So what’s the perfect way to relax and literally soak in Mother Nature and all of her beauty? There is no better place to take it all off and try nude recreation than a hot spring. It is the perfect low/no stress environment to see what getting naked in nature really feels like for you and your significant other.
Earlier this summer we published an updated list of activities to do naked with your spouse or significant other. These were from readers of our first blog post on the topic who made suggestions of activities they would recommend. One of those suggestions was soaking in a wilderness hot spring. I added it to my list and after visiting one in New Mexico, I would recommend it to anyone. It’s like having your own hot tub but so much better.
I was visiting Santa Fe on business and had an extra day. Rather than stay in town, which is tempting because it’s a really great city to explore, I decided to see what hikes were recommended in the mountains. I quickly discovered that New Mexico is known for many amazing hot springs including several with fantastically scenic hikes to reach them and most of them clothing optional (you can be naked, topless or in your swimming suit… the choice is your’s).
The hot springs I read about really were all different. Some were very remote and hard to reach, while others were right off main roads and very crowded. Some had been purchased and turned into spas, while others were “trashed” by tourists and locals. Here is a list I found very helpful.
The one hot springs I kept reading about that appealed to me the most was the San Antonio Hot Springs. It features an amazingly scenic and beautiful five-mile hike by a creek up a canyon. The hike goes over a variety of landscapes but you’re climbing with every step up the canyon. The views are amazing.
I did the hike in early October and it was warm. I did it in late afternoon/early evening because I wanted to sit out and watch the stars fill the sky (bring a flashlight). The hike will take between 1.5-2.5 hours or however long it will take you to walk five miles up hill. Bring water. There is no water available on the hike. The hike alone was the highlight of my day, but that’s when I got to the hot springs.
The hike ends after passing an abandoned barn and cabin with four beautiful pools of water cascading down a hillside overlooking the creek and cliffs of the canyon. A hot spring fills the top pool and the water flows from one to the next. The top pool is 105 F and the temperature falls with each pool.
I was alone when I got to the springs. I took off my clothing and jumped into the top pool and enjoyed the soak while looking out at the cliffs, stream and the forest all around me. The water was crystal clear and actually a bit too warm for me. After 15 minutes, I had to take a seat on the rocks surrounding the pool to cool off. Sitting in the hot springs with stunning natural surrounding all around is an amazing feeling. The water is unbelievably comfortable and the four pools have sand bottoms so you can sit in them without the pain of a rock pinching your bottom.
I would call the San Antonio hot springs a little gem hidden in the New Mexico wilderness. You’ve really got to want to be there because it’s not an easy hike to it. From what I saw online, the springs can be very crowded. The area around the hot springs was a little beat up from the summer hiking season, but I found very little trash. The hot spring pools themselves were wonderfully maintained.
I stayed and soaked for nearly two hours, watching the sunset give way to the stars. It was an unbelievable night. My only complaints were that my wife wasn’t with me to enjoy it and that I was the only one there. The best part of social nudity is just that… social. I have yet to meet another person or couple nude in a hot tub that I didn’t enjoy talking with and sharing stories. While I was there for me, I would have enjoyed talking to other people too.
Sound like something you might want to try? I’m sure you have questions.
First off, there is nothing more wonderful than getting naked with your significant other on a beach, pool or in this case, hot springs. While you’ll be anxious at first, most people quickly realize that it really feels great. You’ll feel “exposed” and uncomfortable for a few minutes. Once the, “Are we crazy, what are we doing feeling wears off,” you’ll feel very comfortable and actually will get a rush from it. Sound cliche I know, but you’ll feel free, open and once the anxiety wears off, really good. And yes, because every guy asks about this, it isn’t uncommon to get an erection the first time you watch your significant other get naked. It will pass. Simply put a towel over your penis till it calms down or jump in the water and relaxi. This too shall pass. We recommend either going early or late to avoid other people. Just be prepared with a flashlight, etc.
As a side note, while we wrote this blog post for couples, if you’re a single woman who wants to try a nude hot spring, Christine Garvin’s article is excellent: “How to Approach Clothing Optional Hot Springs Around the World.” Give it a read.
Second, while I’m sure most couples who have never tried social nudity would want to be by themselves to start, if another couple or group of people are there already and naked, don’t worry about it. Just take your time and do what feels right. From our experiences most guys are all for getting naked and skinny dipping. It might take a little time for your wife/girlfriend to get comfortable. Step into the pool and relax. Once she feels comfortable (and she probably will but on her time frame) let her decide if she wants to take off her bikini top or drop her bathing suit completely. Be encouraging but not demanding. Let it be a shared experience and I promise you, it will be relaxing and fun for both of you.
