Joyful Journey Hotsprings Spa

Peaceful Luxury

We all hope, for ourselves, and everyone else, for a joy-filled journey through life. However, recognizing the unreality of a smooth road without bumps and potholes, or life's unexpected twists and turns, it is nice to know that places exist for us to pursue some of our joys over which we have control.

One more of the hot spots for hot springs in the San Luis Valley, where Mother Nature makes her warm and wonderful waters available, is the Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa located 50 miles north of Alamosa just south of the junctions of highways 285 and 17. As with the other hot springs in the SLV, the water requires no purification. Mother Nature takes care of that too!

WHAT'S THERE - Two artesian wells are the source for the water. One well is at 145 degrees and the other at 120. They are cooled and supply the soaking tubs at 108, 103, and 98 degrees Fahrenheit to satisfy the heat preferences of soakers.

On the grounds of the cozy surroundings of Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa is the spa building with a number of rooms for a variety of massages and treatments. There is also a dry sauna. An adjacent 11-room hotel with upscale rooms is attached to a small conference center/ yoga room surrounding a quiet courtyard. Nearby are six yurts, three tipis, RV sites and tent camping with a bath house, a guest kitchen, and a small geodesic dome green house for growing vegetables and other plants in this high-desert location. Guests are welcome to step inside and see how it works. Of course I did! What's not there is a restaurant/lounge or store so bring supplies. Events/meetings can be catered. Unique restaurants and a small, but well stocked grocery store are located in Crestone, 25 miles away. Check for seasonal closures.

A common question/expression "What are you made of?" (though grammatically incorrect as sentences should never end with prepositions) is generally a question that challenges our intestinal fortitude to overcome dangers and our own fears to complete a task in life. But has anyone considered the make up of the human body and asked "From what are we actually made?" in reference to the elements from the periodic table. Many people know the main elements - hydrogen and oxygen in large quantities as we are mostly water. Calcium, sodium, carbon, and nitrogen may be also on the list of common knowledge. And those would also be correct. But the rest?

"I am made from the dust of the stars, and the oceans flow in my veins." - from the song Presto - by RUSH

Ah, but what elements are in star dust and the ocean with which we share common 'stuff'? To complete the list - phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, fluorine, chlorine, iodine, manganese, cobalt, iron, lithium, strontium, aluminum, silicon, lead, vanadium, arsenic, and bromine. Surprised by some of these? Me too! These elements are all in varying quantities and all have unique functions to keep our bodies maintained as fine-tuned machines.

Now, compare this list to the elements and minerals found in the spring waters at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa. The JJHSS list - arsenic, nitrogen, phosphates, boron, potassium, iron, selenium, calcium, silica, sulfur, sodium, flouride, lithium, zinc, magnesium, manganese. Sort of like soaking in a vitamin and mineral supplement! Short of this becoming a lesson in physiology and biochemistry, please visit for information about the beneficial properties of these elements for the human body.

Mother Nature runs a constant showtime that can be seen from anywhere in the valley. Sometimes the atmosphere is so dry during the day that the sky is a beautiful blue and only the sun moving west offers a show of light on the mountains as it sets. My favorite days are when, with lots of moisture in the atmosphere, the mountains become cloud builders. Small clouds develop in the morning and become larger cotton ball cumulus as they grow. They turn into larger clouds to which I refer to as large heads of 'Colorado cauliflower.' These begin roiling and boiling and their bottoms become blue black in color and rain veils begin to fall from these towering thunderheads. Lightning bolts and rolls of rumbling thunder complete the show over the mountains while most likely the valley will remain dry and sunny. Look for the rainbows! And the lightning show may continue well past sunset in all directions.

At night, be sure and have binoculars or a telescope. The stars are as brilliant as they can possibly be in the night sky. The high altitude valley and lack of light source pollution nearby make this an optimum spot for soaking and star gazing. Or, see the moon in one of its phases. The sky of the San Luis Valley provides meteors streaking across the beautiful darkness. Satellites orbiting the earth can be located and tracked until they disappear on the horizon. Airplanes are on their journeys somewhere and the Milky Way Galaxy (yes, the galaxy in which we reside) is quite visible with so many fuzzy stars in one of the spirals across the night sky that it is often mistaken for a thin cloud. Whoa! What was that? Oh, just a UFO on its nightly romp across the heavens ...

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