An Artesian Hot Springs Corridor Follows the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range in Southern Colorado
Along this corridor are four unique mineral springs establishments offering lodging or camping. These resorts are open year round for the tourist passing through or for the locals needing a hot, relaxing soak.
Sand Dunes Pool
It is winter here in the San Luis Valley and when it looks like this picture on the right, I head out to the Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool which is only about 20 minutes from my home. This artesian oasis located in Hooper, offers a large thermal swimming pool maintained at 98F and a 25-person therapy pool maintained at 107F. Furthermore, along side the grilling and picnic area, is a 25-foot kid’s water slide.
“Friends of the Sand Dunes Pool” are building another area in the greenhouse section just for adults to enjoy these healing waters. Camping sites are available for RV’s and tents, as well as 3-one room cabins and a family style travel trailer. In addition, a not so ordinary, full menu concession stand promises you won’t go hungry and was voted “The Best Concession Stand in Colorado” by Channel 7 News in Denver, Co. For more information, call (719) 378-2807 or visit www.sanddunespool.com
A little further north up Highway 17 and not far outside the town of Moffat is another hot spring haven the Native Americans claim “Where Healing Waters Flow”. Three outdoor pools are fed artesian springs that are kept between 98F and 108F (37C and 42C). Consequently, while here, you’ll want to take advantage of their massage and bodywork therapies, body wraps, aromatic facials or overnight lodging in tipis, yurts and hotel rooms. For more information, visit www.joyfuljourneyhotsprings.com or call (719) 256-4328.
Orient Land Trust and Valley View Hot Springs
If you are ready for something entirely different, then you need to check out Valley View Hot Springs. Located about 10 miles northeast of Joyful Journey Hot springs, this is a naturist refuge (clothing optional) with rustic recreational facilities open to all ages, shapes and sizes including families, couples and singles. Off-grid hydroelectric and geothermal is in use throughout the grounds as well camping sites and a few cabins for overnight stays. In the summer months, the now defunct Orient Mine houses bats and you won’t want to miss witnessing the out flight of 100,000 to 250,000 bats as they emerge from the recesses of the earth. To contact: (719) 256-4315 or www.olt.org
Mount Princeton Resort
And last but not least on this list, is Mt. Princeton resort. This resort is surrounded by towering peaks and is the perfect getaway with every amenity for a family gathering. Three outdoor pools are available; a near Olympic-sized lap pool, a main soaking pool with a cooler upper pool that includes a 300 foot water slide. However, if you want a more rustic experience, below the resort is Chalk Creek that you can regulate the temperature by rearranging the rocks that line the banks. Overnight lodging is available by the cliff side, poolside, in the resort lodge and new cabins are located in the woods. The facility also boasts a variety of massage and oriental bodywork, restaurant and country store. For more information and reservations, call (719) 395-2447 or visit www.mtprinceton.com.
Enjoy and unwind in the magic of Southern Colorado.