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The History of the Hot Springs

Twin PeaksOuray’s hot springs are a huge tourist draw, but these tourists might not know the history behind the Ouray hot springs. However, the history of the hot springs is a fascinating story that shows how Ouray developed over time.

Ouray’s hot springs and geology is the result of a geological lift at the head of the Uncompahgre Valley. This tectonic movement resulted in hot springs and rich veins of gold. The hot springs’ water sources are the nearby Uncompahgre River and some underground fissures. These hot springs are clean and odorless, and a great spot to soak.

The Ute Indians were the first humans to settle in the area. They loved the hot springs and considered them sacred. Other Indian tribes would travel to soak in the springs. However, they lost the hot springs in 1881, when the federal government moved the Indians to a reservation.

In 1877, W.J. Buchanan founded the first indoor swimming pool and bath house, which were built on top of the hot springs. He capitalized on his pool by offering baths to tired miners. Ladies also had parties in the swimming pool.

More recently, Ouray opened the Ouray Hot Springs Pool in 1920. This pool helps the community relax, and it’s a great neighborhood spot. Clearly, the hot springs have made a mark on Ouray’s history and community. They will be a destination for years to come.

This update is provided by Twins Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs. Our Ouray Colorado lodging, full-service hotel has seven different room types including rooms for couples or families with children. Our amenities include hot springs, a free breakfast, spectacular vistas of the mountains, and much more. For additional information on our Ouray Colorado lodging location, please call 800.207.2700 or visit us at 125 3rd Avenue Ouray, Colorado 81427.


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