One of the highlights of a visit to New Mexico is the opportunity to visit its many natural hot springs, which are heated by geothermal activity and known for their therapeutic properties. Whether you're more interested in visiting a luxurious spa or relaxing in a natural pool in the middle of the forest, one of the hot springs on this list is sure to be exactly what you're looking for. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Truth or Consequences
2.Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
3.San Antonio Hot Springs
4.Giggling Springs Hot Springs
6.Black Rock Hot Springs
7.Ten Thousand Waves Spa
8.Spence Hot Spring
9.Lightfeather Hot Springs
10.Faywood Hot Springs
10 Best Hot Springs in New Mexico
- Truth or Consequences, Photo: Courtesy of malajscy - Fotolia.com
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Photo: Courtesy of Shelley - Fotolia.com
- San Antonio Hot Springs, Photo: Courtesy of pichaitun - Fotolia.com
- Giggling Springs Hot Springs, Photo: Giggling Springs Hot Springs
- Montezuma, Photo: Courtesy of Steve - Fotolia.com
- Black Rock Hot Springs, Photo: Courtesy of SmirMaxStock - Fotolia.com
- Ten Thousand Waves Spa, Photo: Ten Thousand Waves Spa
- Spence Hot Spring, Photo: Courtesy of fox17 - Fotolia.com
- Lightfeather Hot Springs, Photo: Courtesy of Juhku - Fotolia.com
- Faywood Hot Springs, Photo: Faywood Hot Springs
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of James O'Donnell - Fotolia.com
More Ideas in NM: NRAO Very Large Array
The NRAO Very Large Array Telescope Facility, also known as the VLA, is a radio astronomy observatory situated in Magdalena, central New Mexico. Constructed in 1973, the VLA comprises 28 radio telescopes as well as a spare one, each measuring 25 meters across. The telescopes weigh 230 tons each and are plated with aluminum. The telescopes work collectively as if they were one highly powered telescope.
The funding of the VLA was granted by Congress after the success of the four-telescope trail array known as the Green Bank Interferometer. Now, using the VLA astronomers are able to make observations of young stars and their surroundings, consequently gaining new knowledge about how radio emission occurs. Past discoveries by the VLA have been ice on Mercury, the shrouded center of the Milky Way, and the discovery of a new category of astronomical objects known as microquasars, amongst other notable discoveries. There is also a visitor center within the grounds featuring exhibits as well as a theater, gift shop, and self-guided tour opportunities.
Permanent exhibits and attractions
The visitor center is located on the site and contains a theater and a small museum with exhibits as well as a gift shop. Inside the center, a sign directs visitors towards the theater, which features a video presentation lasting 23 minutes entitled Beyond the Visible, narrated by the actress Jodie Foster. Produced in 2013, the video focuses on an overview of the VLA, astronomy, and interferometry. Visitors can also browse the exhibitions within the center, which provide information about radio astronomy, NRAO, telescopes, and the VLA as well as current research. A gift shop offers VLA souvenirs and educational materials as well as books, t-shirts, gadgets, and maps.
The Whisper Dish Gallery is an exhibit comprising two satellite dishes demonstrating how these amplify and receive sound waves. A further exhibit located outside is the Bracewell Radio Sundial. This exhibit has a large amount of scientific history to it and was named in honor of the Australian engineer Ron Bracewell, who created one of the first radio telescopes in the world. The telescope made by Bracewell mapped the solar system and sun for 11 years, with the information then being used by NASA throughout the Apollo missions. The telescope was originally located in Stanford University but abandoned in 1980, and 10 of its piers were subsequently used in the construction of the radio sundial. These 10 piers have historic signatures from the time when Bracewell used his telescope as a guestbook and visitors chipped their names into the concrete. Further on in the visitor center is the Radio Astronomy Gallery, which highlights significant findings by the VLA using detailed photography and information placards. Finally, also located in the visitor center is a muted 5-minute video detailing how antennas are moved.
