5 places where you can go skinny dipping in Colorado

“Freedom” means many things.

For outdoors-loving Coloradans, it can mean standing alone atop a 14,000-foot peak you just climbed. Or being the first person to carve your skis’ signature through virgin powder. Or backpacking to a mountain lake and camping with nobody else around for miles.

For my money, nothing sums up “freedom” like swimming or soaking in Colorado’s natural waters in your birthday suit.

Freed from the constraints of material sticking to your body like a second skin, you’ll experience a new level of oneness with nature.

The bathing suit wasn’t even invented until the Victorian Age — and then by stuffy Englishmen who regarded skinny dipping as immoral. In most societies for most of the history of the world, swimming was done in the nude.

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Of course, prudishness still has strong roots in America, and as a society we lag behind Europe, where nudity is not such a scandal.

Colorado, though, is more progressive than most places in the U.S.

In fact it’s one of six states where women are allowed to go topless, and there are many places where you can swim or soak in the nude — at resorts and out in the wilderness, where the morality police aren’t around.

As the weather warms, here’s your guide to the best places in Colorado for a skinny dip. Since Colorado waters are fed by snowmelt and frigid on all but the hottest July afternoons, it should come as no surprise that most of the places on this list are hot springs.

Valley View Hot Springs

This rustic resort in the San Luis Valley has been home to skinny-dipping since the nearby Orient Mine opened in the 1880s (reportedly to the shock of Victorian ladies in the mining camp). The resort has 10 pools scattered across a hillside, from the man-made swimming pool to remote natural pools high above, so if you’re new to this sort of thing you can ease into it in privacy at one of the upper pools. Soaking here can feel like a wilderness experience, with solitude and great mountain views. In summer you can hike to see the largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in Colorado as they take flight at dusk from the abandoned mine. Be warned, clothing is optional on the entire property, including the hike.

Lodging: There are campsites, restored cabins and a few motel-style rooms.

What you need to know: Advance reservations are required.

While you’re there: Great Sand …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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