New Mexico

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa - Hot Springs in New Mexico


I visited Ojo Caliente Hot Springs, which was said to be the oldest spa facility in the United States.

As the phrase "Things present are judged by things past" implies, was it able to gain new knowledge and insights by learning old things?


Due to fire damage in 2020, it may not look the same as it does today.

Things past

Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, was built in 1610 as the capital of the Spanish territory of Santa Fe Nuevo Mexico, long before the founding of the United States.

An hour's drive north of Santa Fe is the Posi-Ouinge site, one of the largest villages of the Native American Tewa tribe.

It is assumed that the Spanish settlers built Santa Fe, a short distance from the native settlements, to make their conquests more efficient.

Courtyard 01

The ruins are located in the vicinity of natural hot springs, and it is clear that they were important to the natives.

Using the same water, the oldest bathhouse built by whites in the U.S. is still in existence.

Restaurant 01

The first public bathhouse was built here in 1868, long before New Mexico was admitted as a state in 1912.

Entrance 01

The building from the time of its opening still exists, and it served as a historic bathhouse offering Finnish-style saunas.

Historic Bath House 0

The adobe style architecture gave the place a resort-like atmosphere.

Courtyard 02

Clothing were required in the spa areas, except for the private pool, which needed an additional fee.

Private Pools 01

It was a very popular facility, so the drawback was that it got crowded with many visitors on holidays.

Large Pool 02

Still, if I entered first thing in the morning, I was able to enjoy it in an almost private setting.

Large Pool 01

The Large Pool was obviously chlorinated, but the water was lukewarm, suitable for a burning body.

Hot Pool 01

There seemed to be several sources of springs, and each pool was named after one of them.

Soda Pool 02

This indoor one was the Soda Pool.

Soda Pool 01

The water had a lot of air bubbles in it, and it felt sizzling near the water outlet.

Soda Pool 03

This was the Iron Pool.

Iron Pool 01

The freshness of the water was particularly excellent, with the spring water gushing straight out of the ground at the bottom.

I was a little surprised by the name Arsenic Pool.

Arsenic Pool 01

Perhaps because the pool is the smallest, the bubbling was more pronounced than in the Soda Pool.

Arsenic Pool 02

There was also the Mud Bath.

Mud Pool 01

It was nice to pack my face and body with colloidal mud and bask in the sun in New Mexico, which was blessed with 340 days of sunshine a year.

Showering 01

This was the Lithia Pool.

Numerous water outlets were available for massages.

Lithia Pool 01

Things present

The dark green water has been recognized for its exceptional value since the time of the indigenous people.

Upper & Lower Cliffside Pools 02

If you read the passage in the Analects of Confucius that gave rise to the famous saying "Things present are judged by things past," you will find that the latter part is omitted.

Confucius said that "Things present are judged by things past. Then you will be a good leader."

In other words, it is not enough to soak in the oldest hot springs in the U.S. and learn the values that are still relevant today.

When you get out of the water, you are expected to teach and guide others.

Upper & Lower Cliffside Pools 01

That is why I will be sending out information on hot springs.

Yeah, good luck.
I'll do my best.


Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, U.S.

My rating

Type: Walk-in, Lodging

Rule: Clothing required, Private pool

Chemical use: Yes (large pool), No (other)

Water temp: Up to 111 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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