As visitors leave the center, they can get a brochure that contains a map and information for the route of the self-guided tour. The tour takes visitors from the visitor center towards the control building and array. There is an interpretive panel by the visitor center that gives out detailed information such as the temperature of the receiver and the weight and height of each of the dishes and antennas. After this, visitors can head up to the observation area where the array can be seen.
Ongoing programs and education
At the VLR there is a guided tour program for educational groups, which must be pre-booked in advance. Also offered are the free Open House Events, which are free tours given by NRAO staff who talk about and demonstrate VLA operations. Staff who work at the NRAO are available throughout the event to interact and talk with the public. During this event, family-oriented astronomy activities are on display to use and learn from further NRAO-sponsored community workshops, while community-driven design studies programs are run at the observatory on specific days of the month.
The Plains of San Agustin, Old Highway 60, Magdalena, NM 87825, Phone: 575-835-7410
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More Ideas in NM: Gila Cliff Dwellings
A two-hour drive from Silver City, New Mexico, the Gila Cliff Dwellings provide visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the secluded beauty of this national monument. The Gila Cliff Dwellings offer access to the historic splendor of the dwellings themselves, as well as 3.3 million acres of forest trails and wilderness to explore.
Between 1260 and 1280 C.E., the Tularosa Mogollon people lived within the naturally occurring caves that now make up the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The Mogollons developed a complex society in the area, hunting, trading, and creating pottery that is now preserved within the Gila Trailhead Museum.
Abandoned in the 1300s, these former homes were discovered by European American settlers during the nineteenth-century and explored by archaeologists. The area was even home to a resort established by the Gila Hot Springs, with tours of the dwellings offered to guests.
As early as 1906, efforts were made to preserve this site and the artifacts within it, and by 1933, control of the monument was given to the National Park Service. The Gila Cliff Dwellings is now considered a National Monument.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings have several permanent attractions that draw visitors from around the country.
Gila Trailhead Museum – The Gila Trailhead Museum is located in the Visitor Center. Park rangers are available to help plan hiking routes, while the museum itself details the area’s history and provides information about the previous dwellers, the Mogollon people. Artifacts from the dwellings are also displayed here, and visitors can watch a short informational video about the dwellings and park.
The Dwellings – Visitors of the monument are invited to step into the lives of the Tularosa Mogollon people. Treading carefully, guests can actually enter these dwellings and walk through the rooms of the families that once lived there. The dwellings are accessible by foot to all visitors.
Hot Springs – Accessible by car or foot, hot springs are nearby for visitors looking to relax amidst the beauty of the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
Hiking – Visitors of all experience levels can enjoy hiking through the Gila National Forest and Wilderness. Millions of acres are available to explore, but park rangers can help guests decide how to plan their hikes according to their ability level and desired experience. Hiking is truly the best way to see the beauty of this monument.
Potential visitors are invited to call the Visitor Center for information about guided tours, which vary in availability.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings takes part in the Bureau of Land Management’s Junior Explorer program. This program educates young people about the various lands managed by the BLM. Educational materials and fun booklets guide children through the historical and natural elements of the Gila Cliff Dwellings. This program gives young visitors the tools they need to become respectful visitors of national monuments, while also encouraging them to have fun. Materials can be obtained online or at the Visitor Center.
The park does offer fee waivers for some school visits. Teachers interested in setting up field trips to the park should contact the Visitor Center in advance to schedule their visit and discuss fees.
The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers limited special events to small groups of participants. Guests must make reservations in advance for all events.
Moonlit Hikes – When the moon is full, visitors are invited to participate in the park’s full-moon hikes. With the guidance of a park ranger, visitors will tour the cliff dwellings and explore the grounds after dark. Hikes last one hour. Contact the park for a full schedule of events.
Gila Nights Program – The Gila Cliff Dwellings also offer a stargazing event that focuses on the skies above the dwellings. Aided by telescopes, park rangers help visitors explore the night sky above the monument.
Dining and Shopping
The Gila Cliff Dwellings do not offer any dining options, and there are few nearby restaurants. Guests are advised to bring plenty of water to ensure that they do not become exhausted during any hikes. Water availability within the park should not be assumed.
