The tradition of “taking the waters” is perhaps as old as civilization itself. In prehistoric times there were sacred springs. The Romans built sophisticated baths. People long ago flocked to baths from Baden Baden, Germany to Bath, Britain. They traveled to spas in Vichy, France and Fukata, Japan. In the Americas, native peoples held sacred the waters of Saratoga, New York and Wagon Wheel Gap, Colorado.
The nomadic Ute people frequented the warm, healing waters of Wagon Wheel Gap long before European settlers discovered them. They called the hot springs and mineral waters “Little Medicine” and used them for healing and in sacred rituals. When an influx of homesteaders and miners put an end to the Ute’s annual visits to the waters, tourists took their place. More than a decade before there was a town in Creede, there was a hotel and spa at Wagon Wheel Gap.
The original Wagon Wheel Gap Hot Springs Hotel was expanded in the early 1900s when General William Palmer purchased the property. He had a vision of a luxurious spa that would draw people from around the country, and he created it. The spa endured until the discovery of antibiotics, when the golden age of spas concluded.
Though traveling to spas fell out of fashion, traveling did not. After all, people enjoy going new places and having different experiences. Wagon Wheel Ranch grew out of the Wagon Wheel Gap Spa; people came to ride horses, fish, and yes, soak in the famous hot springs. They came to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Colorado Rockies and heal their bodies and souls. They still do.
Eventually the Wagon Wheel Ranch became the 4UR. The original Wagon Wheel Gap historic bath house is still on our Creede Colorado Family Guest Ranch. Summer after summer, guests of 4UR Family Guest Ranch reconnect with nature. They ride horses, hike, and fish. They also soak in the restorative waters of the Wagon Wheel Gap hot springs.
This summer, our guests will find a new bathhouse and spa surrounding the water that bubbles forth from the ground. Everything will be more spacious: changing areas, work-out areas, massage rooms. We can’t wait.
Come “take the waters” this summer at 4UR.