Monday, January 7th, 2019

Winter at Valley View Hot Springs!

Snow Covered Swimming Pool Snow Covered Swimming Pool Daniel Flemming

Winter is a beautiful time to visit Valley View Hot Springs. There is nothing like soaking in hot water while the snow is gently falling! We are located at 8,700 feet to 9,100 feet in elevation with great differences in our daily high and low temperatures. Knowing what to expect and a little planning during winter time will make your visit much more enjoyable and safer.

We have eleven pools and ponds spread out over a quarter of a mile with a 400 foot elevation gain. The ponds are connected by foot trails. Expect uneven ground which may be snow packed and icy. Many guests use hiking poles to climb to the top ponds when trails are slick. The six natural ponds have temperatures ranging from 92 degrees to 101. We have a large swimming pool that ranges between 86 and 90 degrees. The Apple Tree Pools are two man made pools where we use our EXTRA hydro electricity to raise the water temperature which ranges from the mid 90's to 106 degrees. The temperature can vary greatly depending on electrical production and use. We cannot guarantee those higher temperatures anytime as the temperature depends on many variables. Winter months, when the temperatures are colder, the pools will likely be less hot.

Day visitors are encouraged to come early while the sun is shining so you can enjoy the natural ponds. Air temperatures drop when the sun sets, so the Apple Tree Pools and Sauna may see more soakers.

Sunset House and Spruce Lodge have in-floor geothermal heat and are usually nice and toasty. The five cabins also have in floor geothermal heat and one small electric wall heater. Keep in mind that if the cabins are warm, leave that electric heater off! Never turn on the electric heater and then open doors and windows to cool down the cabin. Oak house has new geothermal baseboard heat in the living room to help with electrical usage. There are electric heaters in rooms and the living room as well. Use electric heaters as needed and never open the windows to cool down the temperatures while the heaters are on. The more electricity we conserve, the more EXTRA electricity we have to heat the Apple Tree Pools!

Winter camping can be wonderful if you have the right equipment. Our nighttime temperatures often get well below zero, so a four season (-20 degrees) sleeping bag and all season tent are more comfortable. If you are tent camping, you park in the parking lot and hike into a tent sites. We do not maintain our tent sites over the winter, so be prepared to shovel your way in and prepare the site. We do not charge for the tent sites during winter months. If you are vehicle camping, we have limited access during the winter and do not plow the upper RV loop. When snowy, sites I though P are not available. Sites A through H, plus R, S, T, V & W are available with eight of those sites having 20 amp electrical service. You may not run your vehicle for heat or use a generator as it puts emissions into the air and disturbs the peace. The silence of nature is one of our assets and no one wants to hear engines running all night, so be prepared with warm bedding! If you do get cold, keep in mind that the Welcome Center guest area is open all night so you can warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or tea. Also the sauna is a great place for campers to warm up before climbing into their sleeping bags.

County Road GG is eight miles of gravel road and is plowed by the county. OLT staff maintains the half mile long driveway. Windy weather in the valley often causes snow drifts and slick surfaces. A good vehicle with winter tires is very helpful. Bald or summer tires and two wheel drive is not recommended during severe weather.

A little bit of thoughtful preparation will go a long way in making your winter visit to Valley View a pleasant and comfortable experience. Bring warm clothing, good hiking shoes and snow boots, hats, gloves, warm socks, flash lights and very warm bedding if you're camping.

Before you leave home, check out a great website to see road conditions: www.cotrip.org. This website provides up to date information on roads throughout Colorado. There are several great weather pages including Weather Underground and NOAA, the closest town for the most accurate temperatures would be Villa Grove, CO. If you are a cross country skier or like to snowshoe, our hiking trails can be great fun for winter activities. Please feel free to call the office for up to date information, we are happy to answer your questions!

Everyday we have guests who arrive unprepared, who think they will "rough it out" camping or arrive with no understanding about the conditions here. Please plan ahead, be responsible, be proactive in planning your visit for the safety and happiness of all. Thanks and Happy Winter!

Snow Covered Swimming Pool - Snow Covered Vehicle Site - Snow Covered TeePee - Cynthia Nelson Snowed In Ranch Residence - Cynthia Nelson Ranch Dogs in the Snow - Cherrye Williams Deer at Oak House - Doug Bishop

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 January 2019 00:02

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.