Rico's Colorado's Hidden Gem.
Rico, Colorado could be called a hidden gem by some, I suppose. It is a part of a truly beautiful drive from Dolores, Colorado to Telluride on Hwy 145. I have to say it is not much of a town. Cute, yes, but not much to do there. The local bar The Enterprise is definitely a dive & I likely would not eat there again as when I did, there were dogs wandering all over inside. Begging for food as I ate, for Pete's sake. Now don't get me wrong, I grew up in dive bars & generally love good bar food.
Sadly, that was about the highlight of this tiny, once thriving, Gold producing town. A literal mountain of gold did come out of the ground & gold is still being found in the area today.
I did find the silver lining, however. The Rico Hot Springs. A local tipped me off to them so I went on an adventure to find them. The first one was not hard at all to find. Heading North out of town, the first one is near a mining area that is under reclamation. You can't miss it. It's on the right side of the road with a large pull out area.
This hot springs we will refer too as #1 can be driven nearly right up to.
As you can see in the photos, it even had a shed type structure for changing with a hand-painted sign reading "Rico Hot Springs". .
Hot Springs #1 is not as clean & nice as Spring #2. but it has character & shade. The day I was here, i met the little Sisters of one of the ladies that helped build this one in the '80s.
This spring will stain your suit but it will wash out.
This hot spring is unique, in that, someone hauled the shell of an octagon hot tub out there & then piped the hot, heavily mineralized, yellow water from a geyser down to it. The minerals in the water kind of created a stone shell on the hot tub itself. It is quite unique, to say the least. The result is a stone hot spring in the shape of an octagon. It is set right next to a clear, babbling stream, complete with benches & chairs.
The downside of the water is very yellow & will stain your suit if you choose to wear one. Not to fear though, it does wash out with no problem. It will leave a measure of this film on your body as well. So you may want to jump into the brisk stream to wash some of it off before you slide back into your car seats
Now the next hot spring is much
cleaner, but a little more of a drive,
so get back in the car, gang! Back out to Hwy 145, then turn right heading north again. Drive a short distance & the road leading down to the trail is on your right. (Right across from the county Hwy buildings) Drive down the steep grade to park. There is plenty of room to turn around. I had my 24' RV down & around with no problem. The trail is on the right. Follow the trail a few hundred yards to the spring.
Trail to the Hot Spring
Someone using rock & concrete made a beautiful area to enjoy, and over the years mother nature has added rock on top of it & made it quite magical looking. This spring is allegedly the result of a miner drilling for a core sample & hit hot water instead of the mother load. The water is about 102 to 103 degrees. The warmest & the cleanest. The stream is nearby & the views of the old mines in the area is peaceful, to say the least. Hot springs are a great way to detox & they pull the heavy metals out of our bodies as well. In the photos, I refer to this as #2. Ta-he-he I said number 2. ;)
The holes in the rock hisses like an old man sleeping. The water bubbles up quite vivaciously.
My advice is if you're heading this way, pack a lunch because the beer is cold & the springs are hot but the food is meh.. at best.
Watch your speed!
They do have 1 cop & he has asked for my autograph once before.