True Relaxation

When you think of New Mexico, you probably picture yourself stumbling through the heat with the sun pounding down on you. But think again. In New Mexico, there is an oasis of sacred springs and world-renowned spas, rich with traditional and Native-inspired services. Here, the unexpected opportunities to be restored and rejuvenated are delightfully countless.

Truth or Consequences

“...The first generation of bath houses were actually tents, and a soak entailed laying in the hot mud and slathering it all over oneself; doing so was thought to cure rheumatism”

Downtown Truth or Consequences sits atop a large natural aquifer that produces somewhat salty, odorless water ranging in temperature from 100-115 degrees Fahrenheit. Were the city (and nearby Elephant Butte Dam) not here, the downtown area would be a swampy basin of warm mud, subject to seasonal flooding from the Rio Grande.

The Chiricahua (Warm Springs) Apaches named these springs “Place to Pray” and considered them a sacred place for healing. (Many locals repeat the “Geronimo Soaked Here” tale, but it is thought by local historians to wishful thinking, not fact.)

Hot Springs New Mexico, City of Health

During the late 1800s, while neighboring areas like Kingston and Chloride were experiencing the Gold and Silver Rush, the hot springs were visited by more and more people and the area became known as “Palomas Hot Springs.” The first generation of bath houses were actually tents, and a soak entailed laying in the hot mud and slathering it all over oneself; doing so was thought to cure rheumatism.

The event that changed the area forever was the construction of Elephant Butte Dam between 1911 and 1916. Liquor and gambling were outlawed at the construction site, but establishments in the hot springs settlement five miles away offered both – and in abundance. The population grew rapidly and the town was incorporated in 1916.

Once the dam was completed, the flow of the river was altered such that more land could be claimed from the flood plain, allowing for stick frame bathhouses to be built in what had been swamp. Wells were sunk into the aquifer, allowing clear spring water to flow. The town developed as a health resort; hot mineral water was an accepted medical treatment, and slogans like “City of Health” and “Health Capital of the Southwest” drew visitors and healers alike.

Over the course of the 20th century, the town’s name was changed first to Hot Springs, then famously to Truth or Consequences. Some say that last change caused the mineral baths to be forgotten, but today the hot springs seem to be experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

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You’ll find TEN commercial bathhouses offering hot springs in the cool town’s easily walkable historic hot springs & commercial district.

The bathhouses were the town’s biggest draw in the Hot Springs era, back when T or C was advertised as the City of Health.

Today, the springs are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Most of T or C’s spas have been charmingly restored and are open to walk-ins who can pay to soak by the hour. Several also offer lodging.

Jemez Springs

“...Within the village of Jemez Springs is the village-owned Jemez Springs Bath House.”

From primitive and secluded to luxurious and intimate, the Jemez Springs area (less than an hour from Albuquerque) offers a number of hot springs to help visitors rest and rejuvenate both mind and body.

Within the village of Jemez Springs is the village-owned Jemez Springs Bath House. The non-profit facility offers cool or hot mineral soaks and healing massages by licensed therapists in private treatment rooms. Prices start at just $12 for a 25-minute soak. Visit jemezsprings.org or call 575-829-3303 for more information.

Along the banks of the Jemez River, Giggling Springs is just steps away from the site of the oldest bath house of the region, constructed more than a century ago. The 20 x 30 foot freeform pool allows for therapeutic soaking in mineral waters of 102-104 degrees. A recently installed Inversion Oxygenation System bubbles in the middle of the pool. This chemical-free disinfection method is just part of an overall environmentally friendly attitude. Even the buildings are geothermally heated. Rates start at just $18 for an hour on the property. Visit gigglingsprings.com or call 575-829-9175 for more information.

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Looking for a soak even farther off the beaten path? These springs are on public lands managed by the Forest Service. Well worth the walks if you truly like to get away from it all. Call the Forest Service-Jemez Ranger District at 575-829-3065 for the latest information, and be aware that weather sometimes makes access difficult.

• Take a hike to McCauley Warm Springs, accessible from either Battleship Rock (5 miles north of Jemez Springs on highway 4) or Jemez Falls Campground (14 miles north of Jemez Springs). Park at either location for the roughly2.5 mile hike in to the springs.

• Or try Spence Hot Springs, 7 miles north of Jemez Springs. Large parking lot on the east side of highway 4, follow the short trail down to the river and up the other side to the springs.

