One of the main reasons tourists venture to The Land of Enchantment is the fantastic natural hot springs near Albuquerque. These warm and sometimes sizzling waters are rich in minerals and loaded with health benefits, which is why people love to soak in them.
A day or two at one of the many natural springs locations near “Burque” is ideal for melting away everyday stress and tension. Many New Mexico hot spring destinations have found ways to capture the waters and make them spa-ready and tourist-friendly. However, some of the most charming spots to take a dip in this magical element are primitive locations.
Many developed sites offer lodging on-site, and campgrounds are often close to the more rural ones. When it’s time to unwind and treat yourself to self-care, consider these nearby thermal springs on your next trip to Albuquerque (ABQ), aka “The Duke City”.
Here are the hot springs closest to ABQ, NM, in order of proximity:
Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort – Santa Fe, NM (51 miles)
Ojo Santa Fe is one of two spa resorts in the “Ojo” family, and this location is set in Santa Fe. This refuge from contemporary life is decked out on 77 lush acres and has multiple spring-fed pools. The property also has fine dining, a spa, and a saltwater pool.
Beautiful cottonwood trees and lounge chairs surround the soaking areas, and the waters are said to have healing powers. Guests come to use this facility to alleviate physical and mental stress in this utterly relaxing environment.
Day passes don’t require reservations, and one price is good for all-day admission and access to thermal pools and saltwater pool. The hours for day visits are 10 am to 10 pm. Overnight guests have unlimited access to the waters and are given an extra two and a half hours in the morning before the public walk-ins can arrive. Towels and robes are provided for free to overnight stayers.
Ojo Sante Fe provides massage therapy sessions, energy healings, and signature treatments on their property. The treatment items used during the spa services include locally sourced herbs and southern ingredients in the skincare products.
Splurge and stay in one of the Ojo Santa Fe casitas (affiliate link), designed to feel like your home away from home. With 600 square feet of space, a patio for stargazing, a king-sized bed, and fireside seating, these accommodations are ideal for continuing that luxurious feeling before and after using the thermal and saltwater pools.
Another option for staying on the property is the Garden View rooms, which are more like traditional hotel rooms. Each room is decked out in local artwork inspired by the healing waters and easy pool access.
Both styles of lodging come with Ojo’s signature bathrobes to wear while in the swimming and soaking area. There are complimentary hotel-brand toiletries and products made with locally sourced ingredients in each room.
New Mexico residents receive a 20% discount on a stay at Ojo Santa Fe. Check out other hot springs near Santa Fe, while visiting “The City Different”.
Jemez Hot Springs/Giggling Springs – NM (60 miles)
Look no further than New Mexico’s famous Jemez Springs for the ultimate soak in an incredibly atmospheric location. Also known as “Giggling Springs”, this lavish hot spring facility is home to four thermal mineral water pools with temperatures between 98-105℉.
Each pool has a built-in setting for comfort and is filled with ancient seawater from the Valles Caldera National Preserve. This site has been a point of attraction for centuries as it once was used by Native American tribes and New Mexican residents during the 1800s for healing purposes.
Jemez Hot Springs doesn’t take reservations; entrance is bought on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 14 people at a time. The facility is open every day except Tuesdays from 11 am to 5 pm, but the last time of day that someone can enter is at 3:45 pm.
Soaking sessions are sold in one or two-hour increments, and clothing is required. If you decide to come on a whim and don’t bring your bathing suit or towel, they are available to rent on-site.
Depending on the time of year, visitors can hear the Jemez River babbling very close to the hot pools. Some guests enjoy taking a dip in the river to cool off after spending some time in the thermal waters.
Visitors using the pools must be at least 14 years old, and no alcohol or pets are permitted at the location. The property asks that people do not apply oil and sunscreen on their bodies before going into the pools, but applying sunscreen to the face is ok.
Each day, the pool is cleaned using green technologies such as their oxygen inversion system and ultraviolet light, never any chemicals to preserve the natural qualities. For information regarding mineral properties in the water, refer to their website.
Book a stay at one of the three on-site, newly remodeled cabins for an extended getaway. These cottages range from 500-725 square feet in layouts, and all come equipped with a complete kitchenette, air conditioning, WiFi, private bathrooms, multi-bed rooms, and a complimentary 2-hour soak in the pools. Unlike the walk-in-only policy for the hot springs, these accommodations can be booked in advance.
McCauley Warm Springs – Santa Fe NF, NM (73 miles)
When you’re in the mood for a short hike with a big reward, McCauley Warm Springs in the Santa Fe National Forest is an unforgettable journey. The scenery along the path is something out of a fairytale, ending at a dreamy natural soaking pool.
Since the hike to the springs is easy, this is one of the most heavily trafficked primitive natural thermal pools. The temperature hovers around 95℉, and the water runs clear, making it a nice warm spot to take a dip in before returning down the trail.
Since this is a rural location, pets are allowed by the springs. However, going without clothing is against the law in this area, so clothing must be worn when soaking. Visits are welcome all year long, but there’s no overnight camping allowed on the premises. If possible, avoid submerging your head in the water or getting in if you have any open wounds, as amoeba are commonly found in the water.
Camping & Lodging
While there is no camping on-site at McCauley Springs, the Jemez Falls Campground is only about five miles away via roads (as the crow flies, it’s much closer). The campground is only open from summer to fall. It is operated by the US Forest Service, offering a few amenities like toilets, picnic tables, drinking water, parking, and spaces for tent and trailer camping.
