Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our Trip to a High Desert Hot Springs

On the Drive Over
I love hot springs!  Ever since we lived in Wyoming and I first got to experience a hot springs pool I have wanted to do it again.  The first pools we visited were in Thermopolis which is one of the largest hot springs in the world!  If you ever go to Yellowstone consider a side trip because it is awesome!
The Pool
So for my 36th birthday last month I decided that all I wanted was a mini vacation to a nearby hot springs.  Soon it would be too hot to really appreciate soaking so off we went.
We have quite a few hot springs around us but most were booked solid for overnight stays and were really expensive to boot! So we decided on Crystal Crane Hot Springs which was about a two hour drive and very affordable.  Not only was it affordable, but it also has lots of amenities. Most of the drive was beautiful until you came out of the mountains and into the desert.  I have never been a fan of the desert because I have lived in one type or another my whole life.
 We took our 3 youngest children and rented the Tee Pee, which is a real Tee Pee with a heated floor.  You bring your bedding.  The bonus is there is a huge soaking tub big enough for 5 people in the middle that pipes in the hot springs water!  There are several different cabins you can choose from but all were booked anyways.  I would recommend booking in advance if you need a cabin.  There is also tons of RV space and there were at least 10 RV'rs there.
The kids were so excited to be in a REAL Tee Pee and so was I.  I've never slept in one and it was neat.  There is room for at least 8 people and it has a fire pit outside.  Inside there is a table and chairs.  The soaking tub has a moat around it for overflow and hot and cold spring water so you can adjust it to your liking.  It is fairly close to the bathrooms/showers in case of late night potty breaks. The TP is far from the RV spots and not close to any of the cabins so you feel secluded.  There are lights in the Tee Pee for the night and hooks to hang clothes or towels on.
There are a couple of downsides though.  This is a REAL tee pee.  So it is not fully sealed.  We found out in the middle of the night that the local ground squirrel population enjoys midnight strolls inside looking for food!  One walked across my husbands legs!  I woke up hearing them rustling in our bags but since there was nothing I could do to stop them I went back to sleep.  Also there is a birds nest at the top of the tee pee where the poles meet.  These birds are VERY noisy and wake up at dawn, which is 4:30!  But other than that it was fun.  And of course our kids slept great!
The staff was really helpful and friendly and bent over backwards to help us as we needed a fan in the middle of the day. Also every part of the resort is really nice and clean!  In the tee pee there is no bathroom or showers so you have a short walk over to them.  We didn't use the showers as we bathed in our tub, but the bathrooms were nice and clean with electric hook ups for blow dryers and curling irons.

The hot spring pool is HOT.  I overheated and had to get out often but the kids and my husband had a blast. It would be perfect to visit in the fall, winter, or earlier in the spring. One thing about hot springs water that I love is that it is very healing. 
 It is full of minerals and my son who suffers from eczema benefits greatly.  His eczema which was broken out when we arrived had completely healed by the time we left!  We took a dozen water bottles filled with the hot spring water home and when he breaks out pour it over.  It has worked nicely.
The pond is fairly big. There are places where fresh spring water comes in and it comes in very hot so be careful.  It has a bottom covered in local black lava rock that is crushed into gravel.  It's hard on the feet so bring swim shoes. 
The Clubhouse
The water is clear and clean and doesn't smell of sulfur strongly like some hot springs.  It is very mineral rich.  The pool gets deep so watch small kids.  We brought pool noodles and the kids had so much fun swimming and playing.
clubhouse decorations
The club house was nice and cool and we had our dinner there, and it has several tables for eating. There is a flat screen tv, games, books/magazines, a fireplace for the winter visitors, and lots of comfy seating and even a few toys. 
my daughter loved this antique dollhouse
It is really clean and decorated so cute with western flair.  Also there is lots of interesting history for those who enjoy it! We relaxed there for awhile after dinner and the kids watched some cartoons while my husband and I played Rummy Cube which is a favorite game of ours.
The Store
They also have a little store where you can buy everything you need or may have forgotten. They rent out pool toys and have lots of snacks. However there is very limited dinner options so you are either driving to the closest town or bringing it along.
 The camp kitchen is a little house with a stove, microwave, coffee pot, fridge, outside BBQ, and sink as well as a table and chairs.  I cooked up our simple dinner and carried it over to the next door club house. In the mornings there is free coffee in the club house.
inside the cookhouse

After soaking and playing we had a campfire outside our Tee Pee.  The kids had a great time and made friends with other children running around.  It is very quite here and there are these beautiful birds in the close overflow pond that had very interesting songs.  We had one neighbor in and RV next to us who stays all winter every year.  He was delightful and we chatted for quite a while.  We only stayed one night but I could see staying a few days in the fall.
Even though every cabin was rented you wouldn't know it.  Most people are here just to relax and it is pretty quiet.  The nights are spectacular with stars because you are in the high desert but I was so drained from the hot springs I fell asleep before I could enjoy them!
This is a great low key vacation spot!  I would recommend it to anyone who want to experience a hot springs.
I was not in any way compensated for this post.  My opinions are my own.

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