• San Antonio Hot Springs is 9 miles north of Jemez Springs, turn west at La Cueva onto highway 120. Go approximately 3 miles to National Forest road 376 north springs are located 5 miles north on 376. Note that 376 is typically closed in winter due to extreme snow conditions at that elevation.

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Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa Sit back, relax and enjoy the soak.

“...Just 50 miles north of Santa Fe, you can soak in private pools, indulge in many Native-inspired spa treatments, and after you’ve loosened up, hike or bike through thousands of acres of National Forest and public land.”

A history of relaxation and revitalization resides in the waters of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. Just 50 miles north of Santa Fe, you can soak in private pools, indulge in many Native-inspired spa treatments, and after you’ve loosened up, hike or bike through thousands of acres of National Forest and public land.

For centuries, the hot springs in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, have been soothing people with their supposed healing powers. Thousands of years ago, Native Americans found this natural oasis and claimed that the waters were given to them by their gods. When the Spanish arrived at the end of the 16th century, they named this spot Ojo Caliente (Hot Eye) and transformed the area into one of the first health spas in the country.

Ojo is the only hot springs in the world with four different types of sulfur-free mineral waters including iron, arsenic, soda and lithia. The iron-based spring is considered to be beneficial to the blood and immune system and the arsenic spring is recommended for those who are searching for arthritis and ulcer pain relief.  The rock-enclosed soda pool provides a sense of calm and the Lithia-rich pool is believed to aid depression and digestion.

Many Native-inspired spa therapies are available at Ojo. One of the most popular treatments is the Ojo Private Ritual Herbal Bath, which takes place in a private bathtub in the historic bathhouse. When you take part in this ritual, you can soak in the arsenic waters infused with native herbs and rest your eyes using chamomile eye pads.

The newest addition to the spa menu is the Ancient Echoes Massage. This treatment combines techniques from the 4,000-year-old Ayurvedic healing system and western massage work. The 80-minute table massage focuses on the back, neck, shoulders, arms and head. It calms the over-active mind, eases headaches, insomnia and eyestrain, and relieves aches and pains. When certain points on the body are massaged, blocked energy channels are cleared. The back work opens the spine and increases the cerebral spinal fluid flow to the head, and the slow pace of the massage gives time for the nervous system to relax into the touch.

The face portion of this massage softens tense facial muscles and reduces signs of aging. After you’ve treated your muscles, the mineral waters compliment the therapy and as you relax, you’re sure to ascend into euphoria.

The spa menu also features a Native American Blue Corn & Prickly Pear Salt Scrub, which uses a unique mixture of blue corn, prickly pear and ancient sea salt to whisk away dry, dull skin. This idea came straight from cultural tradition, because many Native-Americans rubbed blue cornmeal on their skin to refresh their skin and rid their bodies of impurities.

The resort also has a signature Milagro Relaxation Wrap. To increase your core body temperature, you first soak in warm mineral water and then enter a quiet, darkened room with rows of tables. As you rest on one of the tables, the therapist will wrap you in a light cotton blanket, followed by a heavier wool blanket. This accelerates the release of toxins and as soothing music plays, you relax in a cocoon of warmth.

Recently, the Kiva Pool was added in the courtyard between the Plaza, Pueblo and Cliffside Suites. This pool is modeled after traditional Kivas used by Pueblo Indians over 3,000 years ago. After digging circular areas into the ground and covering them with vigas (long, fully intact pine logs stripped of foliage), they would use the Kivas for sacred rituals and performances.

Today, the Kiva Pool’s round shape and stone accents resemble the traditional design. It is filled with a combination of iron and arsenic mineral waters that are said to prevent fatigue and promote healthy skin tone. As you revitalize, not only can you admire the pueblo ruins resting just above the property, but you can also enjoy the time and space for meditation.

After becoming fully energized at the spa, you are more than welcome to thousands of acres of National Forest and public land. The landscape adjoining Ojo is full of beautiful high desert mesas, a lush river valley, and miles of trails for biking and hiking. You can also take yoga classes or enjoy locally influenced foods such as Green Chile “Fries” (thinly sliced Poblano chilies fried and served with an Asian dipping sauce) and Green Chile Encrusted Salmon.

You can go to this resort for the day or stay the night. The options are endless here, but one thing is certain – you’ll leave feeling completely relaxed and rejuvinated. 

