Peaceful Soaking

water monitored by CDPH&E... pure, chemical-free drinking source and soaking ponds
Reminder box: no glass, no smoking, no amplified music, no life guard on duty
natural hot spring soaking ponds, hot tub, swimming pool, and sauna w/cool basin 

Shower before swimming and save our threatened species...
Before soaking in Valley View's beautiful pools, take a moment to consider how clean and natural our spring waters are. Think not only of the other visitor's you share it with, but also the hundreds of animals and plants that rely on the very same water you're about to step into. Be mindful of the sunblock, lotion, and oils on your skin and stop by one of the showers before you end up sharing more than you meant. By the time it reaches the reservoir, it tends to float to the surface where birds, fish, and wildlife drink. Whereas, all shower water is carefully treated through our waste water system. Those who need protection from the sun may do well at the Apple Tree Pools and the middle Top Pond. Hats and sarongs are a great option too.]

natural mineral water (low sulfur, lithium, etc)
fresh open air
all natural, untreated water
family-friendly
clothing-optional
Natural Rock Ponds
Valley View is probably best known for its all natural setting. With a short hike, visitors discover a variety of undeveloped hot springs. Naturally cleaned water is heated deep underground, pushed up, and bubbles up through gravel into rock-walled soaking ponds. Each is surrounded by native flora, frequented by wildlife, and far removed from manmade development.
A gentle hiking trail loops across the hillside connecting our sauna and pool area to the Soaking Pond, past the Waterfall Pond and Meadow Pond, finally back down to the Welcome Center. Altogether, the loop is ⅓ mile long. 
More ambitious hikers will find a seperate established trail breaking off above the Soaking and Waterfall Ponds. This somewhat steeper ¼ mile hike eventually ends at our beautiful Top Ponds. Drawing a different mix of water, these higher springs sometimes produce much hotter waters.
As these ponds play an active role in our ecosystem, we urge visitors to please leave their delicate edges and flowing waters as is. Valley View’s nature is protected by a conservation easement held by the The Nature Conservancy.
Most of these ponds tend toward a comfortable “womb temperature” allowing for long, extended enjoyment. Occasionally however, some temperatures can grow nearly 8 degrees hotter... especially up top. This gradual process is a natural phenomenon driven mostly by the amount of snow melt mixing in.

Swimming Pool

Many guests say this is their favorite swimming pool in the world. The constant flow of fresh spring water keeps it clean, allowing a chlorine-free swimming and diving area. Although this is the "coolest" pool at Valley View, it remains comfortably warm all night. 
Temperatures range from the mid-80's in winter to about 90°F in summer.

Apple Tree Pools 

To regulate our hydroelectric power system, excess energy is used to constantly heat a tank of clean spring water. This hot water will soon flow through a cascading series of pools, each offering a variety of extra hot water. 
One “kids” pool is fed.... At present we do our best to maintain a temperature between 101 and 108°F.
[[conservation]]

Sauna

Renowned as one of the world's most unique saunas, our (hydro)electric sauna is built around a basin of fresh, cool water. It is powered entirely by hydroelectric energy and can be enjoyed wet or dry [[during warmer months]].
 

Soaking

 

Peering out across the Top Pond

 “All the water that will ever be is, right now.”
- National Geographic, October 1993

Cozy toes in Winter's Warm Waters

Steam rising from Swimming Pool

View from Top Pond

Reminder box: no glass, no smoking, no amplified music

natural hot spring soaking ponds, hot tub, swimming pool, and sauna w/cool basin

natural mineral water (low sulfur, lithium, etc)

open air

all natural, untreated water

temperatures range from __ to __ (comfortable for extended soaking) [updated via backend]

family-friendly

clothing-optional

waters are protected by deed/trust


 

The main draw at Valley View Hot Springs is the water, and it has been this way for over a century.  Today, six ponds, a hot tub, and a swimming pool are available for guests.

The water is much more than just a way to relax and have fun.  It heats several buildings in the winter through the use of radiant floor (3f) systems that route naturally hot water through foundations.  It generates 100% of the power through a hydroelectric system (3f).  Water flows downstream from the hydroelectric plant provide habitat for Rio Grande Chub and other wildlife (3i), a federally protected species.  And, it provides the drinking water at VVHS.

     

Soaking Pond

The largest and deepest of the natural ponds and the first one up the trail, the Soaking Pond is about a two minute walk from the Swimming Pool. The temperature ranges from 93°F in the winter to 98°F in mid-late summer, though it is most commonly about 95°F to 97°F. The water temperature in the back half of the pond (and particularly at the back wall) are somewhat warmer than the pool overall.  A fire pit is adjacent to the pond; please fill the water bucket prior to starting a fire and ensure it is totally out upon your departure.

Swimming Pool

Many guests say this is their favorite swimming pool in the world. The constant flow of fresh spring water through the pool keeps it clean, allowing a chlorine-free swimming environment. Although this is the "coolest" pool at Valley View, it is still always warm - temperatures range from the mid-80's in winter to about 90°F in summer.1

Sauna & Cooling Basin

Renowned as one of the world's most unique saunas, our electric sauna features a spacious tub of clean, cool water directly below its benches. It is powered entirely by hydroelectric energy and can be enjoyed wet or dry.

     

Top Ponds

If you're looking for a short but steep walk, this is it! It’s about ¼ mile to Top Pond. The Top "Pond" is actually a series of three ponds that flow into each other, and the middle one is the only pond at Valley View that is in the shade most of the day. The Top Ponds also shows the most variability in temperature, both seasonally and from year to year. Every year from late spring to early summer the temperature drops dramatically to about 70°F due to snow-melt and runoff. By July it usually pops back up to the 90's. Temperatures can also vary from year to year, depending on conditions. Apart from the spring drop the Top Pond is usually in the mid-upper 90's, similar to the other ponds. But in a wet year temps may not get out of the low 90's, and in a very dry year it may reach 105°F for several months.

Hot Tub

The water feeding this small tub is heated using excess hydroelectric energy. The tub is heated to approximately 104°F and although initially designed for the many children who frequent Valley View, it has become popular for kids of all ages.

Waterfall Pond

Perhaps the "coziest" of the natural ponds and the second one up the trail, the Waterfall Pond (or "Pipe Pool") is another two minute walk from the Soaking Pond. The temperatures are similar to the Soaking Pond, usually in the 95°F to 97°F range. The pond gets its name from the stream of water flowing out of a wooden pipe at the back of the pond, which is great for sitting under and letting the water wash your cares away.

     

Meadow Pond

Some call Meadow Pond the "undiscovered" pond as some guests don't even know it's there.  It is another two minutes past the Waterfall Pond. The smallest and shallowest pond, it is also often the coolest so it generally sees more use in the summer and fall than in the winter and spring. If you're looking for privacy and quiet, this may be the place. The pond sits in an open meadow with clear views to the west, mak

 

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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.