In Hot Water: For the Love of New Mexico Hot Springs and Mineral Baths
Get your soak on...
Hot springs represent a razón de ser in our beautiful state. You learn to love that smell (see the paragraph at the end of this list for your lesson as to why some have that special aroma). As the weather cools, it's a particularly exceptional New Mexico experience.
New Mexico's hot springs span the gamut from long hikes in the wilderness to luxurious spas. It's a tourism resource that brings many out of state visitors to New Mexico who are specifically looking for natural hot mineral water, since we're blessed with some of the finest hot springs on the planet Earth. There are beautiful springs at the end of a long hike in the wilderness, lovely gems that are only a short hike, and resorts that run the gamut from rustic to luxurious.
Note: Some areas are clothing optional (nude), and some require bathing suits. Please check ahead.
Northern New Mexico
Hot Springs of the Upper Rio Grande
Black Rock Hot Springs – located north of Taos, west of the town of Arroyo Hondo. It is about a 5-10 minute walk off a dirt road. Ask locals for directions. Two mud-bottomed rock pools on the west bank of the Rio Grande. Pool temperatures are usually about 97 F depending on how high the river is. Clothing optional.
Stagecoach (Manby) Hot Springs – located north of Taos, west of the town of Arroyo Hondo. It is about a 15-20 minute walk off a dirt road. Ask locals for directions. Three shallow sand-bottomed rock pools on the east bank of the Rio Grande. Pool temperatures are usually about 97 F depending on how high the river is. Clothing optional.
Montezuma Hot Springs – located northwest of the town of Las Vegas on the grounds of the United World College. Three clusters of concrete soaking pools of various sizes and temperatures. Bathing suits required.
Hot Springs of the Jemez Mountains
San Antonio Hot Springs – located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. It is about a 10 minute walk from where you can park. Ask locals for directions. A series of rock pools built along the hillside of San Diego Canyon. The hottest pool is about 105 F with the lower ones progressively cooler. Clothing optional.
Image at San Antonio Hot Springs courtesy AlaskaTracks.
McCauley Hot Springs – located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. It is a moderately strenuous 2-mile hike. Ask locals for directions. Large, shallow, warm pool that flows into several smaller, deeper pools with temperatures 85-90 F. Clothing optional.
Soda Dam Hot Springs – located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. A cluster of small hot spring pools with spectacular scenery not great soaking.
Spence Hot Spring – located west of Santa Fe, north of the town of Jemez Springs. An easy short hike. Ask locals for directions. Several sand-bottom pools on a steep hillside on the east side of the Jemez River. Water temperature between 100 –– 110 F. Clothing optional.
Spence Hot Springs.
Giggling Springs Hot Springs Jemez Springs, 505-829-9175
Bathing suits required. Reservations strongly recommended. Pool temperature is 102-104.
Bodhi Manda Zen Center Motel and Hot Springs – situated along the Jemez River in Jemez Springs, 505-829-3854 A four-unit motel. Three sand-bottom rock pools with the river next to the pools for a cold plunge. Call first –– no drop-ins. Bathing suits required.
Jemez Springs BathHouse – located in the park on the main street of Jemez Springs. 505-829-3303
A well-maintained bathhouse with eight private rooms and one outdoor private group tub. Clothing optional. Spa treatments available. Reservations recommended.
Southern New Mexico
Hot Springs of Gila Wilderness Area and the Gila River
Faywood Hot Springs 165 Hwy. 61, Faywood, New Mexico, (575) 536-9663 – Thank you to all the patrons of Faywood Hot Springs who have waited patiently for the last five years! The hot springs is under new ownership now but has retained the same services that made it a favorite with soakers in the past. Faywood Hot Springs Resort has 13 geothermal pools ranging from 100 to 110 degrees in temperature. Also, there are six cozy cabins available for overnight stay as well as a campground with full hook-ups. A visitor center will be completed soon which will house a restaurant, museum, gift shop, and conference room. Please come visit Faywood Hot Springs Resort and see why so many have come to find it such a magical place of relaxation.
Melanie Hot Springs – about 2 hours north of Silver City on the edge of the Gila River. Mile and a half hike of medium difficulty including about a dozen river crossings. Ask locals for directions. Several rock pools, more when the river is low, ranging in temperature between 98––102 F.
Gila Hot Springs Vacation Center – 505-536-9551. About 2 hours north of Silver City, not far from the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor’’s Center. Lodging, RV park and a hot tub.
Gila Hot Springs – River Campground, about 2 hours north of Silver City along the banks of the Gila River. Primitive campground with three mud pools ranging in temperature between 105-110 F. Clothing optional.
