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.
Southern New Mexico
Hot Springs of Gila Wilderness Area and the Gila River
Faywood Hot Springs – Faywood Hot Springs Resort has 13 geothermal pools ranging from 100 to 110 degrees in temperature, along with six cozy cabins available for overnight stay, as well as a campground with full hook-ups. Reservations only, 575-536-9663. Clothing optional.
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 – Privately owned river campground, about 40 miles north of Silver City along the banks of the Gila River. Primitive campground with three mud pools ranging in temperature between 147 – 154 F. Clothing optional.
Lightfeather 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 – 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. The most favorable times of the year are April through late June, and late September through early November. 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
Artesian Bath House and Trailer Park – Eight ceramic private drain and fill tubs at about 108 F are available by the hour. RV hookups, massage by appointment. No Credit Cards. 575-894-2684
Photo courtesy Artesian Bath House & Trailer Park.
Blackstone Hotsprings – a beautifully-restored 1930s motor court, with rooms themed after popular television characters or shows of the past. Each room has its own mineral water feature. 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 two historic baths. 575 894 0894.
Charles Motel and Spa – Historic adobe 1950s style motor court with classic charm, offering geothermal hot mineral water tubs in rooms, as well as an original 1940s style medical bathhouse indoors with giant tiled tubs both a Men’s and Ladies side. Spa services are available. Credit cards accepted. Reservation recommended. 800-317-4518, 575-894-7154
Firewater Lodge – Rustic motel hideaway featuring eight artisan rooms, each with private geothermal tubs with temperatures varying between 104 and 108. Open to lodgers only. 575-740-0315
Indian Springs – Rustic hotel established in the 1930s, with two private hot spring pools. Walk-in visitors welcome on a first come, first served basis. Nightly, weekly, monthly rates available. 575-894-2018.
La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa – Thirteen gravel bottom private pools with temperatures ranging from 105 to 111 F. Several newly remodeled rooms for accommodations. Massage therapy. Reservations recommended. 877-894-9286
Riverbend Hot Springs – Several private outdoor soaking pools, and one large public pool, situated along the banks of the Rio Grande. Temperatures range between 104–107 F. Overnight accommodations and public day use. 575-894-6183
Sierra Grande Lodge – Built in 1929, the lodge offers 17 guest rooms ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation, offering holistic wellness services and private indoor and outdoor hot springs, with temperature around 104. Open to lodgers only. 877-288-7637
Article re-posted with permission from DiscoverNewMexico.com. See their website for more info about the fun to be had in New Mexico.
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.
Montezuma Hot Springs – located six miles 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.
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, however this is not a great place for soaking, as it is right off the highway.
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.
Jemez Hot Springs – Originating from the Valles Caldera National Preserve about 17 miles up the mountain, these hot springs offer four therapeutic mineral water pools of varying temperatures with built-in seating, and temperatures ranging from 98 to 105. Bathing suits required. Reservations strongly recommended, 575-829-9175.
Jemez Springs BathHouse – located in the park on the main street of Jemez Springs. A well-maintained bathhouse with eight private rooms and one outdoor private group tub. Clothing optional. Spa treatments available. Reservations recommended, 575-829-3303.
A few more interesting facts about New Mexico Hot Springs
That Pleasant Aroma: Just where does that odor 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.
Posted by LasCruces.com