The peaceful retreat of Jemez Hot Springs is truly an oasis worth visiting – with four shallow, turquoise, easily accessible hot water pools boasting over 17 healing minerals, you can soak up the positivity among desert rocks, lush greenery, and bright flowers against a background of rolling hills and a nearby babbling creek.
Highly recommended for friends and couples wanting to escape for an afternoon or overnight to enjoy a bath under the open blue skies of New Mexico.
|Address||40 Abousleman Loop, Jemez Springs, NM 87025|
|Location||Off Hwy 4 in Jemez Springs, New Mexico|
|Open||10 am – 5 pm, Closed Tuesdays|
|Road Access||Easy. All vehicles|
What To Expect
The Jemez Springs (formerly Giggling Hot Springs) resort offers four therapeutic mineral water pools with temperatures ranging between 98 and 105°F, on a well-kept and tranquil site. There is shaded pool-side seating and the option to be served tea, coffee, or a cool juice or smoothie as you soak up the positive vibes, all in a colorful, enlivening landscape of orange desert rocks and lush greenery. From the site, you get a view of the mountains and the sound of the Jemez River babbling nearby. You’re guaranteed to come out of your soak feeling relaxed and invigorated- and your skin will feel smooth for days! What could be more relaxing, especially after a long day of hiking, walking, or driving?
The site’s design allows for friends and family to sit together, and for couples or individuals to find their own nook to settle in to dry, sunbathe, or cool off.
It’s not the cheapest of commercial hot soaks, but the atmosphere, decor, cleanliness, friendly vibe, and limit to 30 guests definitely make it worth paying out for. And, in reality, the heat of the water means two hours (especially when split between two sessions/days) is actually more than enough.
1 Hour Property Pass/Soak: $25/person*
2-Hour Property Pass/Soak: $50/person*
*Walk-ins only. They do not take reservations for the pools.
Each overnight guest gets two hours of complimentary soaking (between 10 am and 5 pm) – there’s nothing better than walking from your cabin to the springs outside your door, dressed in complimentary robes and towels!
You can rent towels and bathing suits if you’ve come unprepared, and change into them in the clean changing rooms. There is also a shared bathroom and shower area.
You can buy drinks onsite or bring your own – but whichever you choose, be sure not to let the hot water dehydrate you!
If you get hungry, you’ll find Highway 4 Cafe and Bakery down the road (turn right) for breakfast and lunch, and the Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon (lunch and dinner) just across the street to the left, both serving delicious food.
Centuries before the keen white soakers began heading up for month-long stays from cities such as Albuquerque, the ancient Anasazi and later Towa people (the modern-day Jemez) used the hot springs as a place of healing and ritual.
Jemez Springs kicked off as a tourist destination in the 1800s, with locals quickly realizing the commercial opportunities of its hot mineral water resources. The pool in the village was walled-in and a bathhouse was built, the remains of which can still be seen today on the grounds of Jemez Hot Springs. It shut its doors following a flood in 1941.
Townsfolk has passed down stories about the healing properties of the mineral water:
“There was a gent who came with such bad arthritis that he couldn’t walk and had to be carried to the water and helped in for his daily 30-minute soak. A month later, he ran from the bathhouse on his own to say he’d been healed!”
“A man with painful corns on his feet came to help the owners clean out their hot water well. While working, he had to stand in the water for most of the day. When he got out, all his corns were completely gone!”
The bathhouse had two parts- one for men and one for women, each with a communal bath. The men would sit in theirs and soak while they smoked cigars and chatted about life. It’s likely the women did the same, only without the cigars.
A “steam bath” was also available on the women’s side. You can still see the steamer – a cement box with wooden flaps with a hole cut in them to fit over the seated person’s head. The tube at the bottom is where the hot water ran in to create that steamy hot box.
Where the bathhouse waiting room was, you might make out the words “Sulfur Baths.” This is interesting because today the water in the area contains no sulfur.
How To Get There
The Jemez Hot Springs resort is off New Mexico State Highway 4, in the village of Jemez Springs, 1 hour 12 minutes (59.6 miles) north of Albuquerque on the US-550 N and NM-4 E. Turn left after passing the Highway 4 Cafe and Bakery.
From Santa Fe (1 hour 30 minutes, 71.9 miles), take US-84 W and NM-502. Join the NM-501 and then NM State Highway 4 running through the Valles Caldera National Preserve. After entering the village of Jemez Springs, turn right after the Los Ojos Restaurant and Saloon onto Abousleman Loop.
Can I Stay There?
