February 13, 2015
Ouray’s Natural Hot Springs
Ahhh – bliss!
NATURAL, SULFUR-FREE, HOT WATER bubbles up all over the county, just as it has for thousands of years. Utes and other Indians came here for ceremonial and healing purposes, calling these springs “sacred miracle waters,” a description which is still apt today.
Some springs are well-kept secrets; others—Orvis Hot Springs, Ouray Hot Springs Swimming Pool, Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs and the Wiesbaden Spa—are well- known. Just imagine a rejuvenating soak where the moist air smells good, your skin is hydrated, stress disappears and you can’remember ever being so relaxed. Isn’t that something of a miracle?
Orvis Hot Springs, where you can choose to wear clothing or not, offers three outdoor soaking areas and one indoor pool. Water temperatures are 100-106 degrees with the exception of the 114 degree “Lobster Pot.”
The Ouray Hot Springs Swimming Pool, built in 1926, today provides an oval-shaped, million-gallon pool divided into three sections, with water temperatures ranging from 85 to 106 degrees. Guests at Box Canyon Lodge may soak in four redwood hot tubs terraced on the mountainside behind the lodge and filled by adjacent hot springs. The Wiesbaden hot springs, first used by Ute Indians, later by Ouray residents as a bath house, then by a physician for therapeutic treatment, is now a spa with a 106 to 108 degree vapor cave, a Lorelei and a 99 to 102 degree small outdoor swimming pool. There’s a perfect place for everyone to soak and become revitalized in Ouray County.
Story by Samantha Tisdel Wright
Photo courtesy of Orvis Hot Springs
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