New Mexico

Middle 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 come to this part of New Mexico and leave without seeing the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument 01

It is believed that in the late 1200s, the indigenous Mogollonculture established 46 rooms in five caves, inhabited by 10 to 15 families.

What were the people of that time looking for when they moved to this narrow valley?

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument 02

No one really knows why it disappeared after only one generation.

Huge rock overlooking

Only 5 minutes drive from the National Monument.

Trailhead 01

The parking lot and trailhead are located across from the Gila Visitor Center.

Trailhead 02

Relatively easy trail to Middle Fork Hot Springs, 1.9 miles round trip.

River Crossing 01

I had to cross the Middle Fork Gila River twice on foot.

At the time of our visit, it was only knee-deep, but after it rained, it could be waist deep.

River Crossing 02

It would be better if you have the courage to turn back when you feel it is dangerous and if you have water shoes.

Trail 02

You will arrive when you see an impressive, huge rock on your right.

It is almost certain that this rock has been a landmark for the hot springs since the time of the indigenous people.

Riverside 01

Hot water was gushing with heat from the river bank just below the trail.

Source 02

This appeared to be mainly a two-part spill into the riverbank.

Every time I go, the flow path is different.
I see some people bringing shovels to construction.
Water Temp 01

The water temp was 149 degrees F.

Colored Water 03

No particular odor.

The water pools were stained bright brown by the ingredients.

Colored Water 01

There was a series of rock pools with a nice atmosphere, but these were dangerous temperatures.

Winter 01

After all, it was too hot to soak without adding water from the river.

A rock pool juts out into the river.

Riverside 02

The river water was clear and pleasant to soak in.

Rather, in such a natural setting, it is bound to feel good no matter what the hot springs are like.

Riverside 03


Middle Fork (Lightfeather) Hot Springs, Silver City, New Mexico, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped

Rule: Clothing optional

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 149 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!

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