Poncha Springs (1877, 7,469 feet), like the nearby pass and mountain, takes its name from the Poncha Hot Springs. Poncha Pass, the northern gateway into the San Luis Valley, attracted stage lines and the D&RG, while the town of Poncha Springs, originally called South Arkansas, became a way station on the South Arkansas River. James P. True platted the townsite and opened a general store in 1879.
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