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Ojo Caliente New Mexico Mineral Springs
Ojo Caliente New Mexico Hot Springs
The Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs can be considered one of New Mexico’s best hot springs. Without a doubt, most people were spot on with that thought. A whisper only resort awaits you with a variety of relaxing mineral pools that are surrounded by Precambrian rocky hills.
Deciding on what type of hot springs you wish to visit can be a challenge for some with all the different factors to incorporate. If you are looking to hike to a natural hot springs where cloths are optional, then this isn’t the place for you.
The Ojo Caliente New Mexico Springs lacks the feel of being a resort. Instead, it gives you a tranquil environment to relax in with resort type amenities. Personally, I think If you are traveling through New Mexico, then you need to make sure to stop in and check out this unique destination.
So here is your guide to the Ojo Caliente New Mexico Mineral Springs!
Why You Should Stop In
Over 100,000 gallons per day go through the 12 different hot spring pools that the facility offers. Their claim is that they are the only hot springs in the world, which has 4 different types of minerals in their waters.
For instance, expect to see sulfur-free pools with the minerals of iron, lithia, arsenic and soda. Each one having its own supposed healing properties. In addition to the healing waters that range in temperatures from 80 to 106 degrees, they offer a mud pool that you can take advantage of. Probably not the best idea though when it is winter time.
You can enjoy 7 of the 12 pools with the entry fee, while the other 5 can be reserved for a small fee. For example, if you wish to forgo the cloths and go all natural, then you need to rent a private pool, which will start at $45 for a 50 minute dip for 2 people. Extra people or use of the Kiva fireplace will cost more. Daytime views are gorgeous, but the sunset and nighttime is where the magical landscape comes alive with a breathtaking environment to recharge in, so make sure to stay till sunset at least.
The History of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
The Ojo Caliente area was a site for the ancient Pueblo people to enjoy the benefits from the hot springs. The springs were considered sacred and because of it, the Native American Tewa Tribes built their prehistoric pueblos in this area.
These sites were abandoned by the tribes in the 1500’s due to many factors. In addition, it was during this time when the Spaniards discovered these springs and thus named them Ojo Caliente. Other tribes like the Comanches and Ute would cause the Spanish settlers to retreat back to the safety of Santa Fe for many years. The settlers and tribes continued this back and forth throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
It wasn’t until 1868, when the historic bathhouse was built, which has also been restored and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Along with this building is the Historic Hotel that was built in 1917 and the Adobe Round Barn that is from 1924. They have updated the resort, yet have managed to keep with the same older style.
- Address: 50 Los Banos Drive, Ojo Caliente, NM 87549
- Website: https://ojocaliente.ojospa.com
- Hours of Operation:
- For lodging guest or card holders, they are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Paid guest have access from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Monday thru Thursday is $30/person.
- Friday thru Sunday and Holidays is $45/person.
- Sunset rates after 6 p.m:
- Monday thru Thursday $25/person.
- Friday thru Sunday and Holidays is $38/person.
- Are Kids Allowed: Children under 13 are not allowed in the springs and 16 years old for spa services.
- Pets: They are not allowed, except for service animals.
- Elevation of Ojo Caliente: is the high desert, which is around 6,200 feet above sea level.
- Drive time from Albuquerque: 91 miles away should take about 2 hours.
- From Santa Fe: 50 miles away and should take you only an hour to drive it.
- Taos Driving Time: The springs is located southwest of Taos and will take you about 45 minutes.
- Outdoor Activities: They have acres of trails that you can hike or bike on. You can view a part of Native American history with hiking the Hilltop Trail, where you will see an ancient Posi Pueblo. Check out their hiking and biking map, here. Bring your own bikes or rent one in one of the towns before coming, they do not offer rentals. Try Mellow Velo in Santa Fe or Gearing Up Bicycle Shop in Taos.
What You Should Bring
- Bathing Suit
- Water Bottle or Hydroflask (They have water stations to refill your bottles)
- Flip Flops
- Hat for when it’s hot and a beanie for colder weather.
- Sunscreen that’s oil-free.
- Bathrobe for day guest (one is provided for people lodging here).
- Extra towel (one is provided, but they are small and thin).
- Lock if you wish to use the lockers and are not staying at the resort.