Visit Ojo Caliente's Website

To find more ways to relax visit our listings

Locally Inspired Spas & Treatments From the north, right down to the south.

“...From North to South there is an abundant amount of ways you can relax and be revitalized.”

Whether you’re looking for a long secluded retreat or a quick rejuvenating experience, it’s bound to be here in this culturally rich state. From North to South there is an abundant amount of ways you can relax and be revitalized.

NORTH

Taos

El Monte Sagrado Resort and Spa: Sagrado High Desert
A blend of wild-crafted, indigenous plants, flowers and aromatic skin nourishing oils inspired by the high desert create a lasting impression that can be revisited using the Living Spa signature products. The body is exfoliated with a fossilized desert salt mixture, and then wrapped in an ancient sea-clay mask that is mineral rich and serves to draw toxins out of the body. Completing the treatment is a gentle massage and application of cedar-wood and sage, butter cream.
http://www.elmontesagrado.com/leisure/spa/

Santa Fe

Bishop’s Lodge SháNah Spa: Tesuque Clay Wrap
Among the Native American architecture and food influences, the Tesuque Clay Wrap is also inspired by New Mexican ancestors. This treatment begins with light exfoliation before the application of a mineral-rich clay mask, leaving your skin nourished and detoxified.
http://www.bishopslodge.com/body-treatments/

Hotel Santa Fe: Moccasin Dance
Soothing the world-weary traveler, this reflexology foot massage will reset your internal pedometer and put the spring back in your step. A rich cream will be massaged into your feet, gently working on the pressure points that activate your whole-body healing energies. Delightfully restored, you’ll feel like dancing to the beat of your own drum.
http://spaathotelsantafe.com/

La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa: Spirit of Santa Fe
This enchanting ritual uses native ingredients and surrounds you in the scents and gentle effects of healing plants and herbs. Borrowing from Native American healing traditions, ground blue corn is used to exfoliate your skin. This allows the skin to readily absorb the therapeutic oils used in a gentle full body massage, finished with a moist heat towel wrap.
http://www.laposadadesantafe.com/spa/

CENTRAL

Albuquerque

Tamaya Mist Spa and Salon: Ancient Drumming
This Hyatt Tamaya Resort, tucked away into a secluded cottonwood bosque, has a Native-owned spa, rich with cultural traditions. One of the most popular treatments is the Ancient Drumming treatment. It includes a detoxifying mask, made with mud taken from the nearby Jemez Mountains and mixed with local red chilies, which is applied to your skin. After the mud is applied, a therapist will gently drum tension from your muscles using small muslin bags of flaxseed dipped in pinyon-scented oil.
http://tamaya.hyatt.com/hyatt/pure/spas/

Green Reed Spa at Sandia Resort and Casino: Green Reed Polish
Just outside of Albuquerque, this spa uses many traditions that were created by Native American healers. The Green Reed Polish combines Amaranth, known as the wonder grain, rich in lysine, squalene, iron and more than 12 different vitamins and minerals, with Wild Rose, Wild Mint and  wild-crafted Rosehips to gently remove impurities and surface  dead skin cells while softening, cleansing & detoxifying the skin. The treatment concludes with an application of Wild Rose & Mint oil to nourish and restore the skin from fatigue and stress.
http://www.sandiacasino.com/services/

Betty’s Bath and Day Spa: Blue Corn Body Mask
Using traditional New Mexican ingredients, this relaxed spa offers a full menu of spa treatments. The Blue Corn Body Mask features locally made blue corn and white clay body mask & warm herbal towels, leaving skin soft and renewed. Enjoy a soothing scalp massage alongside the aromatic effects of sage oil.
http://www.bettysbath.com/

SOUTH

Las Cruces

The Spa Downtown: Hot Stone Massage
Water heated stones are placed on specific places on the body to promote relaxation, and to open the meridians. Smooth heated stones comfort tire muscles and will melt away body tension and mental stress.
http://thespadowntownlc.com/

Truth or Consequences

The Lodge Resort and Spa: Rebecca’s Signature Facial
A complete facial service using Madlyn Rose Ultimate Skin Nutrition products. Includes a professional analysis with cleanser, a scrub mask, exfoliation, extractions, and a rejuvenating scalp and neck massage. Complete with eye crème, lip crème, and a facial moisturizer that is sure to satisfy.
http://www.thelodgeresort.com/spa.cfm

New Mexico's Natural Hot Springs

“...Hot Springs: Please note many of these springs are located in remote destinations and may require a certain amount of hiking, climbing or other physical activity to reach.”

When the Spanish explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries stumbled across New Mexico's natural hot springs, they discovered the healing properties that the Native Americans had known about for centuries. Some claimed they'd found the Fountain of Youth. Visitors now discover the relaxing and calming hot springs are a cure for their souls.

Hot Springs: Please note many of these springs are located in remote destinations and may require a certain amount of hiking, climbing or other physical activity to reach. You should always check with the Forest Service or local ranger station before attempting to access these pools.

Battleship Rock & McCauley Hot Springs - Clothing is optional at these large, 99°F hot spring pools located in a high mountain meadow near the Battleship Rock in Jemez Springs, named for its similarities to the prow of a ship. Embedded in the rock are pieces of glassy-smooth obsidian, which is black rock created from 5-million-year-old volcanic eruptions.

Directions: Off Highway 4, take the trail at the foot of Battleship Rock and follow it up the canyon.

Black Rock Hot Springs - Located along the spectacular canyon of the Rio Grande, Black Rock Hot Springs is a small grouping of hot springs that forms a small pool alongside the Rio Grande when the river is low. It consists of a small collection of hot springs bubbling into the Rio Grande, which have been captured into one rather large soaking pool. Depending upon river level, the pool can be quite deep (4 feet at times). During the winter and during spring runoff, the hot-spring water is completely inundated by cold river water and impossible to locate. Because Black Rock is fairly well known and easy to reach, so don’t expect to be alone. Be sure to practice good hot-spring etiquette when visiting. The only improvement has been the continual reconstruction of the rock pool that holds the hot-spring water.

Directions: Drive north from Taos on Highway 3. Turn left onto a dirt road at the traffic sign reading "Hill." Go approx. 2.5 miles then turn right. Go approx. 0.5 mile and turn left. Go until you cross the river and find the parking area. Follow the trail downstream.

Bubbles Hot Springs - The pool west of Arroyo Hondo is replenished by the hot-spring water that bubbles up from the bottom and overflows back into the river. The pool is large (measuring about 50 x 100 feet) and several feet deep with a sandy bottom. Since it is located underneath a cliff, the pool is also under constant shade and is a bit primitive.

Directions: From the parking area at San Francisco Hot Springs, hike downstream approx. 0.5 mile, crossing the river 3 times.

Frisco Box Hot Spring - Frisco Box Hot Springs, located near Luna in Catron County, is more of a warm spring because the 98° F water cools off considerably in the small concrete tub.

This primitive river campground is about two hours north of Silver City along the banks of the Gila River, has three mud pools ranging in temperature between 105-110 F. Be aware that clothing optional at these hot springs.

Directions: Go on Highway 15 approx. 40 miles north of Silver City, NM.

Gila Hot Springs Vacation Center - This primitive river campground, about two hours north of Silver City along the banks of the Gila River, has three mud pools ranging in temperature between 105-110° F. Clothing optional.

This primitive river campground, about two hours north of Silver City along the banks of the Gila River, has three mud pools ranging in temperature between 105-110 F. Clothing optional.

Directions: Go on Highway 15 approx. 40 miles north of Silver City, NM.

House Log Canyon Hot Springs - This little hot spring is northwest of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and is found only when the Gila river is low. It is unimproved and surrounded by trees and ferns. Clothing optional.

Located northwest of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Visitors Center (505) 536-9461 Stop in for directions.

Directions: Obtain current information at the Gila Wilderness Visitors Center. From there go approx. 10 miles on a well worn path.

Lightfeather Hot Springs -Just a short hike to this wonderful collection of hot springs alongside the Middlefork of the Gila River. The hot springs themselves are very hot (about 149 degrees F) and will scald you if you sample them near the source. The only way to enjoy the hot water is in one of the rather ephemeral rock lined pools along the river where the hot-spring water mixes with the cold river water, making for a comfortable bath. The best time to visit the springs is during the late summer or early fall. Despite its rather isolated location, because it is well known, don’t be surprised by the presence of other hikers or riders on horseback.

Directions: Go along NM 15 approx. 45 miles through the Gila National Forest. Allow approx 2 hours for the drive.

Manby Hot Springs - Located southwest of the town of Arroyo Hondo, which is northwest of Taos, Manby Hot Springs has two hot pools located in the ruins of an old stagecoach stop. Clothing optional. Easy hike.

Directions: Go southwest from Arroyo Hondo, NM to the parking area. From the parking area at the end of the gravel road go downhill along a worn path of an old stagecoach road to the springs.

Montezuma Hot Springs - A collection of hot springs bubbling out of the side of a hill, feeding a variety of rock and cement tubs. Though the springs were originally used by the historic Montezuma Castle Resort, they are now accessible to the public. Three groupings of hot springs has been diverted into rather rustic cement and rock pools and tubs along the side of the road in the small community of Montezuma. Originally the numerous indoor hot-spring pools were operated by Montezuma Castle and several other resorts. Though most of the bathhouses are gone now, and the hot springs are out in the open - they have been kept rather clean, and bathers tend to be orderly because the owners, the United World College, maintain stringent regulations for using the tubs. Pools and tubs range in size and temperature, and with a little experimenting, you can find the perfect soak.

Directions: From Las Vegas, NM go approx. 6 miles northwest on NM 65. Watch for signs on the right side of the road near the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West.

San Francisco Hot Springs - This clothing optional hot spring has a few primitive pools. They are located two miles southwest of Pleasanton, NM, on US 180, on the San Francisco River. Look for the signs & the parking area. There are rangers around.

Directions: Go along US 180 approx. 2 miles south of Pleasanton, NM. Turn off US 180 onto a gravel road. Caution: this gravel road crosses two creek beds and can be muddy.

Spence Hot Springs - This is a very popular collection of pristine natural hot springs on the side of a steep hill, forming several soaking pools. Spence is heavily visited because it is easy to reach (7 miles northwest of Jemez Springs) and has had a reputation as a hangout for nudists. The water is about 100 degrees F, so it’s not extremely hot. A small waterfall can even be found in the lower springs, which also may contain up to three other pools, depending upon how the water has been diverted. From the lower pools you can continue uphill, following the water and a small trail. Several other pools are located alongside the small creek formed by the hot-spring water. All of these pool set in a beautiful locations are fantastic.

Directions: From Jemez Springs, NM, go approx. 7 miles north on MN 4 to a large parking area on the right (east) side of the highway. Follow the trail.

Directions: From Los Alamos, NM, go west on NM 501 to the intersection with NM 126 and NM 4. Go west on NM 4 for approx. 1.5 miles to a large parking area on the right (east) side of the highway. Follow the trail.

Turkey Creek Hot Springs - This remote hot springs in the Gila Wilderness of the Mogollón Mountains, requires a difficult drive and hike to reach and can be difficult to locate, which keeps most casual visitors away.

For those looking for a challenging hike and a little bit of hot-spring hunting, Turkey Creek Hot Springs offers several fantastic bathing opportunities. Although the hot springs themselves are very hot at 165 degrees F, they are obscured by Turkey Creek. Rock-lined pools are occasionally built in the creek bed to trap the hot water, but they’re frequently washed out. There is one large swimming hole that has substantial amounts of hot spring seepage, making the temperature quite warm. Soaking pools will vary depending upon what volunteers have built at Turkey Creek, but you can usually count on some type of pool or tub. Despite being remote and primitive, Turkey Creek Hot Springs is rather well known, so don’t expect to have the area to yourself.

Directions: North of Gila, NM. From the end of trail FS 724, cross the Gila River several times before coming to the junction with trail FS 155 which goes up Turkey Creek Canyon. Approx. 2 miles from the junction on FS 155 the trail begins to climb onto a ridge separating Turkey Creek Canyon and Skeleton Canyon. Stay on the bottom of Turkey Creek Canyon even though there is often to visible trail to follow. Go approx. 0.5 mile to the first of the springs.

The Road to Romance

“...experience the natural wonders of White Sands National Monument where you'll fall in love the moment your bare feet touch the white sand.””

Are you looking for an outdoor adventure where the pressures of life vanish with the wind. Where true love is found along the journey, and again at each destination. That place can be found in New Mexico, with its miles and miles of pristine white sands, serene high alpine vistas, and seductive passion-pink sunsets.

Plan your romantic journey here: /road-to-romance

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