Aliases: Major Creek Trailhead
The Orient Mine near Valley View Hot Springs is home to a summer colony of an estimated 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats, which stage an impressive out-flight from the mine entrance every evening. You are likely to hear poorwills and Canyon Wrens calling during the bats’ daily exodus. There is no charge for viewing the bats, but there is a charge to use the hot springs. A moderate 1.5-mile hike to the bat cave takes about an hour. The property contains numerous other remnants of the area’s mining history and has a fascinating geology as well. For more information, see www.olt.org.
Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Scrub Oak Forest, Aspen Grove
Directions: To get to this area, head east on CR GG from US 285 just north of its junction with CO 17. This intersection is twenty-five miles south of Poncha Springs and twelve miles north and east of Saguache.
Delorme: 70 C4
Roads of Colorado: 119 D2
Dates of Access: Summer
Admission: Camping fee
Restrictions: For information about viewing the bat flight, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that the hot springs, which you must travel past to get to the bat cave, is clothing optional.
Lodging: Cabins, tent and vehicle camping (fees)
Handicapped Access: None