Gila Hot Springs, north of Silver City, New Mexico.
Hot springs dot the landscape of Southern Colorado and New Mexico, offering a respite for weary hikers and skiers. Soaking offers an escape from worldly troubles, and cleanses body, mind, and soul. Many guide books to the hot springs are available, and it is not our intention here to repeat that information. We simply want to relate our experiences with the hot springs we have soaked in, alerting you to the joys, quirks, and limitations of each.
From west to east, Southern Colorado has an abundance of hot springs. Our all time favorite is Ouray where the pool is surrounded by the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Some motels in Ouray also offer their own private soaking pools. Just a few miles north near Ridgway is Orvis Hot Springs https://orvishotsprings.com/ , a clothing optional pool offering a different vibe from Ouray. And some 70 miles south of Ouray you'll find Durango Hot Springs (formerly known as Trimble Hot Springs), just north of Durango, with views out to the cliffs around the Animas River Valley.
The towering San Juan Mountains surround Ouray Hot Springs.
Heading east from Durango, your next stop should be Pagosa Hot Springs. There are several places around town to soak, the largest being The Springs Resort & Spa, which offers 24 different thermal pools. Heading on east on Highway 160 you'll cross the spectacular Wolf Creek Pass, and descend into the San Luis Valley, eventually reaching Alamosa. Just a mile north of Alamosa is Splashland Hot Springs, a family-friendly pool, with slides and food concessions. Heading north to Hooper, you'll find the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool http://www.sanddunespool.com/ another family-friendly place, with terrific views east to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Proceeding on north, a stop at Mineral Hot Springs offers more amazing views of the mountains. And finally, crossing Poncha Pass will bring you to the lovely town of Salida with its Salida Hot Springs Pool.
In northern New Mexico, you'll find primitive hike-to hot springs west of Taos at Manby Hot Springs, and west of Arroyo Hondo at John Dunn Hot Springs. Northern New Mexico's premier hot springs resort is Ojo Caliente, about 25 miles north of Española on Highway 285. Ojo has ten different soaking pools, including everyone's favorite- the mud bath.
Southern New Mexico offers several hot spring spots in the town of Truth or Consequences. In fact, this town was originally named Hot Springs, before it changed its name in the 1950s to gain publicity on a popular tv game show. Various lodges in town offer hot pools, but our absolute favorite is Riverbend Hot Springs. This tranquil resort sits along the banks of the Rio Grande, and the pools look out over the river and the towering mountain beyond. Wildlife is abundant along the river, and we've spotted otters, sandhill cranes, and hawks. Schools of fish gather in the river where the hot water from the pools drains in. There are five public pools at the resort and a number of private pools to rent. In southwest New Mexico you'll find the Gila Hot Springs north of Silver City near the entrance to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
Riverbend Hot Springs offers hot pools (flagstone area shown) just above the Rio Grande, with a deck over the river, and steps leading into the river for those desiring a cool-off.
The rest of our Hot Springs section is currently under construction. Please check back often, and come explore with us!