New Mexico

9 Best Hot Springs in New Mexico for Soaking Your Worries Away

Posted by
Liz Dengler
February 22, 2022
Updated March 10, 2023

hot springs in new mexico
Spence Hot Spring, Jemez Mountains. Photo: Kit Leong

Thanks to its unique geology, the Land of Enchantment has an extensive geothermal system and is packed full of hot springs.

If you’re venturing south to explore the land of mountains and desert, you’ll want to check out this rich hot spring culture. With everything from resorts and spas to primitive springs only accessible by hiking, there are great options no matter what your interest.

There are abundant natural (and usually free) spring options throughout the state, and most of them are generally pretty accessible via a short walk. Of course, if you would like a more upscale experience, there are plenty of spas to choose from.

Related Read: Take the Scenic Route on an Epic Denver to Albuquerque Road Trip

1. San Antonio Hot Springs

san antonio hot springs
Photo: Barbara Babala

Why you should go: A remote but popular spring tucked in the woods.

  • Location: Jemez Springs
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

Removed from the main track, you access San Antonio Hot Springs via a 0.7-mile trail, and you’ll need a high clearance vehicle to reach the trailhead. Several sources that come out of the hillside feed the pools of this primitive hot spring.

Unlike some other springs, these pools are tucked up on the hillside, and you can overlook the valley and the San Antonio Creek below while you soak.

Related Read: 9 Beautiful Hikes Near Albuquerque, New Mexico

2. Spence Hot Spring (McCauley Hot Spring)

spence hot spring new mexico
Photo: Kit Leong

Why you should go: A small warm spring with an intimate feel.

  • Location: Jemez Springs
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

Spence Hot Spring — also known as McCauley Hot Spring — is a small pool that can only accommodate a few people at a time. Luckily, the parking area is also relatively small, limiting the number of people who can park and walk in.

The spring has been cooling over the last couple of years but generally maintains body temperature. That might not be as warming as some other hotter pools, but it’ll still feel warm in the winter, but won’t overheat you if you visit in the summer!

It’s a perfect balance for a hot spring. The place has seen a bit of overuse, so please be considerate of the area and clean up after yourself. This is a day use area, so camping is not allowed at this hot spring.

Related Read: 10 Rad Weekend Road Trips from Albuquerque, New Mexico

3. Montezuma Hot Springs

montezuma hot spring new mexico
Photo: Birdie Jaworski

Why you should go: A clean, well-maintained, privately owned set of hot springs.

  • Location: Montezuma
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: No

Though Montezuma Hot Springs is privately owned, it is open to the public. The springs are managed by the Friends of Montezuma Hot Springs. Open to the public daily (and closed at night), the springs are still free of charge, but donations are always appreciated and got the maintenance of the pools.

Several pools range from warm to very hot, including one pool that reaches 120-degrees! Access is right off the road, and the pools are only a short walk from the parking area. Users have to follow the pools’ rules, including wearing bathing suits.

Related Read: 11 Awesomely Unique Places to Stay in New Mexico

4. Lightfeather Hot Spring

lightfeather hot springs new mexico
Photo: NPS

Why you should go: A visit to cliff dwellings a quick soak too!

  • Location: Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

Free public hot springs in a national monument? That’s right! After exploring the cliff dwellings at Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument and taking a hike, there is no better way to relax than with a lovely soak.

There are several hot spring options in the Monument, but the Lightfeather is only a 0.75-mile hike from the Gila Visitor Center. The source water for the spring is 130-degrees, so make sure to only soak in the constructed pools on the Middle Fork River, where the water is a more reasonable temperature.

Related Read: The 9 Best Weekend Road Trips from El Paso

5. Jordan Hot Springs

jordan hot springs nm
Photo: Chris Hill

Why you should go: An epic backpacking adventure in Gila Wilderness Area.

  • Location: Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

If you’re looking for an alternative to the hot springs in the National Monument, a great option is taking a hike to the Jordan Hot Springs. These springs are very remote and will take a fair bit of effort to get to. At seven miles, the hike is no small feat, but it is stunning!

