Spence Hot Springs

Spence Hot Springs


New Mexico is packed with natural hot springs, and although some of them have been developed into relaxing resorts, many are still completely undeveloped, tucked alongside creeks and rivers like the easy-to-access, and often empty, Spence Hot Springs in the Jemez Mountains.

To get there, you have to walk for 15 minutes from the parking area to the hot baths. The trail starts out smooth and flat, however, as one heads closer to the springs, the ground gets slippery wet.

There are two hot sand-bottom pools at Spence Hot Springs; the upper pool is hotter than the lower one and from both, there is a spectacular view of the surrounding Jemez Mountains. The water temperature is comfortably warm, between 100 and 110 Fahrenheit, even though the air temperatures are already in the high 80s.

The top pool can comfortably fit 12 bodies fully submerged and could fit 16 people if sitting locations are adjusted. If you want to be by yourself, try visiting on weekdays.

Algae and snails are abundant in the hot springs. Snails are usually clinging on for dear life to the sides of the pool, and there is so many algae floating around you are likely to find a little surprise in your soap bar when you return for a shower.

Whether you want just a quick dip or a full-scale body relaxation, a trip to Spence Hot Springs is free, easy, and a “must to” do experience.

Spence Hot Springs is a public place and it is not monitored frequently. Although we have not been able to confirm it, it seems clothes are optional!

* Photo by Spencer Tunick

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House of Senses

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by That Henry