Get naked at Desert Reef, a clothing-optional hot springs

by Angelica Leicht

Ever had a hankering to get into a hot spring while nekkid ass nekkid? Well, you can’t do that in Pagosa Springs, so perhaps you should take a trip to Royal Gorge County, Colorado, where the Desert Reef Hot Springs (1194 County Road 110, Florence) will allow you to do just that.

Listen, while we’re not in it to win it on this one – we like our naughty bits WITHOUT third-degree burns (or even worse, sunburns) – we’re all about clothing-optional places, of which Desert Reef Hot Springs is one.

It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the desert for professional naturalists (i.e., those people formerly known as nudists, for you folks who aren’t part of the hip, clothing-free crowd) and the bathing-suit-loving alike. All are welcome to take a dip in the Desert Reef Hot Springs, a natural hot springs that is fed by mega-hot water that flows in from somewhere deeper than 1,000 feet below the ground.

But before you get the wrong idea, this hot springs, located just outside of Pueblo, may be clothing optional, but it’s also family-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about any, uh, unwanted antics in the beautiful setting. You catch our drift.

And beautiful it is. This hot springs is situated right in the mountains and the desert, and it’s just desolate enough to make it feel like you’re in another world completely. It’s for the perfect mix of scenery and serenity.

To be clear, while this place is awesome, it isn’t really fancy, so don’t expect five-star accommodations. But it will only run you about $20 to get in, and between the lounge chairs scattered around the pool and the borderline-scalding mineral water that pours into the pool, Desert Reef is a really relaxing and freeing spot, if you’re into that kind of thing. There are even tiki umbrellas out there alongside the chairs to help protect your bits, should you want to take a break on dry land from your soaking.

And, as a bonus, you can even take your own beer in with you, so load up some cans of Ska’s Pink Vapor – the perfect poolside beverage, in our humble opinions – and pack your towel and some sunscreen, but not your bathing suit. With the relaxing locale and that liquid courage, you should be ready to shed your inhibitions and find your inner nudist zen with the quickness.

You want to go there. Trust us. It’s a naked oasis combined with a very hot pool of water in the middle of the desert, only it’s not a mirage. It’s just a bunch of semi-clothed people bathing in the mineral-laden springs, which is just the way we like it.

— Angelica Leicht


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