Jan 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm #1284962
To start out… My friends and I are from the Kansas City area, so we normally only make to out Colorado once a year. That being said, one of my friends wants to do conundrum hot springs this year. And I was looking to get some feedback, and thoughts.
The biggest issue I have with going there, is it seems like its one of the most popular places to go. Its not that I don't mind some company, but wanted to see how popular it really is, or what peoples expereinces have been. That being said, we'll probably try and hit it up on a weekday to avoid it being too over populated – if this would even help.
If there is another hotsprings that is more isoloated, but has a nice / decent view and could fit 3, maybe 4 people that anyone has been to, please let me know. I don't going on a longer trek, or driving to another part of the state.
MarkJan 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm #1832286
If it is published on the Web, then it is probably popular unless the route is off trail.
Many hot springs can harbor some sort of amoeba that if it gets into your nose can cause death. So keep your head out of the water.
Best bet is to get a topographic map and locate hot springs and then try to find information about it. If you can only find a couple references you might be in luck. It it has been published in Backpacker Magazine then you are probably SOL for solitude.Jan 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm #1832289
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"Many hot springs can harbor some sort of amoeba that if it gets into your nose can cause death. So keep your head out of the water."
That is certainly true around Las Vegas. The victim dies of meningitis. That's a pretty horrible way to come to an end.
–B.G.–Jan 31, 2012 at 1:15 pm #1832305
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
Conundrum is very popular, particularly from the Aspen side. If you go in the summer there's likely to be a crowd even during the week. If you really want to go (and it's a great spot), try early autumn.
My all-time favorite soaking spot in the backcountry is Dunanda Falls, along the Boundary Creek Trail in Yellowstone NP. About 50 yards from a spectacular waterfall, plenty of soaking pools. Ferris Hot Springs, along the Bechler River Trail in Yellowstone, is also great, but better known.Jan 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm #1832308
Thanks for the tips. I have a few (4 or 5)maps that I'll look at closer to see if there are any hot springs on them. Do you have any suggestions for maps to pick up and look at if I don't already own them?
Richard – I'll have to see if I can talk my friends into going to Yellowstone, and maybe that would be an option. I have family in Denver, so we typically drive there for a night, then head out the next morning to the trail head. Yellowstone has been on my list for a while, so maybe we can make it work.Jan 31, 2012 at 1:48 pm #1832321
All US Topo maps are available for free download at the USGS Website. Also remember that a lot of these maps are old and may not be accurate regarding springs (hot or other). Some springs dry up or are seasonal. Hot springs seem to be not as variable as regular springs.Jan 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm #1832326
Thanks Nick. I normally end up buying the nat geo trails illustrated maps. I'll check out those when I get homeJan 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm #1832335
If you take look at three maps for an area, lets say US Topo, Tom Harrison, and Trials Illustrated you get 3 different sets of trails and information. The Topo Maps are most detailed, and most likely to be dated. For cross country navigation I prefer the Topos. Depending upon the area Harrison and Trails Illustrated vary in usefulness for me. Overall, I probably like the Harrison because they seem to cover smaller areas, with more detail. But since I primarily use Topo's (either government printed or Topo!), I am most familiar with them. Some older Topo's have old trails/jeep tracks that are no longer used and not found on the other two. These older trails/tracks often can lead you to some pretty neat places.Feb 1, 2012 at 9:21 am #1832732
What about lakes / streams… If I where to go in the southern part of Colorado, at lower elevations are there lakes / streams that would be decent for swimming in the summer. All my expereince in Colorado is lakes / streams that are feed from ice melt, and not good for more than a min or two of swimming, if you'd even call it that.
I guess what I'm really asking is what about what elevation in sounthern Colorado would water temps be decent for swimming in the summer?Feb 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm #1832841
@nick: Does Tom Harrison do maps outside of California? I've never found any thing but California maps on his website. I really like his maps, and would be glad to see them published for other states/areas.Feb 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm #1832923
I don't know. I have a few for areas I know fairly well. Seems they always have a couple trails that are not found on other maps though. But all of mine are in California.