More traditional hotel-like lodging options are available in nearby Jemez Springs and La Cueva towns.
San Antonio Hot Springs – Santa Fe NF, NM (78 miles)
San Antonio Hot Springs is an attractive primitive hot spring in the Santa Fe National Forest and a great place to soak in warm unspoiled water. Four rock-walled natural pools are connected with a water source that comes out at 129℉.
The top pool’s temperature rests around 105℉, and as the water cascades to the lower pools, it cools off a bit with each one. These crystal-clear waters are a popular place and can be crowded, so your best chances of being alone are probably early in the morning.
To reach San Antonio Hot Springs, there’s a short hike involved; the trail is a little over a mile out and back. The last portion of the road to the trailhead is very rocky and requires a 4×4. When snow is on the ground during the winter months, you’ll have to park further away from the trailhead.
There is no camping at the site of the springs. However, a few miles away, the San Antonio Campground has 20 single sites, a group site with nine walk-ins, and a large pavilion. Six spaces can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet with hookups. Drinking water and vault toilets are available.
The Trails End RV Park is close to the San Antonio Campground and has several hookups with electricity and pull-through sites. In the towns of La Cueva and Jemez Springs, there are traditional motels and lodging.
Ojo Caliente (113 miles) – Ojo Caliente, NM
The second of the Ojo properties is in Ojo Caliente, where the hot spring pools range from 98 to 105℉. The waters are open to day users or overnight stayers, with unlimited access to the communal pools. The clear, odorless, geothermal waters attract people to come to soak for the health benefits and undergo total relaxation and a break from hectic daily life.
Visitors also can book a private pool with up to four guests at a time, and that is by appointment only. Clothing is optional for a private reservation, and the booking comes with a tower and changing rooms. Bathrobes cost an extra fee.
Ojo Caliente offers a menu of spa services, including massage therapy, signature treatments, and energy healings. Add-on treatments can be tacked on to a massage session. Some of the unique therapies are the Lavender Quench Hydrating Body Wrap, Heavenly Hand & Foot Treatment, and Ojo Dreaming.
Lodging and Camping
There are many ways to stay at Ojo Caliente. Make a reservation at one of the cottages, scenic suites, historic hotel rooms, or rent out an entire private house. There are also vintage trailers restored and transformed into unique accommodations, perfect for finding some respite from the outside world.
An on-property campground with dry camping sites and RV hookups is also an option for staying here. Free WiFi, potable water, shower facilities, and beautiful sights are some of the attractive amenities. Campers also received a 20% discount on entry fees to the soaking pools.
Montezuma Hot Springs – Las Vegas, NM (128 miles)
The Montezuma Hot Springs is also known as the “Las Vegas Hot Springs”, located about six miles out of the city. Legend has it that these springs were once visited by big names like Jesse James and Billy the Kid, in addition to soldiers that would come here to heal their wounds from fighting. The land is privately owned, but the general public is allowed to access and enjoy these comforting, therapeutic mineral waters.
There are nine pools divided into three soaking areas, each encompassed by man-made cemented platforms. The three sections are within walking distance of each other and filled with natural hot and warm waters ranging from a cozy 95℉ to a steamy 120℉. Soakers should take caution before entering the source pools as they are much hotter than the rest. Visitors should come during the open hours between 5 am and midnight.
Parking and day use of these springs are free of charge, but keep in mind that clothing is required despite being rural. The walk to the springs is relatively short and accessible from the parking lot.
Camping and Lodging
Camping is prohibited at the springs, but several campgrounds in the Las Vegas area are for tent, and RV stays. Additionally, Las Vegas has several other accommodations like hotels, motels, vacation homes, and B&Bs conveniently close by to the springs.
Truth or Consequences Hot Springs (149 miles)
The drive from Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences (TorC) can be done in about two hours, making this city-to-city excursion appropriate for day trips. Even though this little town only has less than 7,000 residents, it is renowned in the country and world for its mecca of natural hot springs. Truth or Consequences used to be called “Hot Springs” before its name changed in the 1950s.
There are about a dozen hot resorts in TorC to choose from. Some have accommodations on-site, such as cabins, motel rooms, or camping. Explore one or several on your visit to this mineral springs destination.
Black Rock Hot Springs – Arroyo Honda (152 miles)
Black Rock Hot Springs has two natural soaking pools with rock walls and pebble bottoms. The amount of water in the pools depends on the season, as the river affects how much fills the springs. The temperature of the waterfalls is between 98 and 101℉ depending on the time of year, too.
There is no fee to soak in the Black Rock Hot Springs, and clothing is optional. Visitors have to hike a 0.3-mile trail out and back to reach the water. Dogs are allowed to be there as long as they’re on a leash. The area is for day use only.
When hiking out to the springs, wear proper foot attire. The rocks can be wet and slippery, and it’s also wise to bring a water bottle.
Lodging and Camping
Most people that spend the night in the area make lodging reservations in Taos. There are also a few nearby campsites, but nothing directly at the springs.
New Mexico is one of the best states to visit for those looking to have a hot spring vacation. In the winter, combine a visit to one of these natural oases with a visit to one of the ski resorts close to Albuquerque. Any one of these soaking spots by Albuquerque is sure to satisfy and help visitors accomplish total relaxation.