New Mexico

Spence Hot Springs - Hot Springs in New Mexico


The cave with warm water is worth seeing.

As the place is a little too well known, crowds are inevitable on holidays.

Valles Caldera

State Route 4 from Jemez Springs Bath House to Los Alamos, is known for the Manhattan Project.

ReferenceJemez Springs Bath House - Hot Springs in New Mexico

Bathhouse operated by the village of Jemez Springs. The source exposed on the side of it is also a must-see. Unlimited access to the source Jemez Springs, where a geyser is said to have suddenly sprung up around 1860. The bathhouse is one of the oldest surviving buildings and was ...

I could not help but stop the car to admire the vast plains that suddenly spread out on the side of the road.

It was the Valles Caldera, created by a significant eruption 1.25 million years ago.

Not only does it retain a distinct lava dome in the center, but it also shows numerous geothermal activities and has been designated a national protected area.

Natural steam bath

Parking 01

Spence Hot Springs is located where the highway takes a sharp curve over the mountains on the caldera's western rim.

Nice parking is available and free for day use.

Trailhead 01

Get out of the car here and hike 0.7 miles round trip to the hot springs.

It is essentially a less difficult course.

Steps 01

A fine stairway was provided on the mountain road to the San Antonio River.

Bridge 01

Good maintenance condition, indicating its popularity.

Bridge 02

After crossing the stream by a steel bridge, the next step was uphill.

Bridge 03

In the end, the warm spring water flowed down from the top of the hill and was muddy.

Trail 01

It was thought to be a difficult point, such as after rainfall.

Rocks 01

When the trees break off and a huge volcanic rock appears in front of you, you have arrived at your destination!

Field 01

The pools were located around the rock, and the slope further up was gently leveled.

I wonder what this place is for.
Camping is not allowed.
Upper Pool 01

There were two soaking pools in the form of steps, each of which was capped by large rocks.

Lower Pool 01

The warm water was only in the upper pool, so the lower pool was quite lukewarm, with a water temp of 81 degrees F.

Lower Pool 02

Although the view was excellent, the pool was not comfortable for me, with algae growing in it.

Soaking 01

As for the upper pool, you usually have to wait for the previous guests to leave.

Waterfall 01

The pool is bordered by a grotto where geothermal water gushes out, and it is always very popular.

Cave 01

Inside the cave, which was small enough to fit two adults, the space was miraculously hot and humid.

Clear, odorless, tasteless water gushed quietly from the walls.

Cave 02

Even the 100 degrees F water felt warm enough because the entire cave was warming up like a steam bath.

Hopefully, I would have had this space all to myself, but through the rocks, I could see the next guests waiting their turn.

Cave 03


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

My rating

Type: Undeveloped

Rule: Clothing required

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 100 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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