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.
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?
No one really knows why it disappeared after only one generation.
Huge rock overlooking
Only 5 minutes drive from the National Monument.
The parking lot and trailhead are located across from the Gila Visitor Center.
Relatively easy trail to Middle Fork Hot Springs, 1.9 miles round trip.
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.
It would be better if you have the courage to turn back when you feel it is dangerous and if you have water shoes.
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.
Hot water was gushing with heat from the river bank just below the trail.
This appeared to be mainly a two-part spill into the riverbank.
The water temp was 149 degrees F.
No particular odor.
The water pools were stained bright brown by the ingredients.
There was a series of rock pools with a nice atmosphere, but these were dangerous temperatures.
After all, it was too hot to soak without adding water from the river.
A rock pool juts out into the river.
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.