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Conundrum Hot Springs, highest in North America, plus Aspen

All photos are copyright by Evan Ravitz and for sale. Nonprofit use is free if credit is given. Email: evan (at)

The following are old film images. You can see MUCH better recent photos in my many galleries on Picasa 

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Conundrum Hot Springs is in the Elk Range between Aspen and Crested Butte. At 11,200' it is the highest elevation hot springs in North America. (There are some higher fumaroles on volcanoes but these are all swampy and smelly as far as I know, and not in common use.)

This is on the 9-mile trail from the Aspen side.

These fall photos are about half-way up the Aspen side.

A snow bridge across Conundrum Creek in July.

Yours truly in 1982, when I performed my tightrope show on the Aspen Mall, having been banned in Boulder. I spent half the summer in Conundrum valley.

The stupendous overlook above our 1982 high camp. John Leffingwell is a great juggler, who also performed on the Aspen Mall.

These two are of Cathedral Peak.

The old Forest Service ranger cabin, now unused but handy in winter.

Conundrum Peak, the shorter of the 2 14,000' peaks in the valley.

Frost in August. On the left are the feathery green leaves of yarrow and strawberry leaves turning pink. Yarrow is good for colds.

The green weed in front is osha, or bear root, the most valuable herb in the Rockies, good for altitude problems, fatigue, colds, sore throat, toothache, muscle aches, etc.

The gorgeous pond a mile West and 1100' above the hot springs.

The altar rock, where we sacrifice nothing.

Castle Peak, at 14,265'. The hot springs is in the valley directly below the summit. The pond is visible about halfway down. Taken from my favorite mountain to climb.

3 shots from the "throne" on my favorite mountain, looking into East Maroon Valley.

A dramatic stain on one of the valley walls.

Balancing balloons on the Aspen Mall fountain is a favorite.

A forest service cabin on the way to the gorgeous Hanging Lake, right off I-70

When I went to Colorado College I worked with a "Big Brother"-type program. We took the kids to Aspen.

The Coors Classic bike race starting line.

Almost at the turn-around at the Maroon Bells.

This MAY be near Independence Pass.

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Evan Ravitz, founder 303-440-6838
Iridescent Clouds, Boulder
"Fool's gold exists because there is real gold." -Rumi