Spence Hot Springs

Spence Hot Springs, Jemez Springs: Address, Spence Hot Springs Reviews: 3.5/5

Spence Hot Springs
Hot Springs & Geysers
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Bathing suits are optional as you soak away your worries in the 102 degree hot spring pools that offer soft, sandy bottoms.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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85 reviews
Very good

Mike B
Fritch, TX24 contributions
May 2021
Arrived around 10 am to parking area on Hwy 4, only 1 other car in the area. Hike is about 20 minutes for middle aged couple in fairly good health. Trail in fairly easy to follow, but can be a little slick in areas from the water and mud. Towards the end the trail kind of peters out, but follow the water flow to the boulder area above and to the left. Circle around the right of the boulders and then back down; the boulders are where the pools are located. The lower pool is coolest, around 80's. the next pool is better w/ a gravelly bottom and temp around low 90's. The "Grotto" is in the back of this pool and is the warmest of the pools: maybe mid 90's and about 2 ft. deep. Room for about 3 people? inside and I much enjoyed the peace ans solitude. It will appear as a cleft in the boulder; don't be scared just crawl inside and enjoy. This is known as clothing optional but seems mostly friendly to us more shy people.
Written May 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Austin, TX7,966 contributions
Jul 2021
My husband and I went to Spencer Hot Springs on a Friday morning. I read that the parking lot fills up quickly so we did not want to miss out. We arrived at 10 am. There were about 10 parking spaces and only 1 was taken. That was a good start. We hiked about 1/4 mile down into a canyon then partially up a hill. The trail was steep, rocky and wet in a couple areas. When we arrived, a young family was in the top spring pool. There were two crystal clear small pools and the area around was clean. We did not plan to get in the water because the area was trashy on our last visit 4 years old. This time, we could not resist getting in the warm (not hot) springs. The young family left shortly after our arrival and we had the springs to our self for about 20 minutes. As we were getting ready to leave, another couple arrived at the springs. Fun time.
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jason V
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States130 contributions
I can never seem to go here without seeing naked hippies in the morning, at least this last time one was a beautiful woman. Lots of stoners smoking pot and drinking beer, they were hauling out other leftover trash and cleaning up after others. There was a guy selling little glass blown pipes that said jemez on them for 5-10$ wish I'd gotten one, it would have been a super neat memento of the day trip. The springs are cooling, nowhere near as hot as they were last year. Still worth the trip, bring a lil cash and a picnic. It says no nudity but don't bring your kids, there are always naked people there.
Written March 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Houston, TX78 contributions
Oct 2017 • Couples
As noted in other reviews, the Jemez Springs area is lovely. Spence Hot Springs is not the nicest because of lots of litter. The springs are only luke warm, and I only saw dogs go in, the people who hiked up all just decided to head back down to the parking lot. The trash made me so sad I picked up one sack worth and carried it away, but still lots more around.
Written October 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ann L
1 contribution
Mar 2017 • Friends
This place use to be amazing. Sadly it is now trashed, the water temperature seems questionable, and visitors treat it like a party at a public pool. 18 years ago I started visiting this place several times a year, for many years.... Winter, spring summer, fall. Yes, in the good old days, people often were naked and likely enjoying some sort of adult substance, but if so, it was done in a very responsible, relaxed manner. There was typically a combo of families, singles, clothed, and unclothed. And it was comfortable and serene. People automatically packed up trash, held quiet conversation, and respected each other's personal boundaries. I had many political conversations with complete strangers, but also had many moments of complete silence and keeing to myself. There use to be obvious steam constantly rising from the surface of the water, it was so hot. It was a spectacular way to be pampered by nature, in nature, in an easily accessible, and free way. I have watched a snow storm in those pools, with snow flakes landing on my face, while steam rose up around it. But now the land directly around the various pools is disgusting. I found several used baby diapers strewn around left in the mud, empty zip lock baggies stuck on trees and in rock crevices, countless crushed beer cans left behind..... just litter everywhere. The guests were loud and splashing around. In the past, the water was so hot that splashing around would be inconceivable. It use to be so hot that everyone could only stay still in one spot, soaking in the heat and feeling deep relaxation. All the pools use to be steaming hot. The water is now just warm. And seems like it's abused and overused, not appreciated and respected. Come on people! Pack up and haul away all your trash!!!!! Unfortunately I don't know what can be done about the water temp. I feel a sense of loss over what this place has become. Ungrateful people have trashed this spot, not realizing how fortunate they are to are to have free access to such a georgeous, wild, deeply good feeling natural hot springs.
Written April 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alto, NM64 contributions
Jun 2014 • Family
Its a 10 minute hike to a dirty spring that is no longer hot. Signs around the spring warn of bacteria in it. There is trash, bottles, and mucky murky water. We only put our legs in it. It wasn't even lukewarm.
Written July 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kristina G
8 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
The whole area is pretty and worth spending a day hiking. This particular spot is ruined by people hanging out and leaving behind trash (dirty diapers, plastic bottles). Also dog and possible human feces line the trail. Spend your afternoon on one of the other trails in this area. The thought of getting into the filthy water made me sick to my stomach.
Written July 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