But since we are discussing maps and trips, I thought I might share how I often do this. An example is the Lake Mead Recreational area. When I first visited Hoover Dam many years ago I was overwhelmed by how large the area was. So I stopped by the visitor center to talk to the folks there and even a couple of Rangers. Well, no really knew much about hiking, I think they like to drive around in their SUVs and sit in the air conditioned buildings.
So I bought a Nevada Atlas and picked up the free map of the entire Recreational Area. Then I studied them to find what looked like the most remote areas. From here I ordered a Trails Illustrated map for more research. I found many areas that looked interesting. Then I researched those areas on the Web. Areas with trail guides or lots of Internet traffic were scratched from my list. From here I mapped out many trips, and ordered USGS maps before each trip. Since there were no trails at all, I prefer the larger maps. Then I started hiking all over the area every December on trips of up to a week. The method works well. I have now moved to sections of Arizona.
Another interesting resource is the Colorado River Boating Trail Guides published by the California Department of Boating and Waterways. These show all the launch points, lagoons, and other areas of interest to boaters. Using these guides we have boated most of the Colorado from below Imperial Dam and almost up to Hoover Dam in our little 10.5 foot inflatable. We have a small outboard, because my wife is not going to sleep on the ground at night. So on these trips we bring the tent trailer for use as a base camp. I use this guide to help me plan hikes in the many small mountain ranges in the Mohave and Lower Colorado desert. Gives me a better feel for water sources in case springs are dry or do not exist, it and shows all the little lagoons and special features that are begging to be explored, and I use them in conjunction with USGS Topo maps. There are several wilderness areas fairly close to the lower Colorado River, and few people ever go there due to the lack of water, but I can plan things with hikes to and from the River, often 10 or miles one way for water. But the trips are fantastic.
For areas I hike with trails, I usually print my maps with Nat Geo Topo!
And to be honest I would rather go somewhere that I do not know much about, other than what I glean from maps. Postings and articles about features and such sort of stuff takes the luster off a trip for me.Feb 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm #1832943
Mark – I haven't been to Conundrum springs in several years but it's a beautiful place sitting at over 11K feet and under a 14er. It's going to have a fair number of people there, even during the week, it's one of the most heavily visited backcountry locations in the area. It's always been a popular spot (with good reason), my first time there was in the early 70s and it was well used even then. I understand there have been some recent changes such as banning dogs from the area. For current information you may want to post on a website like 14ers.com which should have local area participants with very recent experience. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
RonFeb 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm #1832966
As has already been stated, it's an incredibly crowded place. On a summer weekend all of the campsites will be full and you will be shoulder to shoulder with naked people in the hot springs. Summer weekdays are practically the same. Your best bet is midweek during shoulder season, although spring is tough because the approach features a shooting gallery of avalanche paths. Most recently I visited during an October weekday during a snowstorm and I still shared the place with a half dozen other people…Feb 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm #1833170
Thanks for the info, and even more updates. It sounds like a place i'd love to go, but at the same time – not. I think I'd rather try and find something smaller, more off the beaten path. Opposed to having half a dozen (or likely more) buff folks hanging around.
I guess its time to start searching USGS topos.Feb 2, 2012 at 5:50 am #1833217
I was there on a Sunday and Monday in early Aug 2010. About 20-25 in the big spring in the evening. Great meteor show though. They said there had been 44 on Sat night. I think it would be nicer with snow.Feb 2, 2012 at 7:54 am #1833274
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
We had a dusting of snow when I was there in mid-September. Breathtakingly beautiful.Feb 2, 2012 at 9:18 am #1833316
Here is an interactive high resolution topographic map of Conundrum Hot Springs. I'm going to ask the admins for permission to start a Gmap4 thread.
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