Naturist meaning naked, nude, not even your skivvies…during daylight.
Aside from after-dark adventures at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, my first foray into the naturist hot springs world started when Josh surprised me with a two-year wedding anniversary trip to Valley View Hot Springs. Naturist meaning naked, nude, not even your skivvies…during daylight. The experience was, shall I say, unforgettable, but that’s a story for another post. Over the next year, I kept overhearing conversations, seeing articles, and listening to radio programs about naturists. Such as a community in Arizona whose members frequently visit Colorado’s nude hot springs – and drive naked between the two places. People I never expected talked to me about naked hot springs. I felt so ignorant and so naïve!
More than another five years passed before my next big nude hot springs adventure. Maybe it was because I had already dispelled (most of) my anxiety and fear around being publicly naked. Or maybe it was because of the space Orvis Hot Springs holds, ensuring everyone feels welcome and safe. But I fell in love with the naturist hot springs in Ridgeway, Colorado.
Orvis Hot Springs’ Pools & Gardens
If you find yourself at Orvis Hot Springs (which I highly suggest you do), grab some tea from the full size kitchen and stroll through the blooming mountain gardens that separate the all-natural, untreated hot pools. Soak up some calcium, lithium, and magnesium in one of many hot springs. To cool off in between dips, find a little pocket of privacy on one of the many grassy knolls and surround yourself with columbine, lupine, and other native Colorado flowers.
Some people believe that the small amount of lithium commonly found in natural hot springs enhances a sense of tranquility. But each of Orvis Hot Springs pools’ mineral makeup differs – from the other pools and day-to-day.
All of the hot springs are beautifully ordained with flagstone and other natural rock. You can choose from the large “Pond”; one of the two medium pools, “Island Pond” and “Smoker’s Pond”; and the “Lobster Pot.” There are also an indoor pool (bathing suits required) and two private indoor tubs. (Lucky for us, Orvis is continually expanding! Please share any updates with your Nomad Colorado community in the comments section below.)
Need more than a day to rejuvenate? Orvis Hot Springs offers bed-and-breakfast style lodging, as well as camping. Need more than a soak to repair? Massages are also available.
Clothing: A Social Construction
After two much-needed and perfectly-restorative half-day soaks at Orvis Hot Springs with Josh one weekend this fall, I found myself casually telling my brother and sister-in-law about our naturist hot springs trip. Through a sideways look, my brother asked, “And you got naked?” Perhaps my brother was trying desperately not to think about that premise…! Or perhaps he never expected me to do something like that. Regardless, for a moment, I was proud to feel comfortable enough in my own body to be willing to break down the social construction of clothing…if only for an afternoon or two. But then I reflected on how, well, natural it felt at Orvis Hot Springs to shed my swimsuit and glide seamlessly through the water, overwhelmed with a feeling of peace.
Some Important Details
To hold space for the feeling of safety, Orvis Hot Springs has a policy against cell phones (and all other electronic devices that can take photographs) in the gardens and pools. This is also why we don’t have any photos of the pools! Visitors must read and sign a policy acknowledgment about respect. Please note that children 3-18 are allowed (accompanied by a parent).