detroit17 contributions
so I went March 29, 2015 just to see how it was like....I've read all the reviews but we decided to check it out. I went with my 1.5yr old and 5yr old. basically it's like this. from the parking lot....the hot springs is a little higher than your eye level on the mountian. so the hike is going down down down until you get to cross the bridge over the river at the bottom....then up up up and pretty steep but doable until you get to the springs. go behind the springs and there's big boulders and tall tree and flat area. there were families there even with a newborn in a carseat and 5 kids....yes teens too but no nudity....do I regret not taking my swim stuff?...oh yes....do I regret not taking water? ....even more.....Please Take Water for the hike....would definitely go again prepared! please be careful with kids...don't let go of their hands hiking the mountain side part!
Written March 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Houston, TX7 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
This was my very first time in a hot spring. There were three of us...a good friend of mine, my wife, and myself. When we arrived, tourists from Austin, Texas, were there...two guys and two gals, all in their twenties and all naked. My wife had worn her bikini under her clothes, but my friend and I found separate areas right in the woods and changed into our trunks.

When I first got in, I almost slipped on the slimy rock I stepped on. Beware that it is very slippery. Another step and I was in gravel that didn't seem slimy at all. Then my friend got in. He had no troubles, now that I had warned them of the slimy rocks. My wife took one step in and got grossed out from the slime. She decided not to get in, and she sat on a nearby rock outside of the spring for the remainder of the time.

The couples from Austin got out, dressed, and left. The hot water felt awesome in the twenty degree temps. The view was amazing!

The next day, only my friend and I went back and hopped into the hot water. There was an older couple there from Minnesota...both totally nude. They were very friendly, and we talked with them for awhile. When they were ready to leave, my friend was sitting right next to the only exit. As the woman was stepping up to get out, her privates were very close to his face. It was kind of awkward, but not a huge deal.

We stayed in there for hours, drinking beer, laughing, and talking. It was comfortable and very peaceful. Lots of different people came in and left. 90% of them would go completely naked, though we kept our trunks on at all times.

I share this experience in detail because it's a great place to go, but probably not a real "family" place where you would want to bring your children. They also have other hot springs in the area that we did not visit, but I hear they are more family friendly.

If you're a college guy looking to get naked with some girls, this is the perfect place to go. Or if you just want to enjoy nature naturally, this the place to go. My wife and I are going back there this month. I have two goals...to get my wife to actually get in and ignore the slime and to get my courage together and get in there nude.

By the way, there are numerous microorganisms inside hot springs, including the brain eating amoeba. They can't hurt you unless you sniff water up your nose or drink the water untreated. So keep your head and face out of the water.
Written November 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Buffalo, NY340 contributions
Jan 2018 • Solo
As others have mentioned, this is more aptly a "warm spring." I visited on a brisk 25 F morning in January and was the only person there. Very accessible spring, only about a 10-15 minute walk from the parking area, which you can actually see across the canyon.

The water in the upper pool was warm enough to comfortably sit in with the cold air temperature. I would guess the water temp in the upper pool was in the upper 80s F. Lower pool felt colder. Sitting at the entrance to the cave was very comfortable, this water was in the upper 90s. Felt very nice with the cold outdoor air.

Scenery was wonderful, very relaxing to sit in on a cool morning. Would definitely recommend visiting if it's not crowded. However, I can see how it wouldn't be worth it if it is more crowded. Each pool only would comfortably hold 6-8 people - they aren't that big.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of trash left at the spring. I came across about 6 empty beer cans, an empty beer box, an empty bottle of wine, and an empty liquor bottle, as well as a towel and a glove. I picked up the beer cans and carried them out in the box, unfortunately I didn't have an extra bag to take the rest. I would recommend that each visitor bring an empty shopping bag to take out their own trash, as well as any extra they can fit - this would go a long way into keeping the area clean. It's a shame that people find it acceptable to litter in such a beautiful place.

Overall, I would recommend visiting when it is less crowded - which I would guess are weekdays when the temperatures are cold/cool. Skip out on it otherwise. It's the first spring I've explored in the area but I'd imagine some of the more remote ones are nicer during the crowded times.
Written January 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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