Manby Hot Spring is just outside of Taos, New Mexico, and is well worth a short detour. The rutted and rough road B-007 branches off highway 522 and leads to Manby Hot Spring after an obscure left turn. Three pools with varying temperatures, good people, and mysterious structural remains made this stop on the Rio Grande river more enjoyable than Taylor and I could have expected.
The pools are contained by rock walls and sediment, and rising gas bubbles heat the trapped water. The closest pool furthest from the trail’s end is the hottest and smallest, while the other two pools are, “as warm as bathwater.” All three pools could hold fifteen people without being too crowded.
I started by easing into the cold, rushing river and joined Taylor in one of the cooler pools for a long sit and short talk with a man from Mexico. We exchanged English and Spanish translations before Taylor and I decided to hop into the warmest water. The smallest pool is full of rising bubbles and fine sediment on the bottom. We soaked in the hot water and talked with a couple from Alaska who took the pool once we left it.
Large clay bricks stacked into what used to be a wall caught our eyes as we were leaving, and we spent a few moments wondering when and why the walls were built. A couple of structures appeared to be built into the canyon wall, and a smaller structure used to stand next to the small, hot rock pool. Continually guessing, we started walking.
The one mile hike up to Taylor’s car seemed to fly by as we strolled along the path. The short detour to Manby Hot Spring relaxed our tired bodies and left us feeling euphoric as we made our way home from Albuquerque’s International Balloon Festival.
Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!