Lightfeather Hot Springs, also called Middle Fork Hot Springs, is an undeveloped and natural geothermal soaking area in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, around 45 minutes from Silver City. No overnight parking is available at these public hot springs, but you may visit for the day for free.
Natural Hot Springs
Set along the Middle Fork Gila River, the hot springs have a source temperature of 130℉, but the couple of rock-walled pools that it fills vary with the season. The pools are at river level, so bathers can enjoy picturesque waterway views. This is a heavily frequented area, and even though it’s clothing-optional, visitors may still want to wear bathing suits.
The rocks along the riverbank may be warm in certain places due to geothermal activity. It’s wise to avoid getting in the source directly because it’s so hot, but the natural pools are usually pretty pleasant.
Visitors and local volunteers are the ones who keep the rock walls up and definitive in the water. Naegleria fowleri, sometimes known as the “brain-eating amoeba”, is present at Lightfeather Hot Springs; bathing is ok, but you shouldn’t submerge your nose.
You may reach Lightfeather Hot Spring from the Gila Visitor Center after a twenty-minute, three-quarter mile stroll down the Middle Fork Trail (Trail 157) in the Gila National Forest. Located at the foot of a high canyon wall, it winds its way down to the Middle Fork of the Gila River.
Pets are welcome on the trail to the hot springs but refrain from allowing your pet in the water.
Address: Trail #157 from the parking lot at Gila NF Visitor Center, Silver City, New Mexico 88061
Phone: 575-536-9461 (visitor center)
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm