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Hot springs in Colorado: Secret's out about these Western Slope pools

May 7, 2018 Updated: May 14, 2018 at 10:36 pm
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Orvis Hot Springs

Ridgway residents would prefer to keep their soaking refuge secret, and despite its location right off U.S. 550, Orvis Hot Springs has kept a surprising level of anonymity over the years. But the secret's out, surely because of ever-rising tourism in this iconic part of Colorado. Whether ice climbing in Ouray, skiing or attending a festival in Telluride or taking a summer road trip to these beautiful San Juan Mountains, Orvis Hot Springs should be added to your itinerary.

A new pond was under construction this spring, to add to the enticing lineup of soaking areas, with temperatures as low as 62 in the Cold Plunge and as high as 114 in the Lobster Pot. Naturally heated between 100 and 106 degress, bubbles float from the pebbly floor of the Pond, the widest water and the deepest at 5 feet. Complete with a small waterfall, Island Pond is a more intimate dip.

The Utes held these grounds sacred, discovering the springs that continue to heal today with their high lithium content. Stay a night in one of Orvis's furnished rooms or at the campground.

Rules: Clothing optional in outdoor ponds. Suits required in indoor pool. No cameras, cell phones or electronics. Pets only allowed on campground. No glass or alcohol. Smoking allowed in designated pond, but no marijuana allowed.

Address: 1585 County Road 3, Ridgway, 81432

Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m., campers have 24-hour access to springs

Contact: 970-626-5324, orvishotsprings.com

Getting there: Go west on U.S. 24, turning left for U.S. 285 south at the Buena Vista stoplight. Continue to U.S. 50 west and follow to U.S. 550 south. Take short road off the highway to Orvis.

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