Backpacker Magazine Albuquerque, NM: Spence Hot Springs 

Pack a suit and soak in the soothing waters of Spence Hot Springs on this one mile out-and-back in the secluded Jemez Valley.

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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 13 Apr 2009 5:15:43 PM
Activity: Hiking
State: New Mexico (NM)
Distance: 1 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 233 ft
Total Loss: 233 ft
Net Change: 0 ft
Difficulty: 3 / 10
USGS Topo Map: Jemez Springs
Tags: Albuquerque, Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Santa Fe, Santa Fe National Forest
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Save this popular hot springs hike for an early morning or a late evening when the crowds have lessened. The easy, 1-mile out-and-back leads to two natural hot pools overlooking a pine-blanketed canyon in the Santa Fe National Forest.

From the parking lot adjacent to NM 4, hike south toward San Antonio Creek on a network of dirt trails. After 800 feet, cross the creek and begin a short climb over loose rocks and exposed tree roots. After the steep but brief ascent, dip into Spence's clear blue, 100-degree waters and savor the panoramas of Jemez Canyon to the south. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.

For more information, go to the Santa Fe National Forest Web site.

-Mapped by Brian Beer

TO TRAILHEAD: From Jemez Springs, NM, head northeast on NM 4 for 7 miles. Parking area is on the right between mile markers 24 and 25.

Position Format: Datum:

Spence Hot Springs

Distance: 0.47 mi Points: 62
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Spence Hot Springs

Points of Interest


Location: 35.849139, -106.631930
Hike south from the parking lot next to NM 4. Pass a plethora of trails that veer off from the main trail and lead to the creek.


Location: 35.849076, -106.630656
Cross a small footbridge over San Antonio Creek. The trail begins to climb, passing numerous side trails and trail junctions (all of these routes lead to the hot springs).


Location: 35.849568, -106.629854
Spence Hot Springs: Located near an opening in the pine trees, the hot springs feature two small pools with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (the upper pool is always warmer). Soak in the springs and take in the serene panoramas of the wooded Jemez Canyon to the south.

Spence Hot Springs

Location: 35.849566, -106.629825
© Brian Beer

Trailhead Parking

Location: 35.849144, -106.631869
© Brian Beer

Trail to Spence Hot Springs

Location: 35.849074, -106.632105
© Brian Beer

Nearing San Antonio Creek

Location: 35.848696, -106.631118
© Brian Beer

San Antonio Creek

Location: 35.849085, -106.630635
© Brian Beer

Creek Crossing

Location: 35.849092, -106.630613
© Brian Beer


Location: 35.849037, -106.630139
© Brian Beer

Intrepid Hiker

Location: 35.849170, -106.629854
© Brian Beer

Lower Pool

Location: 35.849548, -106.629825
© Brian Beer

Views from Upper Pool

Location: 35.849579, -106.629841
© Brian Beer

Soaking in Spence

Location: 35.849596, -106.629870
© Brian Beer


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