Driving from Durango, CO to Santa Fe, NM lie several hot springs, providing a great break from the driving. Steven has been to almost all of these springs and his descriptions and opinions are based on comparisons across many states.
Some are more in the line from Durango to Albuquerque: McCauley Warm Pools (90 degrees, rustic, 1/4 mile hike), Spence Hot Springs (100 degrees, 2 pools, rustic, 1 mile hike), and Jemez Springs Bath House (individual clawfoot tubs by the hour…you control spigots and can be scalded, park in front).
Some are an hour outside Durango, two in Pagosa Hot Springs: one is Turkish style and more quiet, aromatic, steamy and spiritual feeling…and the other, across the street, is very popular, family oriented (loud) with several pools and in sight of the town roads (see photo above).
Ojo Caliente is an hour north of Santa Fe, a resort with rooms, towels, RV park, massage and body treatments, and non-sulphur pools that consistently stay at the following temps: 86 degrees (large swimming pool), 101 degrees (the Hot Flash Queen’s favorite), 103 degrees, 104 degrees and 105 degrees (hot gravel bottom…yummmmm!….in a gorgeous setting against the rocks), and 107 degrees that is too hot to stay in for very long. There is also a steam room, sauna, wood fires in kivas surrounded by lounge chairs, a meditation labyrinth, restaurant and wine/dessert bar. It is exceptionally well maintained, and very serene due to their “whisper policy”. Within the city limits of Santa Fe, is the japanese style hot pools at A Thousand Waves.
Our resident hot springs expert chooses as The winner…..Pah Tempe Hot Springs in Hurricane, UT. Sorry Colorado and New Mexico and California, you just cannot compete! See our blog, “SoCal to Southern Utah” in October 2012 for pics and details of Pah Tempe Hot Springs. That site will be gone in a few years as the the city of Hurricane moves to pipe it to avoid the taste of sulphur in their water. Go soon to experience the best hot springs experience we’ve ever had: private, rustic, variations of temperatures, gorgeous backdrop, quiet, clothing optional, reasonably priced.
When Pah Tempe is gone, the winner will be….Ojo Caliente. The only drawbacks to this very lovely place are: 1) its’ popularity in summer when 300 people convene there to soak; 2) clothing is required; and 3) it is not free (but then again, it doesn’t require a hike). We enjoyed it in the first days of winter weather with some light hail, snow flurries, and rain. What better time to be in a hot spring pool?