The San Antonio hot springs are a beautiful series of three pools high up in the mountains north of the Jemez Pueblo and Jemez Springs. The water is warm but not scalding, and depending on the time of year, the hike to them is either 1 mile or 11 miles roundtrip. Of course, we ended up there during the 11-mile time of year.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The San Antonio hot springs are usually pretty heavily trafficked during the 1-mile time of year. People can drive up a rough, rutted road to a parking lot about .6 mi from the springs, and it’s a popular spot.
We went in May, when you have to hike 11 miles roundtrip, parking at the bottom parking lot at the road turnoff. It was a Monday, it was hot, and it was late afternoon. The view is beautiful – forests, mountainsides, the winding San Antonio creek in the valley. The hike up was easy; the elevation gain is slow and steady, and there are beautiful views. It’s mostly up a rough dirt road until the last half mile, which turns into a trail that descends, crosses the creek in the valley, and ascends up another mountain.
One other couple was there when we arrived, but once they left we had the entire springs to ourselves. The sound of the water bubbling and splashing out of the side of the mountain is so relaxing, and we didn’t want to leave. Our one regret was that we didn’t bring along a bottle of something to sip. It’s also the spot where I proposed to Thrillbilly. (He said yes, by the way; it would have been a very awkward 5.5-mile hike back to the car if he hadn’t.)
If you make it out to New Mexico and want a great little getaway spot, I highly recommend these springs. Items to bring along in your day pack (other than your 10 essentials): bathing suits, camera, towels, sunscreen, and SO MUCH WATER. Even if it’s not super hot outside, the hot springs can be dehydrating, and there is hiking involved (and potentially celebratory adult beverages, which are also dehydrating!).
Enjoy the beautiful views and the lovely pools, and make some great memories!