New Mexico

McCauley Hot Springs - Hot Springs in New Mexico


A wild hot spring gushes up in the middle of the mountain.

After a bit strenuous hike, a fish pedicure experience is available.


There is information that the area is closed due to damage from wildfires. Please consider visiting based on the latest local information.

Soda Dam Hot Springs

On New Mexico State Highway 4, just a three-minute drive north of the community of Jemez Springs, you will reach Soda Dam Hot Springs.

Soda Dam 03

The parking lot is maintained in a prominent location along the highway, so you cannot miss it.

Soda Dam 01

Jutting out like a bridge over the Jemez River is the travertine dome, where hot spring elements have precipitated over the years.

Soda Dam 02

I was able to enter the ceiling of the dome and the interior cavity.

Cave 01

A small amount of water gush was observed, but it was not vigorous.

Roadside 02

When the highway was built in the 1960s, the flow path was changed by blasting rocks, and today most of the water is dumped in a ditch-like area on the side of the road.

How careless.
Those were the times.
Roadside 01

The water temperature at the source was =117 degrees F, but it was considered unsuitable for soaking because the amount of spring water was scarce, and the location was right next to where cars pass by.

Natural fish pedicure experience

From Soda Dam, head north for another 5 minutes.

Battleship Rock 01

I found a picnic area at the base of Battleship Rock on the right.

Signboard 03

As the name suggests, it was a distinctive rocky mountain that looked like the bow of a warship.

Trailhead 01

Although camping is not allowed, there are 33 picnic sites, which can get crowded on weekends.

Trailhead 02

From here it is a 3.5-mile round-trip hike to McCauley Hot Springs

Trail 01

It was a popular but somewhat challenging climb.

Trail 02

There were many fallen trees and forks, so I had an unexpectedly difficult time.

Just follow the trail marked #137.

Source 02

The hot springs were suddenly gushing up in the middle of the mountain.

Source 01

There were two pools, one was the upstream source.

It was so shallow that I had to lie down to soak my entire body.

Fish 01

The water was clear, odorless, and tasteless with a water temp of 99 degrees Celsius.

As soon as I entered the water, I was surprised to see much small fish poking out of my body.

Source 03

It was a kind of natural fish pedicure experience

The overflowing warm water poured down the slope into another pool.

Stream 01

This artificially dammed pool was deep enough.

Main Pool 01

It was unfortunate that the transparency of the water was lost, and the temperature was relatively lukewarm.

McCauley Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, NM, USA

Shari Garland - McCauley Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, NM, USA (2020)
CC BY-SA 4.0

Since the area has many excellent wild springs, you may be able to pass on this one if hiking is not your goal.


McCauley Hot Springs, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped

Rule: Clothing required

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 99 degrees F

Official website

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

-New Mexico
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