A wild hot spring that can just barely be visited in one day.
To enjoy the beautiful scenery and water, it is best to come prepared to camp.
Two different routes
There are two routes to this hot spring.
One is from Trail #729 via Little Bear Canyon.
The shortest route, but still 15 miles round trip.
The other is further along the trail from next to Gila Visitor Center to Middle Fork Hot Springs.
This trail is easy to follow because it follows the Middle Fork Gila River throughout, but it is about 19 miles round trip.
ReferenceMiddle Fork (Lightfeather) Hot Springs - Hot Springs in New Mexico
If you go to Gild Cliff Dwellings National Monument, you may want to extend your visit to the Middle Fork Hot Springs. Be prepared to walk across the river. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument It seems unlikely that most people ...
I chose the latter route this time.
Walking side by side with Middle Fork Hot Springs.
Although the trail has few elevation changes, I had to walk across the river many times.
Depending on the time of year, be prepared to be immersed in waist-deep water.
Bring water shoes and change them frequently to make walking easier.
The columnar joints that resulted from prehistoric volcanic activity were close at hand.
Lukewarm water seeped out of the surrounding rock formations here and there.
Once you join the trail leading from Little Bear Canyon on the south side, there are approximately 2.5 miles remaining to the hot springs.
The hot springs were halfway up the slope, but easy to find.
At the point where the warm water flows down to the river, there was a rock pool built by someone.
As I walked back to it, I found a large pool in the shade of trees.
A fallen tree was overhanging the center of the pool like a bridge, and the bottom was covered with pebbles.
No algae were seen, and the clear blue water was mysterious.
The water outlet seemed to be mainly in two places on either side across the fallen tree.
The water outlet on the right side had a lot of water and was flowing down through a tunnel of rocks from a high position.
The water outlet on the left side was shaded by the fallen tree, and this area felt the warmest.
The water was lukewarm, though, with a temperature of about 99 degrees F.
No odor could be detected from the water.
I recklessly tried a day trip, but I do not recommend it.
The trip was taxing, trying to finish everything while the sun was still up, and I injured my leg in the river on the way home.
I encourage you to bring your camping gear and soak in this beautiful scenery and lose track of time.