The trail climbs for the first couple of miles, but the grade is gradual, and you’ll have lovely views from the rise. As you wind through the canyon, you’ll enjoy the shade of trees and refreshment of the stream that you’ll have to cross. Jordan Hot Spring is about 7 miles in and just off the main stream.

The crystal clear water is hemmed in by a small rock wall, the gravel bottom is kind on the feet, and the warm waterfall that feeds the pool sets the atmosphere. The temperature of the pool ranges from 98 to 102 degrees. There are a few excellent backcountry camping spots near the pool, and this is a beautiful, remote, and relaxing place to spend a night out.

Related Read: The 7 Best Caves in Arizona for Subterranean Exploration

6. Black Rock Hot Springs

black rock hot springs nm
Photo: Nathan Chor

Why you should go: A lovely stop just outside of Taos.

  • Location: Taos
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

If you’re in the Taos area for a winter retreat at the ski resort, then you simply have to stop by the Black Rock Hot Spring. Located on the Rio Grande just south of the John Dunn Bridge, the spring is easy to find this spot, but it’s a bit of a scramble to get to.

The parking area for this spot is on a switchback and relatively small. On top of that, the hike down is short but quite steep and rocky, so it should only be attempted by the sure-footed. Primitive rock pools, this free spot is an attractive spot to enjoy a long day after skiing.

Related Read: 10 Relaxing Cabin Rentals Near Taos, New Mexico

7. Jemez Springs

jemez hot springs
Photo: Jemez Hot Springs
  • Location: Jemez Springs
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: No

The region around Jemez is dotted with hot springs, both cultivated and natural. If you’re in the areas doing a bit of hiking and soaking, it’s worth spending a little time exploring the historical side of Jemez Springs.

The Jemez National Historic Landmark is a 700-year-old village and church of Giusewa, built by the ancestors of the Jemez Pueblo (Walatowa). There is a short interpretive trail that winds through the ruins of the village. After exploring the old town, head back to explore some of the built-up springs that Jemez has to offer.

The Jemez Hot Springs (formally known as the Giggling Hot Springs) provides a peaceful outdoor atmosphere in which to enjoy their pools. Another fantastic spot is the Bodhi Manda Zen Center. A quiet respite meant for those looking to find space and spirituality, the center is a great place to book a stay and access their private hot spring.

Related Read: 11 Magnificent Hikes Near Santa Fe, New Mexico

8. Truth or Consequences Hot Spring District

truth or consequences nm hot springs
Photo: Blackstone Hot Springs

Why you should go: A town full of hot springs and spas.

  • Location: Truth or Consequences
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: Varies

Set on a geologic rift, the town of Truth or Consequences is riddles with an abundance of hot springs. Warm water percolates up through the rift, absorbing an abundance of minerals perfect for nourishing the skin through a soak. Plus, due to its unique location, there is a distinct lack of sulfur in the water, meaning a lot less odor.

Baths around town range from 98 to 115 degrees, making them excellent for soaking up those restorative waters. Known since the 1920s as the health center of the south, Truth or Consequences was originally named Hot Springs due to the number of springs in town. There are ten developed hot springs to choose from, most of which offer lodging and spa options in addition to pool soaking.

Related Read: 12 Best Spots to See the Fall Colors in New Mexico

9. Ten Thousand Waves Spa

ten thousand waves hot spring nm
Photo: Ten Thousand Waves Spa

Why you should go: Experience a Japanese inspired spa and retreat.

  • Location: Santa Fe
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: Yes

Tucked in the hills above Sante Fe, Ten Thousand Waves Spa is unique spot offers a tranquil environment in which to relax. The spa has only private bath options, so you don’t have to share your time with other guests. The lush gardens and Japanese-style pools will transport you to another world where you can forget your troubles and wash away tension.

After a relaxing soak, you can partake in a massage or other spa treatment. The onsite lodging and restaurant make this a perfect getaway for a couple looking to unwind.

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