This is one of the least known hot springs introduced in this blog.
It is located deep in the mountains, dotted with abandoned mines.
Remains of World War II?
This time, I will follow the Gila River, which flows out of Gila National Forest to the west, and go upstream.
To reach Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, you will need to take a different paved road that detours to the south.
On the other hand, the approach from the west side is a dirt road, and it ends before Turkey Creek Hot Springs.
The road conditions gradually worsened.
You need a car with a high clearance.
Near the end of the road, the Gila River meanders sharply, and the parallel road makes a hairpin turn.
Park the car at this point and enter Brock Canyon on the right.
It is not impossible to enter the canyon by car, but it is not advisable due to falling rocks.
Soon I came to a place where the valley had been cleared.
It looked like a campground, but there was no sign of management.
I found a dirty pond with an oily film.
The water temp was 100 degrees F.
I observed lukewarm water gushing weakly from the buried pipe.
When I visited once four years ago, I left disappointed by the muddy water that could hardly be called a hot spring.
This time, I was informed that there was something else deep inside.
I looked around carefully and found a large hole hidden in the shade of grass.
It was the entrance to the tunnel!
As I looked up what the abandoned mine was for, I found out that the area used to be a major producer of fluorite.
Fluorite is primarily used as a melting agent in steel making.
During World War II, the demand for iron and steel expanded rapidly, and the number of tunnels in this area increasing as well, according to records.
It would be interesting to know if such mines could be one of the supporters of overwhelming amount of goods produced by U.S. during the war.
Now, let's go further into Brock Canyon.
I came out to a place where the dry river bed was slightly moist and black.
This is an empty tub.
I'm convinced that I've found "something" that I was looking for.
Rocks are artificially assembled in the middle of the river channel, and the water-resistant plastic sheet are laid inside them.
A bent PVC pipe is stuck into the ground and hot water is being supplied from there.
The water was slight colored and smelled slightly like oil.
It was hot as 127 degrees F at the pipe.
There was mud on the plastic sheet, but as long as I dipped in quietly, I was fine.
Who would have imagined that such awesome spring would be bubbling up in the middle of a dry river?
This was truely mysterious hot spring.
Does the source of the spring have anything to do with the mine?
Could it be run off in flash floods in the middle of the river?
Who built the extensive soaking system?
Everything is in mystery, and it seems strange that such a hot spring still exists somewhere in the world at this very moment.
Brock Canon Hot Springs, Gila National Forest, New Mexico, U.S.
Rule: Clothing optional
Water temp: Up to 127 degrees F