I’ve gotten a bit tired of doing the mountain over and over again so for this morning I suggested to the Mrs. that we head on out to one of her favorite spots, the warm springs in the Jemez mountains.
The ride to and through the Jemez is one of our favorites, and especially when you leave early in the morning and can put the top down on the Mustang. The route out to the springs crosses the desert and enters a canyon that is the closest thing that New Mexico has to Sedona, Arizona. Red rock abounds, along with towering cliffs and sandstone carved mountains.
The trail starts at a place named battleship rock, which you can see in the foreground. It’s not a difficult hike, and it wanders along the river for a while and climbs up through giant ponderosa pines until you reach the warm spring about 1.8 miles up the trail.
Unlike some of the other springs in the area, this is not a hot spring, but a warm one with water temp about 85 degrees, which is great in the summer, but downright chilly in the the winter.
We spent a little over an hour here, just soaking in the sun and watched the dragonflys dance.
The small pool at the bottom of the picture is the source and it’s big enough for four or five adults. The large pool is very shallow but it empties into a series of other pools below. Depending on how hot it is, the lower pools offer cooler water.
Our view from the “source” pool.
You can click on it to enlarge, or click here for a full sized panorama. This years’s image includes a bush in the middle of the dam which I suspect may not last. It wasn’t there a couple of years ago and people keep moving the rock wall which may just let it get washed away. This is considered a “warm” spring and recently I saw someone google whether or not snakes went into hot springs in New Mexico. I can tell you that we do see snakes, small ones, slither across the water from time to time. They are more afraid of you than you probably are of them.
On our way out we stopped in Los Alamos and caught the tail end of the rodeo. These are the teen riders, you can tell because they have to wear a helmet.
We drove on into Santa Fe for dinner and then did a top down cruise through the back roads home. We were on the road for just a little over 12 hours, start to finish and wandered through over 200 miles of New Mexico back roads.