Yes. The resort of Jemez Hot Springs boasts three simply and tastefully decorated non-smoking cabins of 500 feet or more. Each has a queen bed sleeping two, a couch, a separate room or day bed for an extra guest or two, a living area, AC, a private bathroom with shower, a kitchen or kitchenette featuring a microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, dishes, cups and silverware, Wi-Fi, a personal outside deck area and onsite parking.
|Turquoise Trail Cottage (500ft²)||$195/night* (sleeps 4)|
|Red Mesa Cabin (625ft²)||$235/night* (sleeps 4)|
|Adobe Cabin (725ft²)||$275/night* (sleeps 5)|
Check-in at 3 pm or later (early check-in is not available)
Check out at 12 pm
Jemez Hot Springs’ nearby sister properties, Canon del Rio, an adobe-style inn and day spa on three magnificent acres, and the Laughing Lizard Inn, which offers front porch views of the surrounding mountains, are just across the street. When you stay with them, you can access the Jemez Hot Springs pools with a $10 discount.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous and back-to-basics, while the Valles Caldera Preserve doesn’t have any established campgrounds or backcountry camping permits available, the Santa Fe National Forest has some great camping areas for every taste- some desert, some forest, some primitive and others more developed.
Jemez Falls Campground, set in a ponderosa pine forest, offers 52 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. It has good access for trailers and RVs up to 40 feet. There are no hookups. Drinking water and pit toilets are provided and you’ll find a campground host on duty. $10/vehicle/night.
San Antonio Campground, also surrounded by ponderosa pines, is a popular destination at 7600 feet. There are 20 standard tent/RV campsites, six with hookups ($15/night, $10 without hookup). The campground has drinking water and pit toilets.
The Redondo Campground has 62 campsites with a picnic table and fire ring, ideal for tents, RVs, and trailers up to 30 feet. Drinking water is not available here, but there are pit toilets. There are no hookups or dump stations. $10/vehicle/night.
Reserve a spot at any of the above campgrounds up to six months in advance through Recreation.gov or by calling toll-free 1-877-444-6777.
What Else Can I Do In The Area?
The Valles Caldera Preserve is renowned for its mountain meadows of wildflowers, its variety of wildlife, its creeks, and stunning geothermal sights. While there, you might see elk, black bears, badgers, golden eagles, and eastern mountain bluebirds. The area also has a rich history of native peoples and ranchers – go visit the Cabin District a few miles from the visitor center to get a sense of it. Before you head out to the backcountry, be sure to fill up your tank, and take plenty of water and food.
For more things to do and see in the Valles Caldera Preserve, check out this Top 10 list.
A trip to Los Alamos for museums, art centers, geological sites, and the historical Bandelier National Monument, should definitely be on your “to-do” list. Check out the options here.
If you’re a dedicated hot springer, it is definitely worth visiting some other New Mexico options. Top of our list is the nearby undeveloped San Antonio Hot Springs and Spence warm springs, with their fabulous canyon views. Also check out Jordan Hot Springs, a shallow, pebble-bottomed, and natural rock-walled pool that is wide enough to accommodate 5-6 people. The water is 94°-100°F. Black Rock Hot Springs, set right on the edge of the river, offers springs whose temperature can be controlled by the water coming in from that river- so for some, if the river is low, it might be too hot to handle!
A recommended springs to visit as you pass through on Highway 4, Jemez Hot Springs offers a beautiful, clean, and well-kept site, friendly staff, and wonderful skin-softening mineral waters.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Visiting A Hot Springs
Every hot springs has its own quirks. Visitors to Jemez Hot Springs, for example, should be aware that it is a quiet site with an age limit of 14+, and no alcohol or smoking is allowed there. For more general and very important “hot springs etiquette,” we highly recommend you take a moment to check out our carefully compiled easy-to-read list of “dos and don’ts” here. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Jemez Hot Springs resort is off New Mexico State Highway 4, in the village of Jemez Hot Springs, 1 hour 12 minutes (59.6 miles) north of Albuquerque on the US-550 N and NM-4 E
For upper-class hotels, such as Hampton Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn, and Ramada by Wyndham, you’ll need to head to Los Alamos (54 minutes away) or Albuquerque (1 hour 12 minutes) away.
From Boulder Colorado, it takes 7 hours and 16 minutes (416 miles) to get to Jemez Hot Springs. From Boulder Utah, it’s 8 hours 36 minutes (485 miles).
The Jemez Hot Springs resort has an age limit of 14+ and is designated a tranquil zone with soak times between 10 am and 5 pm.
No pets are allowed except service animals.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!