The Paw Print
Ojo Caliente, NM
An hour and a half south on Highway 285 is Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, Resort and Spa. This is the most posh resort I have covered to date. But don’t let that dissuade you! There are plenty of ways to enjoy this hot springs without breaking the bank. Since this resort is so close to Alamosa, I didn’t look into lodging options.
I drove down to Ojo with my roommate and friend. The scenery changes greatly as we headed south with rolling hills that used to be active volcanoes. On our drive, the day was overcast, which led to some great weather watching on our journey. We arrived late in the afternoon on a Sunday in October and the lobby had throngs of people milling about and a line about 10 people deep. Though I wasn’t anticipating sharing my headspace with quite so many people, I made the most of it. After we got checked in, we headed to the changing rooms. They were adequate with nicely tiled floors, wood lockers, and toiletries in the shower area. We headed out to the pools, grateful that the rain had ceased but the clouds remained. Perfect weather for a hot spring soak.
The pools are set up in a J-shape with the largest, swimming-sized pool on the short side with the mud bath and pools ranging in temperature and mineral content up the long side. Mainly children and families were in the swimming pool so we headed to the other side to the Soda pool. This pool was inside of a stone house with shuttered windows and spring water pumped in through spouts in the wall. The cascading waters echoed off the stone adding to our relaxation. Next, we headed to the Lithia Pool to avoid the crowds, because this pool is smaller and somewhat cooler. We decided to brave the mud baths. We slathered mud on ourselves and sat in the last remaining rays of sun as it set behind the cliff dwellings. After rinsing off, we tried the Cliffside pools, where mineral water pours from clay pots; we stayed here for quite some time enjoying the sunset. The steam room was next for us but was a quick stop. The extreme heat was just too much after soaking in the mineral water for so long. After a brief walk across the courtyard, we decided to bask in the fireside glow and chat with other guests. After making ourselves presentable again, our last stop was the Artesian Restaurant located on resort property, the convenience can’t be matched. We opted to sit in the bar area, where the other guests welcomed us, and several tables around us exchanged pleasantries and gave us menu advice. My roommate and I split the spinach salad and the Asadero Cheese and Piñon Pesto pizza with red chile crust with special sauce. The pizza was a delectable bonus to a lovely day.