Hot Spot - Conundrum Hot Springs (Revisit), CO

Conundrum Hot Springs in the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness is experiencing severe impacts from outdoor activities. As one of the 2018 Leave No Trace Hot Spots this protected area will receive a site-specific blend of targeted training, expert consulting, education programs, and service projects to help this threatened area on its road to recovery. 

The Conundrum Hot Springs outside of Aspen, Colorado are amongst the highest elevation hot springs in North America sitting at 11,200 feet. The small area sees an average of 6,000 overnight visitors during the short season in which the springs are not buried in snow. This high visitation in the delicate alpine ecosystem has led to prolific impacts including litter, human waste, trampled vegetation, campfire scars and tree damage.

Conundrum Hot Springs were first selected to be a Hot Spot in 2017. Leave No Trace spent a week working with the White River National Forest staff to execute targeted training for agency staff and key volunteers, educating the visiting public and cleaning up the area around the hot springs. The 2017 events were extremely success and the Aspen-Sopris Ranger district has already increased the incorporation of Leave No Trace into their management plans and tactics. In 2018, Leave No Trace will return to the area to continue to strengthen and build the local Leave No Trace programs. The overall goal of this revisit is to continue to expose more visitors to minimum impact education furthering the Conundrum Hot Springs on the road to recovery.