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Reviewed May 27, 2010

I have been going to Valley View personally since 1997, and with my wife (and now two kids) since 2001. What I find interesting in the other reviews is that nearly the first point in all of them is the clothing optional aspect. I am not a naturist by default, but I stress the OPTIONAL part to friends and family who shy away from "nudists camps", which OLT is NOT. Frankly, I've had some great conversations with complete strangers there as everyone is very friendly and open minded. The staff is outstanding and incredibly helpful. I love the off-the-grid aspect and the recycling. I've seen a lot of changes at OLT, mostly for the good. I cannot believe that anyone would complain about spotty cell phone service or OLT's location. We go there to get AWAY from all that electronic nonsense and the 'big city', although if you insist on checking your e-mail there is free wi-fi and a public computer in the office. Also they have instituted a no cell phones in or around the pools or public places rule, since apparently Verizon offers service in the area now. (can you picture the 'can you hear me now?' guy in a hot pool? That would make for a great ad) We do scrape together a contribution every year so we can get a cabin (and of course for the feel-good factor), although if you are on a budget camping is the way to go for sure. I've never made it down when there is snow on the ground, but the off season is great if you can stand the chill of getting out of the pools at night. We usually get one of the larger cabins, and they are all nice and cozy. I love to eat breakfast at the table in front of the window in Elm cabin. Our daughter loves the pools and asks to go back all year round. Again, I don't see the clothing optional aspect as an issue. If you want to recharge and get away from it all, check it out. Do not make the drive if you are expecting room service and HBO! DO go if you like sitting in pool surrounded by fireflies (YES, FIREFLIES!) and more stars than I've ever seen anywhere. If you are lucky enough to get a cabin, the one thing I would suggest you bring is a fan, as they get rather warm in the summer. Enjoy! www.olt.org or 'like' them on Facebook for more info.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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3  Thank lynxriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2009

After years of urging from friends who RV here every summer, we met up with them for a few days of tent camping. We loved the place so much we extended our stay from 4 nights to 5, and would have stayed longer if we could. The entire 77 acres is clothing optional, and although many folks only bare it all around the pools, others are nude everywhere, including the office. All the pools are fed from an underground spring, which surfaces at the uppermost pool, which entails a steep 20-minute hike up the mountain. Once there, the view is spectacular and there are 2 other pools up there, too. I forgot my camera on that hike, so no photos of those. Be sure and take plenty of drinking water and a snack. Near the main camping area is a regular swimming pool, shallow hot pool, and a wonderful sauna with a step-down cool plunge in the sauna. Since the pool was constantly in use and most people were nude, I didn't get any photos of it, either. All the other pools have natural pebble bottoms, including the upper 3 and the 3 along the hillside, the first of which is just a short 5-minute walk up the hill from the swimming pool. Other than the shallow hot pool, which is heated, the temps range from mid-80's to maybe 102, so I would really call them warm springs instead of hot springs. In the middle of summer, that is a good temperature, though. All pools are open 24/7, which we really liked.

The facilities are kept very clean, and they serve free coffee/tee/cocoa in the office every morning. Since the nearest store is 30 minutes away, it's also nice that they offer free ice. Cell phone reception is sketchy or non-existent, so I purchased a phone card to use at one of the two available phones there. If you are tent camping, be aware that unless you book a car camping site, you will be hauling all your gear down the trail to get to your campsite. Once set up, we had a nice spot amongst the trees by one of the warm water creeks. There are a couple of cabins for rent, but I didn't see inside them. My guess is simple, clean and rustic.

The bathrooms offer showers, drinking water (delicious) etc., but be forewarned that they are unisex, and there are urinals; but once I had gone to the bathroom a few times, I hardly noticed the guys doing their thing, as they are set up where you only see their backs unless you are really trying to look, and who does that? Mostly it was a non-issue.

This place is heavy into recycling (yeaaaay) and has their own hydroelectric plant, so they are totally off the grid. There are guided tours most evenings up to the bat cave. They also have a communal covered patio with a barbecue, kitchen setup, fire pit, where they had a pot luck and dance one night. Most days there are licensed massage therapists available. There are a couple of swings for the young and young-at-heart. Kid and pet friendly, with an eclectic mix of clientele from local families (some of whom wear swimsuits) to European visitors to your regular nudists on vacation. The main reason to pay the higher fee for basically a campground is for the natural warm mineral water soaks and the clothing optional experience. At $52 per night per couple, we thought it well worth it.

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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10  Thank newmexicoonline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2009

Disappointed by the location of Joyful Journey Hot Springs, just off the highway with few trees, I convinced my husband to try out Valley View Hot Springs. It is just as beautiful as the little blurp I saw in the Saguache County brochure. Here's the catch, clothing is optional. The first day, we only saw one man in the buff, and we chose to bath in a secluded pool at the top of the hill and watched the sunset over the valley, drinking wine from our plastic cups. It was amazing. We would have loved to stay another night, but it was full, so I recommend reservations in advance http://www.olt.org/. If you can get over the clothing optional part, it is quite a cool spot. Everyone who works at Valley View was very nice. They have tent camping, spots for RV's and cabins. They have nice free amenities like wireless internet, ice, spring water, coffee and hot chocolate. I don't know if I would bring my kids there, but some people did have kids and dogs are welcome. We camped by a cute little stream, and even the stream was warm water. It also didn't smell like sulfur as many hot springs do.

6  Thank JJsadventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

I stay at Valley View Hot Springs (Orient Land Trust) at least once a year. Great place to get off of the grid and relax.
Check out their webpage at http://www.olt.org/

If you are expecting a really posh high end resort type spa this is not your place. If you want rustic, peaceful, views, back to nature, Colorado high country feeling. This is your place.

If loosing your clothes makes you nervous you should go to the more commercial hot springs maybe nearby Mt. Princeton would be better.

Things I really love about staying at Valley View:
-Naturally heated pool (no chlorine) w/ new adjoining sauna
-Baby pool is heated to hot tub type temp
-Large swings at the back of the property fun to be a kid
-Lots of hikes to do including the Orient Mine (bat cave)
-Great place to bring the kids (family oriented)
-Great place to watch the starts (no city lights)
-Great place to use as home base for local sights such as nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park
-Cheap camping about $25 per night (all the hot water you can use & free ice)
-Wireless internet & phone avail. if you must stay connected.

They have cabins for rent but really hard to reserve if you are not a contributor. Personally I love to car camp but always reserve your camp/tent spot or cabin way ahead.

Come back at me if you have specific questions or check out their web page http://www.olt.org/

Happy Travels, TheodoreJay

Date of stay: September 2007
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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6  Thank TheodoreJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2007

A beautiful natural place with many different pools with water from hot springs, different temperatures and depths. One pool has pebbles and mountain crystals for kids to gather and look at. Deer and faun came down, close to us, to say hello :) The place attracts a great clientele -- artists and musicians galore. Visitors are slightly older than us (40s-50s predominate), but all were very friendly and great to talk to. They have private rooms and a dorm with bunk beds. We stayed one night in each accommodation and found both quite nice. The management is incredibly nice and go the extra mile to make us feel comfortable.

One downside is the communal bathrooms--unisex and a tiny bit uncomfortable. But overall, we were really happy with our stay and want to come back here someday!

Date of stay: June 2007
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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5  Thank Olioli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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