Some packaged food can be purchased at Doc Campbell’s Post (3 miles from the Visitor Center), but rangers recommend that visitors bring their own food. Food or drink, apart from water, are not allowed within the dwellings themselves or on the trail, but picnic tables are offered in several areas of the park.
Located conveniently in the Gila Visitor Center, the park bookstore has a variety of souvenirs for visitors to enjoy.
26 Jim Bradford Trail Mimbres, NM 88049, Phone: 575-536-9461
More New Mexico ruins
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More Ideas in NM: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is one of the most unique geological formations in the United States. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, visitors of all ages will enjoy viewing the tent rocks and hiking one of the three available trails.
Protected and managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the grounds were established as a United States National Monument by President Bill Clinton in 2001. The name means “white cliff” in the indigenous Pueblo language (Keresan). It has been the background of many different television shows and movie, like the Sci Fi television series Earth 2. The area encompassed by Kasha-Katuwe is just over seven miles. It is still used as a ceremonial site for the local Native American tribe, and grounds are occasionally closed for celebrations and holidays.
The geology and scenery at Kasha-Katuwe are the main attraction. The site is for day use only, so no camping or viewing after sunset is allowed. There is a small fee for entrance, which is assessed per vehicle. The grounds will close for Native American celebrations on the order of the Governor of the Cochiti Tribe.
When visiting the national monument, make sure to check out the amazing natural formations. The must-see formations are what the park was named after, the naturally occurring cone shaped tent rocks. The rocks are the end result of volcanic eruptions in the area between six and seven million years ago.
These eruptions left behind deposits of tuff, ash, and pumice that were more than 1000 feet thick. Explosions related to those eruptions spewed rock fragments called pyroclasts on top of those deposits, and the heat from hot gases flowing down the slopes in a pyroclastic flow cemented them into the unique structures found there in modern times. The tent rocks vary from just a few feet in height to 90 feet at their tallest.
Another unique feature at Kasha-Katuwe are the boulder caps, perched on top of some of the nearby tapering hoodoos (weathered rock formations). These caps act to protect the softer tuff and pumice below them, as the tent rocks would disintegrate without them (this can be seen on a variety of tent rocks on-site).
There is a recreational trail that is also part of the monument. This hiking trail is for foot traffic only and is separated into three segments. All trail segments provide guests with excellent opportunities to see the best the monument has to offer in terms of birdwatching, plant life, geology, and general scenery.
- Cave Loop Trail - Just over a mile long and rated as “easy.”
- Canyon Trail - One and a half miles long through a narrow canyon with a very steep climb (about 600 feet) to a mesa top. Showcases the beauty of three different mountain ranges - Sandia, Sangre de Cristo, and Jemez - as well as the famous Rio Grande Valley.
- Veterans Memorial Trail - The easiest of the three trails at a mile long, it is also the only trail considered wheelchair accessible.
When visiting, be aware that the majority of visitors come during the summer months. This makes Kasha-Katuwe extremely busy, which can impede hiking plans. Try to come during the off-season to avoid over congestion.
There is a downloadable and printable Junior Ranger guide available on the Kasha-Katuwe website. This 27-page pamphlet helps young visitors learn all about the site with interactive activities and educational facts. The guide starts with a list of things for children to know and do prior to visiting, like sunscreen, water, and proper clothing. There is a printable oath for them to sign as well, having children promise to treat the site and the earth with respect, learn about the importance of the area, and share what they’ve learned with others. It teaches them about the original inhabitants of the area and what tools they may have used to survive, which includes a matching game.
There are also puzzles, word searches, mazes, and more. It also includes sensing activities, allowing them to use hearing, smell, touch, and sight to learn about Kasha-Katuwe while visiting and documenting their trip. The guide concludes with a printable certificate of completion to celebrate their accomplishment.
While there are no dining options available at the monument, picnic tables and shelters are available, and guests are encouraged to bring pre-cooked food items. No open fire or grills will be allowed on-site. Alcohol is also strictly prohibited. All trash must be discarded at the end of the visit to preserve the integrity and beauty of the park.
Rio Puerco Field Office, 100 Sun Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109, Phone: 505-331-6259
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