Naturist Open Space

Valley View Hot Springs is well known for its natural setting, kind culture, and a tradition of open air naturism. Clothing is altogether optional throughout the property. Nudity is not inherently indecent, suggestive, nor demeaning. It’s simply a natural, healthy, and comfortable choice.

“Never before did I get so close to Nature; never before did she come so close to me... Nature was naked, and I was also... Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! - ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent.

Walt Whitman, 19th century American poet

New to naturism? No worries...
There's nothin' to it ...really.

Few people experience social nudity outside a locker room or home, if that. At Valley View, soakers often find nudity preferable especially as they emerge from the warm water into the cool, dry air. Hikers visiting the Orient Mine appreciate the freedom to shed off sweaty clothes and feel the breeze. Many feel less judged, enjoying great conversations with diverse people, some of whom they may never have met otherwise. Put simply, nudity is natural.

Naturism Guide, printedNaturism at OLT
Social Nudity in Nature

(printable guide for sharing, Adobe PDF format)

“Naturism is the practice of clothing optional communal nudity in a non-erotic setting, with a commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, and without discrimination based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, lifestyle or socio-economic background. The purpose of preserving the naturist culture is to encourage body acceptance, self-respect, respect for others, and caring for the environment. The property provides a pristine, rustic and peaceful setting in which to enjoy the benefits of a naturist lifestyle including feelings of physical, spiritual, and psychological well-being, as well as a sense of freedom and relaxation.”

as outlined by OLT's Founders

What to Expect

Personal Choice: Clothing is a personal choice in all areas and at all times. Nudity is neither prohibited nor expected.

Social Decency: Aside from public nudity, social norms are no different. Naturists are empowered, maintaining strong personal boundaries regardless of clothes or setting. Leering, harassing, sexual, and suggestive behavior is no more appropriate here than any public park, campground, or pool. Hugging and affection are common among friends. If anything, naturists tend to be especially courteous, accepting, and considerate of others.

Non-erotic Setting: Naturism is not opposed to sex, but makes a clear distinction between sex and mere nudity. Sexual behavior is considered private, for consenting adults in their own private space. With our peacefully platonic open space, self-control is normal and natural.

Males and Females: Men concerned they may become aroused can simply don a towel, turn over, or take a dip in the pool. Menstruation is a natural part of every woman’s life. Some use tampons while others prefer pads with shorts or bathing bottoms.

Friendly Help: If ever unsure, just ask! We're happy to answer any questions or concerns, however sensitive they may be.

Relaxing: Unlike stripping or streaking, being naked here is practical, not provocative. Instead of a thrill, naturists seek a simple awareness and acceptance of their own bodies and those of others.

Privacy from Cameras: Camera devices including cell phones are not to be used where others are in view. Photographing the landscape and wildlife is encouraged, just so long as others aren’t included without their consent.

Children of All Ages: Kids naturally prefer nudity. We welcome families as well as couples and singles from all walks of life, religions, and lifestyles. We do require
swim diapers until toilet trained. And like anywhere else, parents are responsible for their children and asked to remain with them at all times.

Every Body: When it comes to body variations, naturists are among the most accepting people you'll ever meet. We accept those with tattoos, jewelry, piercings, surgical alterations, and medical accessories. Diversity is every bit as important to our community as it is to our eco-system.

Communal Space: We have no private nor segregated pools. All guests share unisex bathrooms with private stalls and showers. A variety of private cabins and rooms may be reserved.

Healthy Facilities: Our professional staff clean the pool each week or so, the rooms before each visit, and the communal bathrooms and kitchens daily. The fresh spring water and natural ponds flow fast and clean, all without the use of chemical disinfectants. Nudity is always optional in all spaces and not deemed unhygienic by us nor the Health Department. Although sharing bare seating poses less risk than common faucets or door knobs, some find sitting on towels most comfortable. We don’t judge. Certainly anyone with a rash or wound may prefer a barrier.

Remote Location: Our vast property is owned and managed by the Orient Land Trust to prevent overcrowding and development, all as a nonprofit public service. It is surrounded by miles of BLM public open-space providing a peaceful escape whether soaking, camping, or hiking.

Sunny Days and Dark Nights: At this altitude, sunscreen may be prudent although we ask guests to rinse off before entering the waters which we share not only with one another but also the birds, bats, fireflies, and threatened fish. Alternatively, a sunhat and sarong can offer great protection both in and out of the water. Flashlights and rugged shoes are recommended for the well-worn, but rocky trails between each pond.

Naturist Ideals

It is generally agreed by naturist organisations that eroticism and blatant sexuality have no place in naturism and are, in fact, antithetical to its ideals.

  • Ecological or environmental — rapport with the natural world.
  • Health — bathing in the sun, fresh air and water (balneotherapy, thalassotherapy, heliotherapy).
  • Diet — moderation with alcohol, meat, tobacco, drugs; seeking out health foods and adopting healthy eating to prevent obesity. This can extend to teetotalism and Vegetarian or Vegan eating habits. The latter two also interface with having respect for the environment.
  • Agriculture — avoiding unnecessary fertilizers and genetically modified organisms. Against factory farming
  • Medicine — should be natural if not entirely homeopathic
  • Psychotherapy — as a way of effecting personal changes
  • Rapport with other humans — equality and respect. An anti-war, pro-world government stance
  • Pedagogy — children should be respected as equals instead of being patronized
  • Spirituality — man is no more than an animal, and nudity has a place in religion.
  • Dress — nudism, as clothes are unnecessary, unhealthy and build social barriers.
  • Sports — to develop a healthy body.
  • Arts — should be to develop individual talents, not as a means of financial exploitation
  • Tourism — to understand other peoples' culture, concentrating on camping to remain close to the earth.
  • Liberty — no one has the right to tell others or their children that they must wear clothes.
  • Pollution — less clothing to manufacture and maintain means lower carbon footprint.

See Wikipedia, Naturism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturism (describing the underlying principles behind naturism) (as of April 9th, 2013, 1:18 MST).

Wikipedia lists a number of locations that explicitly allow for social nudity in the US. For state and federal public land, we recommend contacting the local ranger or other authority. They can clarify how and where nude hiking or swimming would be acceptable without causing alarm or affront to others. Wherever you practice naturism, please always be mindful and respectful of others and their experience.

Naked Cowboy - Au Naturel in Nature - Life-long Enjoyment - Cynthia Nelson Family enjoying Soaking Pond - Discovering magic in nature - Doug Bates Napping on the Edge of the World - Mike Blevins Lady sitting at edge of Waterfall Pond - Kids playing in the pool - Neil Seitz, co-founder at Apple Tree Pools - Teresa Seitz

Join The Naturist Society to learn more about naturism at protected locations around the world. TNS members receive discounted admission at Valley View Hot Springs.

Orient Land Trust is a nonprofit land trust
dedicated to the preservation of Valley View Hot Springs (VVHS) and its viewshed—
including natural and biologic resources, agricultural lands, wildlife habitat,
open space, and historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley—
for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.