In this installment of our ongoing series of features on roadside attractions in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico we stop off at the lovely Valley View Hot Springs in the San Luis Valley. True to its name, the series of mostly warm pools (with the exception of the small round hot tub next to the swimming pool) connected by hiking trails and scattered among the glades high on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountains is a perfect camping spot for families with children of any age who are comfortable with the low-key clothing-optional atmosphere. Even when it’s busy and it’s various camp sites and cabins are full, you’ll rarely feel crowded in any of the natural pools. There’s also great birding, plenty of wild life (deer frequently approach the pools), and at night in the summer fireflies streak around the pools. Though it’s a bit pricey for a day trip, staying a night or two makes the drive from the Front Range well worth it.

Music in this slide show is “Water” by Chenard Walcker:

 

7 Responses to A Day in the Life at Valley View Hot Springs

  1. One of My all time favorite places !!!

  2. Mike Procell says:

    Thanks Noel, now everybody knows about my little private piece of paradise!

  3. suesun says:

    Gorgeous photos! Those fireflies were AMAZING!

  4. Ah, this was lovely. Thank you so much.

  5. Adrian O'Leary says:

    Noel, Adrian from Hooked On Books here. I’ve been going to Valley View since 1997. My slice of heaven on Earth. Been taking my family down there too at least once a year. Glad you could experience it too, nice article, great photos.

  6. Louise says:

    Another bonus to Valley View is the nearby, accessible by trail, abandoned Orient Mine with a huge outflight of Mexican Freetail bats every evening in the summer.

  7. Jeremy says:

    I will be in those pools soon! Thanks, Noel and Sue!!

News

AP
April 20, 2014 | NPR · The grim recovery operation off South Korea continued Sunday. Police boats brought bodies ashore to the deafening cries and screams of family members.
 

AP
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The military’s training center at Fort Irwin in California is complete with mock Middle Eastern villages. But as the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan winds down, how will this facility change?
 

AP
April 19, 2014 | NPR · General Motors delayed a safety recall of more than 330,000 cars, newly released federal documents show. The Saturn Ions were found to have defective power steering systems.
 

Arts & Life

April 20, 2014 | NPR · Author Craig Nova recommends three books that take a fresh approach to the age-old bildungsroman. The experience of growing up is both universal and unique — and, in these books, timeless.
 

Courtesy of Penguin
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Raymond Gunt is profane, rude, heartless and truly the Worst. Person. Ever. Author Douglas Coupland says he’s not exactly sure how the character, with no redeeming qualities, came into his mind.
 

Ricardo Solis
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The pink on a flamingo? Stripes on a zebra? Spots on a giraffe? All explained. Simply. Elegantly. Oddly.
 

Music

April 19, 2014 | NPR · Canadian jazz saxophonist Christine Jensen has begun using a full “jazz orchestra” of up to 18 players, opening new horizons for her. NPR’s Arun Rath speaks with Jensen about her new album, Habitat.
 

Various for NPR
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The songs, videos and musical moments that stopped the All Songs host in his tracks. This week: A cat video, a live double rainbow and all the soles you can shake a camera at.
 

NPR
April 19, 2014 | NPR · A young Pakistani musician treats the guitar as a percussion instrument — with surprisingly shimmering results. He also performs a piano piece he wrote at just 16.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab