Hot Springs Interlude
If you’re up for a bit of unusual relaxation, this short outing lets you spend most of the day soaking in a natural hot spring.
Drive north from town on US 285 (St. Francis Drive). You'll pass the renowned Santa Fe Opera House on your left.
Continue north from Española on US 84/285 then turn right onto US 285. (If you
don't turn, the divided highway becomes NM 84 to Chama (see An Abiquiu
Continue north on US 285 through mesa and tableland to Ojo Caliente ("Hot
For your return trip, drive north from Ojo Caliente, then turn west and follow sign
to El Rito on NM 554.
Continue south on NM 554 to NM 84, turn southeast (left). You'll pass through
Mendenales, a local center of wood carving and weaving. Retrace your steps to
Hernandez and Española.
Because this will not be a day of long-distance driving, treat yourself to a leisurely brunch in Santa Fe before you start your adventure. An interesting detour Friday through Sunday is the Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market immediately north of the Opera. It's one of the region's best and most varied outdoor bazaars. Another scenic detour is the town of Tesuque to the east. There are lots of ranches and intriguing, partially hidden estates dotting the area. A short detour here will take you to old San Juan Pueblo. San Juan Batista Church and the Pueblo Craft Co-op are good places to visit. Another short detour will take you through the old village of Hernandez, immortalized in one of Ansel Adams' most famous photographs taken here in 1941. The hot springs at Ojo Caliente are totally hedonistic, offering everything from complete body wraps to massages and facials. Linger as long as you like!