Guide to Santa Fe Hot Springs

If you’ve not yet experienced them yourself, visiting hot springs is a great vacation excursion. Relaxing and incredibly soothing, the natural springs feature warm-to-hot water that you can soak in.

Guide to Santa Fe Hot Springs

What Are Hot Springs?

Naturally-occurring hot springs are formed by geothermal activity in that particular region, where subterranean volcanic action increases the temperature of the standing water. Hot springs will stay hot throughout the year, and can make for a really fun winter activity (especially after an outdoor activity like skiing)!

Hot springs are a restorative place to relax and chat with friends and family – and you can soak in them as long as you like. It is said that these pools have restorative properties due to their high levels of mineral content, and native warriors many years ago used to use these springs to heal and rest after the battle. 

Are There Hot Springs in Santa Fe?

Hot Springs are an awesome natural feature of New Mexico, and you can find both natural and cultivated hot springs around the area. While there are no natural hot springs directly in the Santa Fe area, there are plenty that is within an hour’s drive of the area – perfect for a day trip! 

Many cultivated hot springs spots are a part of local day spas or resorts – meaning you can incorporate a lovely warm soak alongside a relaxing massage or facial! In this article, we will focus mainly on the natural hot springs in Santa Fe, but you are welcome to contact us for recommendations on local spas that offer a similar service. 

Are Santa Fe’s Hot Springs Safe?

When you look up photographs of Santa Fe’s hot springs, you may see the water bubbling and steaming, which makes it look almost too hot to enter. Although it can sometimes look like the water is boiling, it is the volcanic activity that makes the water move rapidly, and the contrast of the water’s temperature with the milder temperature of the air produces steam. 

All of the natural hot springs are safe to sit in and enjoy, though caution should be used by those who are pregnant or have medical conditions. Similarly, you should avoid prolonged soaking in the hot springs which could potentially cause hyperthermia (high body temperature). 

You will be required to wear a bathing suit when using any of the public hot springs locations in New Mexico. Due to the higher mineral content in the water, you will want to shower after your soak and to rinse out your bathing suit to avoid mineral build-up. None of these minerals are harmful to you (or your suit), but you should treat it similarly to a chlorinated pool and rinse off after your swim!

relaxing hot springs

Natural Hot Springs in Santa Fe

Looking for naturally heated hot springs in the Santa Fe area?  While you will need to travel a little bit outside of town, all of the following locations are only an hour or two away – easily reachable by car or shuttle. 

San Antonio Hot Springs

The furthest hot springs location away from Santa Fe, but certainly one of the most memorable, the San Antonio Hot Springs in Jemez Springs is a must-see. The drive itself to the location is gorgeous, so you won’t be bored during your trek there and back! 

Located in the Santa Fe National Forest (as are many of the naturally occurring hot springs), many people use this area for hiking excursions as well as a hot springs destination. It is barely a mile’s hike to reach the gorgeous springs, with a well-traveled trail to make it an easy hike for most people and children! While dogs are able to utilize this trail, it is not encouraged for them to get in the hot springs. 

Spence Hot Springs

Also located in the Jemez Springs, and clocking in at around a 1.5-hour drive from Santa Fe proper, Spence Hot Springs is another moderate trail for those who aren’t experienced hikers or those who mainly want to visit the hot springs.

Its higher elevation allows for an overlook at the springs of miles and miles of gorgeous forest, and peak visiting time for this particular area is around May through October. 

Spence Hot Springs

Montezuma Hot Springs

The Montezuma Hot Springs is a closer alternative to the previous two options and provides a very unique experience for visitors. While the springs are technically on private property, all of the area’s hot springs are open for public use.

These hot springs are, however, one of the least “natural” looking, as they are encased in cement pools instead of rocks. Despite this, the cement is a great conductor of heat which actually enhances the experience by making the water evenly warmed. 

What To Bring On A Hot Springs Day Trip

Your packing list for a hot springs day trip in Santa Fe may vary depending on whether you would like to indulge in other activities on your excursion, as well as who is going on the outing (adults, kids, pets, etc). However, there are a few staples you should bring with you:

  • Bathing Suit
  • Beach Towel
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sunscreen (even in the winter!)
  • Plenty of Water
  • Water Shoes (to avoid slipping on the rocks)
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Light Snacks
  • Phone/Camera
  • Cash (for any parking or vending machines at the trail’s entrance)

If you are visiting hot springs in the winter, it is advised to bring a headlamp or flashlight as the sun sets earlier in the day, and you don’t want to be trapped hiking back without a source of light! 

Most of the hot springs listed in this article do require a bit of a hike to reach the location, so you never want to embark on your trip without any supplies. Keep your health and safety at the forefront of your mind when planning trips into Santa Fe’s forests and ensure you have an adequate bag/backpack to hold all of your items!

For more information on staying safe during an outdoor excursion in Santa Fe, check out the official “Know Before You Go” guide!

Make the Santa Fe Hot Springs a Day Trip To Remember!

While there are plenty of fun things to do in the Santa Fe area, you shouldn’t miss out on an amazing excursion to one of the many local hot springs spots. They are fun for the whole family, open year-round, and a stunning natural wonder that everyone should experience! 

For a relaxing place to come back to after a trip to the local hot springs, check out Inn on the Paseo, a highly-rated Santa Fe B&B. Our friendly staff, comfortable accommodations, and delicious local cuisine offerings are sure to enhance your stay.

Give us a call to book today or for more information! We are happy to help with recommendations and itinerary planning for your upcoming stay with us.

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