Army Engineer Capt. C.A.H. McCauley toured the fledgling Army military post in Pagosa Springs in the late fall of 1878. During his visit, he described “Red Man’s bathing houses.” These were the natural cavities found in close proximity to the Great Hot Springs.
“One in particular,” McCauley wrote, “at the southern edge of the springs is a point of escape of hot vapor and has been used as a sweat (swet) hole, the Indians crouching within and covering themselves with a blanket from above.”