: : : : Hot springs : : : :
Ask anyone who has visited the ranch for a vacation what they liked best and the most likely answer is, “The hot spring baths!”
Over a thousand gallons per hour of fresh, hot water gushes out of a crack in the bedrock, flows along a tempering streambed, then pours into a large pool that is surrounded by flowers and a beautiful enclosure. When you slip slowly into its hot embrace, any aches or pains slowly vanish. This is no backyard hot tub. First, it’s bigger, about 8 by 10 feet (about 2.5 by 3 meters) and 2.5 feet (0,75m) deep. Second, it’s fresh since there is enough flow to change the water 16 times a day. And finally, it’s in a setting you won’t find in many back yards the view out the south side is of a granite peak that rises majestically over our meadow.
Near the pool is a place to wash up before entering the pool. We supply the soap and shampoo. The water temperature is around 107°F (42°C).
If that’s a little too hot for you, there is another bath only a few feet away that we call the cool bath. It is enclosed, too, and has cooler water coming in from a spring up the hill nearby to fill the pool with water a little hotter than body temperature. We have provided a wash-off area in this pool also. This is the kids’ favorite pool.
If you like your hot springs completely natural, we have a meadow-full of them across the river from the tent cabins. One of them is open to the public, but not over-used. Another in the meadow is completely undeveloped, with a muddy bottom and meadow grass coming right up to the water’s edge. And there are some others scattered around that are probably too hot for anyone’s taste.
Finally, near the natural springs across the river is what we call Warm Lake, more like a large pond, that is fed by hot springs and cold springs. If you float on top, the water is warm, but let your feet dangle below you and you’ll feel the chill. The lake is accessible in our mid-to-late season, when the river flow diminishes a bit and it’s easier to get across. Warm Lake has some big fat fish in it, too.