There are a lot of thermal gems in New Mexico, such as Black Rock Hot Springs, and Manby Hot Springs, but Jordan Hot Springs triumphs as the hikers’ dream.
Being the thermal delight that it is, situated far into Gila National Forest, and requiring 7 miles to get to, Jordan Hot Springs is correctly deemed as one of the most popular thermal springs of the state. But don’t let this fool you. You can not escape crossing 15 different rivers on this hike, and even if it sounds tempting to all the hiking enthusiasts out there, here’s a friendly reminder that safety is our friend.
The peaceful and tranquil environment of Jordan Hot Springs is the biggest reward after the sweaty and energy-consuming 7 mile hike; but once you get there, you can just sit back, relax and soak that exhaustion and stress away.
|Gila National Forest in Magdalena, New Mexico 87825
|90.3 miles from Magdalena, New Mexico
|N 36 13.740 W 118 18.120
|All year round but it’s not recommended to visit in winter
What Does This Thermal Spa in the Wilderness Look Like?
Jordan Hot Springs consists of one pebble-bottomed and natural rock-walled pool that is wide enough to accommodate 5-6 people. The water temperature of this shallow pool ranges between 94°-100°F (34°-37°C) depending on the time of the year, obviously.
The absolutely coolest thing about Jordan Hot Springs is a big fallen tree that is positioned across the pool, dividing it into two, and creating a natural bridge (it’s not exactly recommended to cross, mind you). But most importantly, being nestled deep into the Gila wilderness, surrounded by greenery and wildlife while soaking the stress away, creates a beautiful scene.
Jordan Hot Springs is the perfect place to relax and have a rest. The best thing about it is that it offers you a lot of outdoor entertainment, all of it being in moderation, which balances the whole journey. You’re neither under nor overwhelmed by the whole process, which is believed to make this type of journey all the more pleasing. And being rewarded by a thermal soak after a long day of hiking elevates the experience and makes the whole process more satisfying.
Jordan Hot Springs is perfect for pictures and nature appreciation. So have your camera ready! If you want your snaps to capture the beauty of this area on another level, then get your film camera ready.
How Do You Get to Jordan Hot Springs?
Take NM-15 through Pinos Altos. Stay on this road until you reach the TJ Corral #729 Trailhead. Follow the Little Bear Canyon Trail for about 4.25 miles until you reach the Middle Fork of the Gila River. Continue on the trail following upstream for about 2.5 miles. Follow the steep path until you reach the hot springs.
Important Information to Take Into Account
As tempting as they may sound, when it comes to natural thermal stunners, their descriptions are followed by quite a few BUTs and Jordan Hot Springs is no exception.
Jordan Hot Springs is cool, but
- Getting there requires completing a 7-mile hike (11km), which may not seem as much to hardcore hiking lovers, but crossing 15 rivers is unavoidable.
- It is abundant with wildlife, and if you don’t have any experience with interacting with national forest dwellers, Jordan Hot Springs may not be the place for you
- Expect a lot of rattlesnakes
- Take note that this pool contains amoeba which can cause meningitis, so do not put your head into the water. Otherwise, you may get an infection.
You can use the trail unless these pointers rattle you. However, as mentioned before, safety and caution are our friends. Be sure to do your own research before taking off on this journey.
The moderate length of the hike gives you the option to camp out, take in the wonderful nature of Gila National Forest and interact with wildlife.
You will have the privilege of choosing from a vast selection of camping options with a wide range of different elevations. The selection also includes – but is not limited to – RV parks and even cabins.
- Gila National Forest has up to 40 campground camping options
- 7 dispersed camping areas
- 3 group camping areas that include amenities such as: large grills and numerous tables
- Around 21 RV parks that include all the amenities that are necessary for an RV.
For more information, click here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/gila/recreation/camping-cabins
What to Take With You
Even though we are pretty sure that an experienced camper and hiker doesn’t need to be told twice, in case you are a newbie, here’s what we suggest you take with you:
- All the necessary equipment for camping. Every camper has their preferences. It’s up to you to research what kind of additional camping gear works for you and falls within your comfort level
- Bring proper footwear. Ideally, two pairs. You will have to cross 15 rivers to get to Jordan Hot Springs! Bring something that is good with water and doesn’t slip when it’s wet
- Bring lots and lots of water! Stay hydrated.
- Jordan Hot Springs is clothing optional. You can wear a bathing suit if you’re not comfortable going nude.
- Be sure to take trash bags with you and follow the Leave No Trace policy
If, for whatever reason, camping is not your thing, we can offer you some other accommodation options. It’s important to note that the closest accommodation is in Magdalena, New Mexico, which is around 90.3 miles from Gila National Forest. Even though there is not much to choose from, all of the places have great reviews.
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Your trip to Gila National Forest would not be complete if you did not visit the ruined sites of Gila Cliff Dwellings.
It used to be a shelter for countless ancient nomads. In the 1200s Gila Cliff Dwellings became a home for people of the Mogollon culture, where they spent their lives and raised families for a few generations until the 1300s when they finally moved on.
This place is a must-see for anyone who is making a trip to the southwest of New Mexico
Learn more here: https://www.nps.gov/gicl/planyourvisit/index.htm
I think it’s safe to say that Jordan Hot Springs deserves a spot on your bucket list. It won’t leave either a newbie or an experienced camper disappointed. However, it’s crucial to know your limits and be prepared for everything that you may encounter along the way. As already mentioned, Gila National Forest is abundant with wildlife and is the biggest thing to take into consideration. So plan ahead, prepare, get yourself the proper gear, take your friends and hop on the TJ Corral #729 trailhead to your new adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jordan Hot Spring is in Magdalena, New Mexico. Situated in Gila National Forest
Take NM-15 through Pinos Altos. Stay on this road until you reach TJ Corral #729 trailhead. Follow the Little Bear Canyon Trail for about 4.25 miles until you reach the Middle Fork of the Gila River. Continue on the trail in the upstream direction for about 2.5 miles. Follow the steep path until you reach the hot springs.
The temperature of Jordan Hot Springs ranges between 94°-100°F (34°-37°C).
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!