On a cold, sunless day in April when the streets were abandoned and the surrounding mountain views obliterated with falling snow, the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center was alive with the patter of bare feet on concrete, splashing of water-play among young teenagers, and voices of parents cajoling their children to join them in the pool – or get out and dry off, because they had reached their finger and toe wrinkle threshold and it was time to go home.
One of the lifeguards on duty, Jennifer, confided in me that she “grew up in these pools,” and I had to wonder how many other local adults could trace some fond childhood memories back to the Salida Hot Springs, the largest indoor hot springs pool in the country.
If the sound of children’s laughter, giggles, and squeals of delight annoys you, then this may not be your hot spring. But if there’s any kid at all left in your heart, then you’ll fit right in at the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, the heartbeat of a little mountain town called Salida.
Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center Salida, Colorado. Photos by Susan Joy Paul.
Touring Colorado Hot Springs (April 2012, FalconGuides) introduces you to 32 Colorado hot springs, with directions, maps, and the details you need to plan your hot springs vacation.