Southern Colorado is very different from the rest of the state's mountainous landscape. Near Royal Gorge, the mountains in the Pikes Peak Region fade down from behemoth heights to the red barren sand thousands of feet below. After spending a day exploring around this other-worldly area, some girlfriends and I were exhausted and looking for an escape. We found the perfect oasis at Desert Reef Hot Spring!
Located in Florence, Colorado, just outside of Canon City, Desert Reef Hot Spring is a one-of-a-kind place. I say that, mainly, because it touts being a "family friendly, clothing optional pool". I can't say I've ever heard that combination before! The tag line isn't what drew us in, but it definitely made the day interesting.
When we arrived at the small park, we had no idea what to expect. It was just one small building and a parking lot seemingly in the middle of nowhere. We went in and spoke to the lady at the front desk to gain entrance. It cost $20 for the day, and once we paid, we were given the rules including the ones about nudity.
6 p.m. is when clothing becomes optional, and it was almost 4:30 already. We knew we would be soaking during these times. Since nudity is allowed, the guide asked for no phones or cameras to be near the pool area. She lead us to our locker room and showed us where we could keep our items. After that, we were free to do as we pleased. We quickly undressed down to our suits, at first, and headed out to the pool area.
It is just one large hot spring pool kind of like a shallow swimming pool. We saw pool floats laying around, so we grabbed some and slowly walked into the nice, steaming water to start our relaxing evening.
We spent right up until 6 p.m. lounging, laying, and playing in the water. When 6 o'clock hit, though, and the nudey-hours started, more and more people, seemingly locals, started to show up.
We made the decision to keep our clothes on and had a few comments made toward us about how we should strip down and join in. After politely declining a few times, we decided it was getting close to leaving time, since the sun was setting, so we packed up and headed out.
The end of our evening didn't overshadow the lovely few hours we had spent there. We knew the people were joking and playfully antagonizing us, and we never truly felt uncomfortable. That being said, we wished we had been left to relax and not been bothered at all. It was definitely worth the stop after the long, hot day!
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!