Best Time To Visit
Surprisedly, the most popular time to visit is during the summer months, which can see temperatures around 85°F. For some, this season might bring a little to much heat to really enjoy the hot springs.
The fall months will be a little cooler, with averages around 65°F. This is a great time to go visit the Ojo Caliente New Mexico mineral springs. Crowds will start to get smaller, with less tourists or people traveling and the hot springs are perfect for the cooler nights.
Spring is another season you can look into. Expect colder temps in the low 50°F range. Additionally, like the fall, you will see less crowds.
If you really want to enjoy the mineral springs without loads of people, then go brave the winter months. The average temperature you will find is 12°F. Yep, that’s pretty cold for someone that grew up in Los Angeles, California!
You guessed correctly if you thought we visited this gorgeous place in the winter months. Luckily for us, is was at the beginning of December, so it was only in the low 30’s. If you can brave the cold as you jump to the different hot springs at the resort, then do it. As for us, I think it was worth braving the colder temperatures to have the place almost to ourselves.
The Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa offer a few different options for lodgings. If you stay overnight, then the hot springs are included with a bathrobe and locker. The first option is the historical hotel on the premise.
Rooms have been updated a bit, but they still keep with the traditional layout with no telephones, TV’s, or full bathrooms in each room. Expect a night to cost in the range of $170 to $210. Showers in the locker rooms can be used. Do not forget that with accommodations comes free use of the springs, so you are saving on that cost, when you stay overnight.
Another option is the suits, cottages, and private homes they offer. Depending on the time of year and day, the rates will be from $200 to $550 per night. The benefit from these lodgings is that some offer kitchens, tv’s or more.
Additionally, they have RV and tent spots for $40 per night for a group of 4. Each additional person is $5 and it will not include entry into the springs. Don’t have an RV but want to stay in a vintage trailer, then check out the glamping trailers they have, which will start at $190 per night.
Ojo Caliente Spa
Looking for a relaxing massage or wanting to rent a private tube, then check out what their spa has to offer. Located next to the sauna, it makes it easy to relax in the springs until it’s time to head to your appointment.
Private outdoor mineral pools can be rented for as cheap as $12 for 25 minuets. The deep tissue massage was wonderful and started at $129 for 50 minuets. If you enjoy the services that a spa can offer, then make sure to check out what they have. Whether you want to detox or enjoy the Native American blue corn and prickly pear salt scrub, they have something for everyone.
Common Asked Questions
- What does Ojo Caliente mean? It means hot eye. Wonder why the pioneering Spanish named it this? Well they called any spring an eye (ojo), and hot in Spanish is Caliente. So that’s how they came up with the term, Ojo Caliente.
- Is parking available at the mineral springs? Yes, parking is available right outside the facility and is free.
- I wish to exercise, is there a place to? There are a few hiking trails located around the property, which you can explore for some exercise. They also offer daily yoga in a yurt classes, for a fee.
- So, I heard that they offer free entry on your birthday? Well this one is kinda true if you are a resident of New Mexico. They only offer people who can show residency and that it is their birthday, that particular day, free entry. All others, sorry, we still have to pay.
- What food and drink options are available? You can purchase small snacks or drinks inside their gift shop or grab a bite to eat at the on-site artesian restaurant, located across from the check-in desk. If the restaurant is full, then grab a drink and bite at the wine bar.
Other Activities or Places to See
- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rock National Monument: This amazing gem of a hike is about a 2 hour drive , but very worth it. As you follow the trailhead, you will get to view a geological landscape with cone shaped rock formations formed from volcanic eruptions over millions of years ago.
- Bandelier National Monument: Another great national monument to visit with over 70 miles full of historical sites to explore and trails to hike. Only have a small bit of time to see some of the Ancestral Pueblo Sites, then do the Main Loop Trail, which is only 1.2 miles, roundtrip.
- Meow Wolf: Located in Santa Fe, this interactive art installation was created with the help of many artist. You can try to walk through the exhibit and try to follow the clues on what’s going on with the different sounds, visual effects, tactile pieces, and more. Not to be miss and soon they will have one open in the cities of Las Vegas, Denver and Phoenix.
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The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves. Opening hours, closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable.