My Special Place
Each of us has at least one, and if we are lucky more than one, special place that really allows for total relaxation. A place where you can be one with yourself, where the troubled world no longer exists. Some place close enough to the rest of the world that you can visit easily, yet still an island of sanity.
My place, among a very few, is Orvis Hot Springs (https://orvishotsprings.com). Orvis is just south of Ridgway, and north of Ouray, Colorado along Highway 550. I have been going to Orvis for approximately 25 years as a day visitor, overnight tent camper, and RV camper. I have also stayed in several of guestrooms at one time or another. Orvis’ location provides for a convenient jumping off for sight-seeing, dining in both Ridgway and Ouray, 4x4 experiences (both guided and self-guided), and hiking.
Orvis Hot Springs is a clothing-optional natural hot springs resort that is open year-round. There is a natural flow of mineral laden water that runs into and through several pools. The water is never heated or treated in any way and is known for its lithium content. The natural hot springs enhance relaxation and rejuvenation of both the body and the mind. There are ten indoor and outdoor soaking areas featuring water temperatures ranging from 65 (cold plunge) to 112 degrees. You can take your pick or move from one to another.
The is also an indoor pool that is textile during the day.
When not soaking, there is a wonderful grassy lawn with chairs or you can just throw your blanket or towel on the ground. This area is enclosed and the landscaping is well maintained. It provides spots for sunning as well as plenty of shade. All the while you have a wonderful view of the surrounding San Juan mountains.
The front desk offers snacks and drinks for sale, as well as souvenirs such as towels, shirts and hats. Massage is also available from a variety of therapists on site for a fee.
I would strongly urge that to make the most out of your visit, you should consider an overnight stay in one of the six well-appointed guest rooms. Additionally, there is a small campground where guests can set up tents and a parking area for camping vehicles. All lodging and camping guests have 24-hour access to the hot springs. After 9 pm only overnight guests are allowed in the soaking area. Orvis does not allow electronic devices in the soaking area or on the lawn. Smoking is only allowed in one soaking pool and in one of the guest rooms. As space is limited for all overnight options, making reservations well in advance is recommended.
The staff are always very welcoming and helpful.
Lodging at Orvis Hot Springs & Spa
Orvis has six comfortable rooms, each with a different theme. The rooms are on the upper floor of the main building. All guests share two full bathrooms, accessed from the private hallway between the rooms.
Registered guests have 24-hour access to all of the hot spring facilities, beginning the day of check-in through the entire day of checkout. Each bedroom is stocked with the coveted Orvis Hot Springs hooded bathrobes, an ample supply of towels, and bottled water to enhance your visit. You will feel your stress melt away as you enjoy the tubs, pool, ponds, and sauna at all hours, including under the peaceful late-night skies and the magical sunrise.
Lodging guests can enjoy drinks from a self-service coffee station in the downstairs hallway starting at 7:00am. A small refrigerator is in each guest room, and a community kitchen with utensils, cookware and dishes is available downstairs. The front desk staff is happy to recommend markets and restaurants, plus they have several local menus to view in the lobby. A wide selection of dining options can be found a mile north in Ridgway, eight miles south in Ouray, and 26 miles north in Montrose.
To aid in your relaxation, the rooms do not have telephones or televisions, but Orvis does provide free, high-speed wireless internet. The cell signal is very good. Smoking is only permitted in the Antique Room. Pets are not allowed in any of the rooms.
Tent & Vehicle Camping at Orvis Hot Springs
Full access to the hot springs, fantastic views and easy-going, friendly people are what you’ll find at the Orvis Hot Springs campground. The camping option are very popular with people vacationing in Colorado. Orvis offers tent platforms as well as RV and car camping spots.
Not only do campers get two days of hot springs soaking with each night of camping, but you get all-night access to the hot spring ponds, pool, tubs, sauna and bathrooms. More than affordable, it’s a great deal for hot springs devotees. Night owls and early risers have the great fortune of experiencing the peaceful late nights and dawns with views of Ouray County’s amazing nighttime skies and spectacular sunrises.
Daytime views are just as incredible from the campground at the edge of verdant ranching pastures, under the panorama of the surrounding mountains. The Orvis Hot Springs camping area is the most convenient, cozy spot to create new connections with a relaxed, nature-loving clan, while soaking to your heart’s content.
There are shower and locker facilities in the downstairs hallway for the use of day visitors and campers. As is the case with all of the facilities at Orvis there are nicely maintained.
Massage at Orvis
If all of this sounds inviting, now is time for the frosting on the cake. You can get a massage at Orvis Hot Springs. This is the perfect way to relax and unwind, as well as adding to the overall experience. I have had many massages and each therapist provided a wonderful experience. Massage therapists are available from 9:00am to 9:00pm daily. Simultaneous massages available by appointment. Call (970) 626-5324 to schedule an appointment. During the high season it is very likely that you will need to schedule your massage three or more days out.
Dining and Other Activities in the Area
I have visited this area many times. Here are some of my favorite places:
Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewery 215 7th Avenue, Ouray, CO 81427