Ojo Caliente
January 11th, 2022

Taos Hot Springs: Our Favorites and How to Get There

There are few things in the world better than easing into a hot spring, especially après ski. Not only is the temperature perfectly conducive to relaxation, but the minerals in hot springs are also said to promote healthy skin and blood circulation. Ahhh, wellness!

While Taos may be known for its history and dramatic landscape, it’s also home to a number of scenic spots that harbor hidden hot spring gems. From rustic experiences surrounded by trees to more private and upmarket bathing, Taos' hot springs are a must-visit when in town. To ensure that you fully unwind, we’ve put together a list of our favorite nearby hot springs and how to get there. 

So, pack your swimwear and prepare to float in some hot springs until you’re nice and relaxed...and pruney.

Taos Hot Springs: COVID and Current Events

Like everywhere around the world, in light of the spread of the coronavirus, Taos and Taos Ski Valley have seen some changes. That includes our hot springs. Some locations “closed” for a time to avoid up-close gatherings but some still remain closed for a number of reasons. 

For a number of years, nearby residents had complained about the noise, trash, and traffic that springs can generate, so there are concerns over the longevity of closures. So when things do reopen, all visitors are asked to respect the area, clean up after themselves, and take care of these precious resources so we can continue to enjoy them for years to come.

Natural hot springs remain one of the true wonders that Northern New Mexico has been blessed with. We encourage everyone to visit but, for the time being, be sure to check the status of any hot spring before committing to an itinerary. We suggest referencing Google, local news articles, and Reddit forums as ways to get up-to-date information. 

Natural Hot Springs Near Taos

Manby Hot Springs

Sitting just north of Taos along the Rio Grande is Manby Hot Springs, sometimes referred to as Stagecoach Hot Springs. This unspoiled treasure is perfect for rugged hot spring enthusiasts—the pools are tucked away between rocks, offering plenty of privacy as you stare out onto the stunning mountain views.

The water temperatures average 97F, but perhaps the best part of Manby Hot Springs is cooling off in the river after sufficiently heating up in the springs. 

To get to the springs, take Highway 522 from Arroyo Hondo, at mile 5.3 turn west on County Road B007. After two and a half miles and before B007 makes a sharp right turn, take the left onto the dirt road. Keep going past the Dobson House sign, bear left at the fork, and keep right until you come to the parking lot for the springs. Once parked, it’s a 15-20 minute walk to the pools. The roads to Manby Hot Springs are not paved, so remember to drive with care. We recommend arriving in an SUV vehicle if possible for clearance on the dirt roads.

Black Rock Hot Springs

Also north of Taos, and just west of Arroyo Hondo, Black Rock Hot Springs are on the west bank of the river, underneath the John Dunn Bridge. These springs are especially cool because you can hop over the spring edge straight into the river, as well as enjoy an uninterrupted view of the valley. In summary, these are the springs for your Instagram snaps.

The water temperature here is around 97F, and there’s always one main pool that stays hot while other smaller pools come and go depending on the river flow.

Black Rock is also one of the more popular tourist attractions, meaning it gets busy on the weekends and holidays, and it’s best to arrive early if you want to secure a spot for the day.

To get to Black Rock Hot Springs, take Highway 552 North, and at mile 5.3 go west on County Road B007. After two and a half miles, follow the road hard right, keep left going downhill and once you get to the one-lane bridge, cross over the Hondo River. You’ll then get to the John Dunn Bridge, where you’ll need to park as the main road to the springs is currently blocked. It’s a 5-10 minute walk downstream to the pools.

Hot Spring Resorts in New Mexico

Ojo Caliente Hot Springs

If you’re checking out the hot springs circuit in New Mexico, it’s well worth going to Ojo Caliente. The private springs reside in the Ojo Spa Resort which is one of the country’s oldest health spas, tucked among the red landscape and cottonwood-lined cliffs.  

The hot mineral waters are rich in lithia, arsenic, iron, and soda, and are believed to have healing qualities. There are a number of pools to enjoy, and because a limited number of people are allowed to submerge in the pools at one time, the pool environment is always calm. Access is restricted to guests and day visitors with a reservation only. To make a reservation, call 877-977-8212 in advance.

The Ojo Spa Resort is 50 minutes southwest of Taos. From the town, head northeast on Highway 64 for 8.6 miles and cross the Gorge Bridge. After, take the left onto West Rim Road/Taos Country Road and continue for 8.2 miles. Turn right on NM-567 and keep going for 9 miles, taking the left on Highway 285 South for 10.6 miles, and then turn right on NM-414 West (Los Banos Drive) for 0.4 miles.

Clothing-Optional Hot Springs in New Mexico: A note

A quick note on swimwear etiquette at some of the springs on this list. Places like Manby Hot Springs and Black Rock Hot Springs are clothing-optional, which is good to know if you’re visiting with kids or prefer not to keep your gaze above chest level for a few hours. There are various pools you can dip in and out of, and people are generally respectful of those around them but keep in mind that your view may include some unexpected elements. 

On the other hand, if you want to experience the hot springs as nature intended, feel free to strip off and enjoy. Besides, birthday suits don’t take up as much room in your luggage.

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Taos is a phenomenal destination as it is bursting with natural diversity. Visitors can easily spend their days speeding down the snow-capped mountains and later recline in these bubbling hot springs. The town really is a unique blend of adventure and tranquility, and the hot springs are a staple part of soaking up (quite literally) the culture, history, and nature of Taos.

Check out our other activity recommendations to make your time in Taos a real treat.