The Best Southwestern U.S. Hot Springs

Many a tourism guide espouse the healing, relaxing and invigorating respite offered by the Hot Springs scattered across the South Western states of United States.  Each one provides something a little different; some are more popular tourist destinations, packaged with incredibly luxurious hotel resorts while others are a little more exotically located, but promise a solitude that’s worth going the extra mile for. Let us suggest some of the best hot springs so you can relish in all their glory in any way you so chose…. ah, bliss!

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

Situated amongst the undulating hills in northern New Mexico there’s little to distract from the ultimate goal of peaceful relaxation around here. This gorgeous resort takes advantage of the several adobe pools that are warmed by a natural aquifer. The suites on offer are the perfect base from where one can sample the springs or take advantage of the local hiking trails. The perfect time to visit is in the autumn months for the natural colours and pleasant climate.

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Located along the stunning San Juan River amongst beautiful mountains this gorgeous resort gets it’s name form the natural sulphurs that bubble up in the springs here. Home to the deepest geothermal hot spring on earth this area has now been converted in to 18 pools overlooking the river. Fed by springs, the pools are based in the luxurious Springs Resort & Spa where staying all night is welcomed as the springs remain open for 24 hours a day for free. The Pagosa Springs are a year round destination although particularly popular in the winter as a post skiing trip from the nearby Wolf Creek.

Travertine Hot Springs, California

These hot springs may take you a through wrong turns to find, but that just makes the experience when you reach them even more rewarding. Although popular, these springs are so vast there will be times one can find them all to oneself; overlooking the rocky and mountainous terrain they really bring a whole new meaning to the word tranquillity. Reached by foot via the little-know town of Bridgeport (bypass the ‘lazy pool’ in the parking lot!) you will find a trail surrounded by the backdrop of the snow-tipped Sawtooths. The site itself consists of pools situated among the limestone crevices and varying in temperatures they are packed full of mineral goodness.

Verde River Hot Springs, Arizona

To really get away from it all, your best bet is to head for the remote and beautiful Verde River hot springs. Overlooking the Verde River, these concrete pools can be reached following a two-mile hike from the town of Strawberry. Getting there can be a little tricky, with a dicey river crossing on the way but, hey, it’s nice to work for your relaxation isn’t it? There are no facilities in the area so any visitors are advised to pack plenty of provisions. The best time to visit is thought to be late spring and early autumn to avoid the high river and the rainy season. Also worth noting that although nudity is not strictly allowed, the odd natural bather is not unheard of.

Desert Hot Springs, California

When you think of hot springs your minds eye is probably not far off the Desert Hot Springs in California. A real paradise in the desert complete with natural mineral springs lined with snow-topped mountains this town is the perfect destination for relaxation. Great guides highlight the much better well-known Palm Springs just south of here; however, this just might prove a superior alternative. Situated not far from Coachella it could provide the perfect stop on the way to or back from the famous festival, although the best time of year to visit would be in late winter.

About the Author

Miranda is a passionate traveler and travel writer. She also writes about US Tourism Information guides on behalf of