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Natural Hot Springs Adventure


Itinerary for Natural Hot Springs Adventure


Sample Itinerary - Subject to change

Day 1: 
Arrival in Colorado Springs and transfer (shuttle) to the Radisson Hotel near the airport. Meals are not included, but the hotel offers a 20% discount for our guests on all meals.

Day 2: 
Early morning full hot breakfast at the hotel (starting at 6 AM). At 7:30 AM our transfer will pick you up from the hotel lobby. We drive two hours to a trailhead on the eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As the pack string is carefully loaded with duffels and supplies, one of two colorful wrangler/guides picked for the adventure (our staff fight to go on this one) gives detailed instructions on riding, saddling and caring for your mount. Setting out around midday, we wind up through aspen groves, Gambel oak and lodgepole pine, up and into a long glaciated valley. The trail is almost lost as we work around downfall Engelmann spruce, fording the tumbling stream that gurgles down toward the Arkansas river and eventually the Mississippi. We stop to rebuild a section of trail that has slid away from a section of muddy down-sloping rock. A dark tassel-eared squirrel chatters indignantly as we pass. Higher up, a cow elk with ungainly calf in tow ambles across a meadow lush with purple larkspur and yellow composites. We set camp below a gigantic rock glacier just at timberline. The horses are picketed out. The tents are up in carefully selected flat areas well away from each other, and the small campfire is glowing cheerfully as we sip happy hour spirits while awaiting dinner.

Day 3:
The aroma of brewing coffee and the fluttering of Steller's jays signals the start of the day. After a leisurely breakfast, the packhorses are carefully packed with balanced loads. Staff competes to tie the best load. If perfectly packed, the load should not have to be touched until we unpack at the end of the day. Not much is worse than a load sliding off on the steep pass, creating a scene from a Charlie Russell painting! Leaving the last twisted spruce and bristlecone pine behind, our train winds up and over a wind sweep 12,500’’' pass. Awestruck, we silently stare at the immense vast grandeur of the San Luis Valley stretching beyond vision to the hills of Taos far to the south. Then, down, down winding switchbacks to lunch in an alpine meadow. A small herd of elk scramble indignantly down into the dense timber below. Leaving the forest behind, we ride out on a vast open prairie framed by towering peaks. We wait for the burst of orchestral music that Hollywood would surely furnish, but only the quiet whisper of the afternoon wind disturbs the solitude. Evening finds us soaking peacefully in a warm pool, favorite beverage in hand, as the orange-red globe of the Sun settles behind the western mountains.

Day 4:
We camp among the aspen along a warm water stream, minutes from the pools. Valley View is a private, minimally developed resort with limited public access. (Of course, we are members.) The Springs were considered sacred by the Mountain Ute who came to revitalize and give thanks after a successful buffalo hunt. Although quiet during the week, we share the resort with other members coming to soak in this magical spot. The day is set aside to soak, take saunas, to relax. Numerous natural pools offer a choice of soaking with others or finding a private small pool. You may decide to hike or explore the old Orient Iron mine nearby, returning intime for another sunset soak.

Day 5:
Breakfast, a last early morning dip, then back in the saddle again. Relaxed and stress-free we ride quietly up into the silent pine forest to make a late afternoon camp at the base of the great pass. Around the evening camp fire, our wranglers share tales of the days when The Ute hunted these high valleys or when John Fremont's ill-fated expedition wintered here. A horse whinnies in the darkness, an owl hoots out a reply, the camp Winchester rests nearby as we drift off in restful sleep.

Day 6:
Up early, we help break camp, catch the horses, pack loads.Now a seasoned, trained outfit, we are soon moving across the meadow and up the pass. Thunderclouds threaten, so we hasten along, stopping only to check chinches and loads. Dropping easterly over the crest, we stay well above timberline to find the beginning of an old cow trail leading down past a series of blue green glacial lakes. Finding a better trail below, we hurry into the valley as the high ridges erupt in claps of rolling thunder and electric display. We are, too soon, back at the road and waiting transport to urban reality.

--Due to factors beyond our control, we occasionally find it necessary to change the order or the route of these activities.--

POST TRIP INFORMATION

At the end of your trip you will be brought back to Colorado Springs sometime between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. We recommend making prior lodging reservations if you plan to spend the night. If you must fly out that evening, please do not schedule a flight before 8:30 pm, to make certain you can make your flight.
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Natural Hot Springs Adventure
Tour Code: RTCO03
6 days / 5 nights ~$1,995.00
Dates : July - Sept.

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
ABeginner
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
BNovice
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
CIntermediate
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
EAdvanced
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
   
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
   
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
   
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
   
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
   
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
   
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Introduction
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Accommodation
Tack: Western
Horses: Appaloosa and Quarter
Pace: 5-6 hrs a day - Crosses a 13000 ft pas...
Walk, Trot,
Airport: Colorado Springs
Location on Google Map
Image Gallery
Image Slide Show
Customer Trip Rating
Climate
What To Bring
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