As the weather begins to change, and the chill of Fall begins to fill the air, the days get shorter and the leaves show the beginnings of change. Nothing quite compares to a soothing soak in all natural hot spring water after a day of exploring Ouray.
The hot springs in Ouray are unique. Unlike many other hot springs you find elsewhere, the hot springs in Ouray do not contain sulfur and, therefore, do not have the unpleasant odor that is associated with it. In April, 1992, a mineral analysis of the hot springs water of the Box Canyon Lodge was performed. The composition of the water shows that it is unusually high in sodium, manganese, iron and sulfates. A local geologist has explained, as ground water from rain or melting snow seeps down into the earth’s crust, it is heated and then rises again through the fault structure to the earth’s surface.
Although there are several springs which surface on our property, the one which supplies the water for the hot tubs is visible from the walkway above the two lower tubs. On cool days, and especially in the winter, you can see steam rising from the spring. The temperature of the water in the tubs is maintained between 103 and 108 degrees by limiting the flow of hot springs water into each tub using temperature sensors and automated valves. Cold water is only used when initially filling the tubs because the geothermal water is too hot for the PVC plumbing. No cold water or chemicals are used to maintain the tubs once they are full.
We have also been able to take advantage of the hot springs on the property for other uses, and use geothermal heat. The hot springs water is used throughout the lodge for heating during the winter months. Although we do not circulate the hot springs water for domestic (tap water) use, we use it to heat our domestic water through the use of custom-built heat exchangers.
No matter what time of year, there is no end to the adventures to be shared in and around Ouray, and with the leaves just beginning to change, there is no better time to experience the San Juans. As the days get shorter, and the evenings cooler, not much can compare to relaxing in the hot spring tubs at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs before enjoying dinner on Main Street, and perhaps a little window shopping as well.