Monday, August 20, 2012

Nearly Natural Hot Spring Pools

Since the last post was on man made hot spring pools 
I thought it would be nice to look at the more natural style pools.

Since most pools are altered by people in some way,
nearly natural refers to pools made with primarily natural, local materials
 and with either sand or gravel bottoms.

Above and below are pools that are dug out from the sandy banks
 along the West Fork of the Gila River in southwest New Mexico.

As these pools are right by the river they are washed out
 by the occasional flood necessitating that they be rebuilt every few years.

For years they have been managed by an artist
 who displays his artistic creations from found natural objects 
creating a unique gallery of work that is not for sale.

Some of his work is included in the post:

The next three photos are from the clothing optional Valley View Hot Springs
 in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.

This first pool, above, has mortared stone walls for the sides and a gravel bottom.

The top pool (above) is much more natural 
and slowly evolving from the action of the water...

...and flows into this lower pool (above) that offers a shady spot on warm summer days.

Above and below are two of the pools at Breitenbush Hot Springs
near Detroit, Oregon.

This one even has a foot bath to clean off your feet before entering.

Finally, and also in Oregon, is Terwilliger Hot Springs 
in the Willamette National Forest east of Eugene,
and consists of a series of pools fed by a hot spring.

Having fallen into disrepair from overuse and misuse 
it has been taken over by the forest concessionaire and volunteers,
 and is regularly cleaned and maintained.

The water emanates from the cave just above the pool.

This is one of my all time favorite hot springs,
but keep in mind that it is a very popular pool,
best to go on weekdays and mornings.