In the lush natural highlands of northern New Mexico, there is a traditional Native American settlement.
The fact that the hot springs are located in the immediate vicinity of the World Heritage-listed residence should not be overlooked.
The Taos Pueblo, the residence of the Native American Taos Tribe, is a historic structure built more than 1,000 years ago.
The structure is the original of the adobe style common in the region.
And surprisingly, it is still an active "housing complex" today, with some 150 residents living there despite the lack of electricity and running water.
The abundant nature around Taos Pueblo was the reason why people flocked to the area.
Dotted with black rocks
About a 30-minute drive from Taos Pueblo, the second half on dirt roads.
I got out of the car in the area of the John Dunn Bridge.
Around this area, the Rio Grande formed a deep canyon.
After walking along the steep slope for about 20 minutes, more black rocks began to appear around me.
The rocks were full of small holes formed when the lava cools and hardens.
These may be due to past volcanic activity.
As I continued on, the rocks gradually increased in size and blocked my way until I reached a point where I could go no further.
A nude woman was soaking in the shade of a rock.
The rule seemed to be clothing optional, so I decided not to wear anything here as well.
It was an early morning visit in April, but the temperature was below freezing due to the high altitude.
Shivering with cold, I put my feet in the hot water and found it hot enough to soak in.
It was a colorless, transparent water, and it had a distinctive mineral odor.
The color of the rocks reflected the water, and the water looked ink-colored.
The pool was assimilated with the Rio Grande at the edge.
What was somewhat disappointing was that this flow path did not allow for sufficient replacement of the water in the rock pool.
A short distance away from the source among the rocks, the water was stagnant and algae were growing in some places.
The water quality itself was characteristic of a hot spring in a volcanic area, so it would be good if the flow path could be devised.
Black Rock Hot Springs, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, U.S.
Rule: Clothing optional
Water temp: Up to 106 degrees F