New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. One thing’s for sure — you’ll definitely be enchanted by the array of hot springs you can find in this beautiful state!
After exploring glistening white sand dunes in White Sands National Park, shopping in Santa Fe, or skiing mountain peaks in Taos, you can cap off your journey with a soak in a healing hot spring.
Hot springs in New Mexico range from the adventurous to the relaxing, with off-the-beaten-path primitive pools and luxurious spas and resorts scattered all over the state. Check out the best hot springs in New Mexico.
JEMEZ HOT SPRINGS
Jemez Springs is a funky town set near the Jemez Mountain range. This area sees a ton of geothermal activity originating from the nearby Valles Caldera — a literal hotbed of volcanic activity.
There are several hot springs in this area, and many are connected by hiking trails. The most popular and the most developed among them is Jemez Hot Springs (formerly Giggling Springs), which offers shaded lounge areas, tranquil gardens, hot chocolate, and mountain views.
Jemez Springs is located just an hour from Albuquerque and 1.5 hours from Santa Fe, making it a convenient stop along any New Mexico road trip route.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES
“Truth or Consequences” is the real name of a town in New Mexico, located about 2 hours south of Albuquerque.
The town’s former name was simply Hot Springs, New Mexico. It was changed officially in 1950 as a publicity stunt, on the 10th anniversary of a 1940’s game show with the same name.
The big-name has stuck to this small town, making it a famous pit-stop.
True to its original name, Truth or Consequences happens to be home to numerous hot springs, including Riverbend Hot Springs located on the banks of the Rio Grande.
The unique riverside setting of this developed hot springs resort offers 5 easily accessible communal pools and 4 private pools for soaking.
The property also allows RV camping on-site, and offers all-you-can-soak packages to campers (other visitors will pay by the hour). Staying on the property allows campers to visit the pools in the early morning and after dark so they can enjoy a private soak.
If you’re game for a more adventurous journey, there are some rustic, undeveloped hot springs in the Gila Wilderness area that may be for you.
The Gila National Forest and Gila Cliff Dwellings are a draw to this area for hikers and campers. And the many hidden hot springs around the region can be destinations in and of themselves.
For the adventurous hiker, try the 6-mile (or more, depending which route you take) trail to Jordan Hot Spring. Start at the Gila Visitor Center and follow the trail through Little Bear Canyon.
Many river-crossings and steep climbs up and downhill later, you will be rewarded with a large shaded 94-degree natural hot spring pool. Enjoy the soak and remember that you still have to hike back — so plan and pack accordingly!
SAN ANTONIO HOT SPRINGS
Another hot springs destination that requires some effort to get there but is worth the journey is San Antonio Hot Springs.
Nestled into the side of the Jemez mountains, San Antonio Hot Springs is a rugged destination with 5 different natural pools for soaking. Gorgeous mountain views await those willing to make the hike to get there.
San Antonio Hot Springs is located 17 miles outside of the town of Jemez Springs via mountain roads and hiking trails. It’s an adventure to get there, but what an experience to soak in beautiful natural pools on the side of a mountain.
If you’re game for snowshoeing, this can be a wonderful winter excursion.
The length of time it takes to find this undeveloped hot spring depends on the season. In the summer months, you can drive almost all the way to the hot spring with a one-mile walk to get you all the way there.
During the winter, the roads become impassable, and you’ll need to hike or snowshoe the 5-6 miles in and out.
Off-road capabilities may also be required for part of the trek. Many rental companies offer overland 4×4 campers, making them the perfect vehicle to get you to this secluded favorite.
BLACK ROCK HOT SPRINGS
Black Rock Hot Springs is located 25 miles north of the ski town of Taos, along the west bank of the Rio Grande.
These hot springs are undeveloped, but the rock pool to capture the hot water has been rebuilt and maintained over the years. Because this spring is located just a short walk from a dirt road, it is easily accessible and also quite well known.
These primitive hot pools can sometimes be as deep as 4 feet and about 97 degrees. But with cold water runoff, the heat can disappear at certain times of year (especially the spring).
You will probably not be alone here, but after a day of hiking or skiing the beautiful slopes of Taos, this can still be a rejuvenating stop.
Ojo Caliente is a popular developed hot springs resort and wellness center located between Santa Fe and Taos. If you like a high-end atmosphere, then this is the hot springs vacation spot for you.
7 different springs and pools are available, including a mud pool. A full-service spa offers massage and skincare treatments to complete your rejuvenating and relaxing experience. There are even farm-to-table dining experiences and a wine bar.
Ojo Caliente is the perfect spa getaway and a place to unplug and unwind.
(Note: A structure fire caused a temporary closure of this spot last summer, but they are scheduled to reopen in 2021 and are currently open at their sister property called Ojo Santa Fe.)
MONTEZUMA HOT SPRINGS
Within 2.5 hours of Taos, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, Montezuma Hot Springs is conveniently located not far from New Mexico’s town of Las Vegas. You won’t find the bright lights of large-scale casino resorts here, but you will find a unique hot springs experience for the whole family.
These natural springs were originally part of a private resort, but are now free and open to the public. This is a good family option, as it’s easily accessible from the road, and is maintained and cleaned by the University that now owns it. Plus, clothing is required.
The ancient bubbling waters where Indigenous people, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid once soaked are now captured in rock and cement pools, and surrounded by a few historical buildings along the Gallinas River.
You won’t have to go on a big trek to reach these relaxing natural hot tubs, and you won’t have to pay a hefty resort fee either. That makes Montezuma Hot Springs an easy stop on any road trip through New Mexico.
HEAD TO NEW MEXICO ON YOUR NEXT ROAD TRIP
There’s something for everyone in the Land of Enchantment — from rugged adventures to luxurious spa days.