The Best Natural and Man-Made Hot Springs in New Mexico

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You can’t go wrong in New Mexico when taking a hot springs adventure trip. The wide selection of hot springs in New Mexico will make it challenging to choose your favorite. From thermal pools that cling to the side of a mountain to luxurious spa mud baths, you can find an oasis off a forest trail or in the middle of a bustling downtown. Here’s some pertinent information on the state’s best-kept secrets. Let’s get started!

What Is the Difference Between Natural and Man-Made Hot Springs? 

Natural hot springs are geothermal waters that rise from the earth’s crust. Magma heats the water, containing several minerals and characteristics that you won’t find in artificial hot springs. The calcium, lithium, salt, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide in the water can aid in healing medical conditions like inflammation while building natural immunities. Artificial hot springs can be hot tap water. However, you can add new mineral “packs” to simulate natural mineral waters.

Woman swimming in hot springs in New Mexico

Does New Mexico Have Natural Hot Springs? 

New Mexico has 27 natural hot springs in four regions. They run the gamut from a luxurious spa retreat to riverside springs at the end of a strenuous mountain hike. Most have been in use for centuries, as Native Americans enjoyed their healing waters long before entrepreneurs made them commercial destinations. You will find nine hot springs in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and eight in the Gila Wilderness. There are four natural hot springs along the Upper Rio Grande in the north and seven in the Jemez Mountains region.

Traveler’s Tip: While in New Mexico use our Guide On Black Rock Hot Springs in New Mexico.

Man-made hot springs in New Mexico

The Best Natural and Man-Made Hot Springs in New Mexico

With so many excellent options, it was challenging to narrow our list of relaxing hot springs in New Mexico. We are offering six of our favorites. Each one will enchant you:

San Antonio Hot Springs

Location:  North of Jemez Springs, New Mexico

About:  San Antonio Hot Springs comprises rock pools on the hillside of San Diego Canyon in the Jemez Mountains. The hottest spring (at the top) is 105°, and the temperatures get slightly cooler with each lower pool. The hot springs are accessible year-round, but the gate at Forest Road 376 closes from November through February, so the hike is much longer.

Natural or Man-Made: Natural

How to Access:  Take Highway 4 west out of Los Alamos, New Mexico, through Valles Caldera National Preserve. Turn right onto County Road 126. Follow this road past San Antonio Campground to Forest Road 376. The parking lot for the hot springs is about nine miles down the road. Hike to the hot springs (about 0.7 miles). There is no charge. 

Spence Hot Springs

Location:  40 Abousleman Loop, Jemez Springs, NM 87025

About:  Several sandy-bottomed pools lie on the hillside, overlooking mountainous landscapes. Boulders naturally wall-in each spring, and the temperatures run from 100° F to 110° F. Clothing is optional here.

Natural or Man-Made:  Natural

How to Access:  Also resting in the Jemez Mountains, the Spence Hot Springs are easy to find. The spring is a half-mile off Highway 4, seven miles north of Jemez Pueblo. The trail is slightly challenging, curving up the hillside for 0.7 miles. There is no fee.

Montezuma Hot Springs

Location:  On the campus of United World College, six miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

About:  Montezuma hot springs encompass three geothermal zones with rustic tubs and concrete enclosures. The United World College owns them, and they lie off Highway 65 along Gallinas Creek. Bathing suits are required.

Natural or Man-Made:  Natural hot spring with concrete enclosures

How to Access:  Take Highway 65 north from Las Vegas for 4.9 miles. The hot springs are just off the road to your right.

Ojo Caliente

Location:  50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico  87549

About:  People have used these natural hot springs for hundreds of years, and now they are in a resort setting, complete with spa services, lodging, and a restaurant. There are nine public mineral pools and two cabins with private hot spring tubs, all with naturally-occurring minerals.

Natural or Man-Made:  Natural

How to Access:  Take Highway 285 north from Santa Fe 50 miles to the town of Ojo Caliente. Turn left on Los Banos Drive and arrive at the hot springs resort. Public soaks start at $45 Monday through Thursday and $65 Friday through Sunday. Private soaks for two are $75 for 50 minutes.

Jemez Springs

Location:  040 Abousleman Loop, Jemez Springs, New Mexico  87025

About:  Four hot spring pools are scattered across the property, sitting along the Jemez River in the town of the same name. Temperatures for the waters range from 98° F to 105° F. Minerals in these thermal pools include lithium, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and silica. There is lodging on-site with three cabins.

Natural or Man-Made:  Natural

How to Access:  From Los Alamos, take Highway 501 to Highway 4, following that route through Valles Caldera National Preserve to Jemez Springs. Turn right on Abousleman Loop. The hot springs are on the left.

Riverbend Hot Springs Spa

Location:  100 Austin Street, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico  87901

About: With eight common pools and seven private “whisper quiet” environments, Riverbend provides a spa setting. Each pool overlooks the Rio Grande River and the mountains beyond. They have concrete decks, but the hot springs are natural with mineral water. Lodging is available on the grounds, with hotel rooms and RV sites.

Natural or Man-Made:  Natural

How to Access:  Truth or Consequences is in southern New Mexico on Interstate 25. Exit the highway on the I-25 Business Loop, traveling south to East Riverside Drive. Turn left for a block, then take a right onto South Cedar Street. You will arrive at Riverbend after two blocks. Public soaking passes are $25 Monday through Thursday and $35 Friday through Sunday. Private soaks are $35 Monday through Thursday and $50 Friday through Sunday.

Are Hot Springs in New Mexico Worth It?

If the thought of soaking in therapeutic waters as your worries and stress float away doesn’t interest you, the hot springs in New Mexico may draw you due to their origins. Removed from the layer of magma under the earth’s crust, these natural hot springs bubble to the surface, bringing evidence of volcanic action below the soaking pools at each destination. If that’s not worth a look, we don’t know what is! 

Which hot spring in New Mexico will you visit first? Tell us in the comments!

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