. Some take trail rides on horseback. Others take ATVs for a spin. And days of adventure sometimes end in the barn for evening entertainment when wedding receptions aren't there.
But no day is complete without a dip in the pool, typically heated to about 95 degrees, with an adjacent tub kept at 100 degrees. Earlier in the century before their ownership, the Pringles say, a Chicago doctor sent patients to be cured in the springs. The same benefits are claimed today.
Rules: Call ahead for day use availability. Suits required. No alcohol around pool or public areas.
Address: 8007 County Road 887, Gunnison, 81230
Hours: Pool day use 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. 24 hours for overnight guests.
Contact: 970-641-1266, waunita.com