Light Feather Hot Springs – on the edge of the middle fork of the Gila River. A moderate mile long hike (with two river crossings) from the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor’s Center. A series of shallow rock and sand soaking pools with the temperature variable according to how much cold river water is let in. Get directions from the rangers at the Visitor’s Center. Bathing suits advisable.
Jordan Hot Springs – fairly strenuous eight mile hike from the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor’s Center (can be reached on horseback) with many (over 30) river crossings (middle fork of the Gila River). Two log and rock pools averaging about 93 F. Get directions and hiking conditions from the rangers at the Visitor’s Center. Clothing optional.
Turkey Creek Hot Springs – north of the town of Gila. Several rock pools along the edge of Turkey Creek. Tough four wheel drive road with five river crossings, then a difficult three mile hike. Water temperature adjustable according to how much cold water one allows to mix with the 160 F hot water that seeps out of rocks at the creek edge. Make sure to get very good directions from the locals. Clothing optional.
San Francisco Hot Springs – about 50 miles north of Silver City just south of the town of Glenwood. Moderate hike of about one hour. Three natural sand bottom pools along the edge of the San Francisco River of various temperatures. Clothing optional.
Truth or Consequences
Blackstone Hotsprings, 575 894 0894 – a beautifully-restored 1930s motor court – offers newly remodeled luxury accommodations in Truth or Consequences' Historic Hot Springs district. Rooms are themed after popular television characters or shows of the past, including Babaloo, As the World Turns, Roy Rogers, The Golden Girls, and The Jetsons. Each room has its own mineral water feature. All of our bedding is top-quality. Rooms have refrigerated air, satellite television, and free wireless. The Wet Room, a tropical paradise that includes a large pool for soaking plus a steam room with a shoulder-massaging waterfall, is open to walk-ins from 9am-9pm daily, as are our two Historic Baths.
Artesian Bath House and Trailer Park 312 Marr, 575-894-2684 – Eight ceramic private drain and fill tubs at about 108 F are available by the hour. RV hookups, massage by appointment. No Credit Cards.
Photo courtesy Artesia Bath House & Trailer Park.
Charles Motel and Spa 601 Broadway, 800-317-4518, 575-894-7154 – Twenty newly remodeled apartment style motel units and nine private individual drain and fill soaking tubs with both hot and cold water. There is also a group tub on the roof. Massage therapy and spa service available. Credit cards accepted. Reservation recommended.
Firewater Lodge 311 Broadway 575-740-0315 – Fire Water Lodge Hot Springs Spa offers a relaxing oasis for your wellbeing and comfort. We offer geothermal hot mineral water tubs in our rooms. Spa services are available with our healing arts professionals. We are located in downtown Truth or Consequences, New Mexico in the heart of the Historic Bathhouse District. Our historic adobe motel building is a 50's style motor court with classic charm. The guest rooms surround a charming garden sitting area with a fire pit. This is southwestern New Mexico at its finest!
Indian Springs 218 Austin, 575-894-2018 – Motel units include use of baths.
La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa, 311 Marr, 877-894-9286 – Five gravel bottom private pools with temperatures ranging from 105 to 111 F. Several newly remodeled rooms for accommodations. Massage therapy. Reservations recommended.
La Paloma Too (formerly Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs) 300 Austin Ave., 575-894-3148 – Five indoor tubs and a larger outdoor pool with gravel bottoms with temperature ranging between 101––107 F. Massage Therapy available. Reservation Recommended.
Riverbend Hot Springs 100 Austin 575-894-6183 – Several outdoor soaking pools along the banks of the Rio Grande. Temperatures range between 104––107 F. Overnight accommodations and public day use.
Sierra Grande Lodge Built in 1929, Sierra Grande Lodge is part of the Hot Springs Bathhouse and Commercial Historic District in Truth or Consequences, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The transformations it has undergone in the many years since it’s origination as the first bathhouse have been extensive and varied.
Article re-posted with permission from DiscoverNewMexico.com. See their website for more info about the fun to be had in New Mexico.
A few more interesting facts about New Mexico Hot Springs
That Pleasant Aroma: Just where does that odour come from that reminds us of rotten eggs and clears your sinuses better than nasal mist. The smell is a result of H2S (Hydrogen Sulphide), a gas similar to natural gas. It results from anaerobic bacteria converting some of the dissolved sulphur in the water to H2S. The presence of H2S indicates that the water has penetrated to great depths.
And another thing: Like most mountain environments, hot springs support an abundance of life even long before they reach the surface. Once the springs surface, again - they offer opportunities not found elsewhere. The warm water allows an abundance of algae and bacteria to live. Some species of creatures survive only in the outflow of springs. The warm water also allows an abundance of life surrounding the waters to survive, as well, creating microscopic worlds. Certain plants, reptiles, and amphibians only survive adjacent to these warm runoff channels. It’s a world unlike any other area of the mountains.
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