So what do you do if there are other people there and they aren’t naked? Well, the decision is yours. Nudity is legal on U.S. Park Service lands so you are breaking no laws. Do what you’re comfortable with. We’ve been doing this for years and I have no problem taking my clothing off in a place where it is legal and recognized as clothing optional. That said, if someone was there with children, I would ask how much longer they were going to be there to see if we could wait them out or tell them that we intend on using the hot springs naked and discussing where we want to be and where they are. Again, the choice is yours. You’re in control.
I can tell you from what we’ve seen if there are other couples there with their bathing suits on, usually the other couples are waiting for someone to break the “nude” ice. This is what I mean. Read this Yelp Review of the San Antonio Hot Springs from Anthony J, “The three pools are out in the open on a hill side. If you are lucky like we were we saw some nudist in the springs. They were quick to get out and put on bathing suits when they saw us, but when we got to the pools they were very nice. We all had some really good conversation. After an hour of talking we all decided to go skinny dipping. The women were mid 30s and my friends and I were early 20s. That was the first time I’ve ever gone skinny dipping, and it was very enjoyable.” This happens a lot. Nudity is a big deal until you experience it and find it’s not a big deal at all.
We had something similar happen the first time we went to a very small, clothing optional beach in St. Maartin. There were four other younger 20/30 something aged couples, all in their bathing suits and bikinis on the beach when we arrived. As soon as we laid out our towels, I dropped my bathing suit and went skinny dipping in the ocean. By the time I got back to my wife, she had already taken her bikini top off and five minutes later put her bikini bottoms in her bag for safe keeping. By the time I had gotten out of the ocean for my swim, half the guys had already taken off their bathing suits and one woman her top. Within 30 minutes of my wife taking off her bikini and the two of us jumping in the ocean, all four couples were naked. By the time we left the beach, the four other couples were playing in the waves and walking down the beach in the buff like they had done it all their lives. The beach actually became pretty crowded and everyone was naked. This is a long example, but I’m surprised at how often all it takes is just one couple to get naked and everyone joins in.
Finally, and this is really important, so wouldn’t this hot spring be a wonderful place for romance, especially since you’re both naked already?
Nudity does not equal sex. All nudist will tell you one of the first surprises of social nudity is that while it can be romantic for you and your spouse, it isn’t a sexually charged environment. There is a time and place for everything and intimate touching and sex should be done in private, NOT in the open. If you’re lucky enough to have your own private pool or hot tub, go at it. But if you’re in a public place (beach, resort or in this case hot spring), it is a big no-no! Don’t ruin it for others (including families) that may surprise you by jumping in the hot spring while the two of you are getting hot. Sorry, it’s not acceptable.
So are you interested in trying a hot spring for you and your significant other? There are clothing optional hot springs in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon to name a few locations. There are a lot of reviews and locations. Some have been commercialized and you can rent your own private pool to be naked in or simply away from others. For the San Antonio Hot Springs, the address is: Forest Rd 376 (4 Miles N of FR 126) Jemez Springs, NM 87025. There is no cell phone service in this area.
More importantly, since I’m new to hot springs, if you have been to one and would recommend it as a great first time place for others to try social nudity, please send us a review and your thoughts on why it was a great first time experience for you both.
As anyone who has read our blog before knows, my wife and I are big supporters of enjoying nude vacations and getaways. For more than 20 years, we’ve found our clothing optional trips and adventures to be wonderful shared experiences for the two of us. To a couple who has never tried it before, it’s not what you would initially expect. It should be fun, exciting, freeing and relaxing. It is romantic too, but not sexual.
We started our blog nearly three years ago to encourage, answer questions and provide honest information and support to other couples who are interested in taking a nakation or trading their bathing suits for their birthday suits on an upcoming trip. We’ve found our trips to be very relaxing, romantic and freeing. It really has been a wonderful experience for us and potentially for you too.
Everyday our blog receives visits from 300-500 people interested in learning more. We invite and encourage you to ask questions. There are wonderful beaches to visit, clothing optional resorts to enjoy and completely nude vacations to discover. Please read our blog and let us know your questions and more importantly, share where you would recommend other couples go and what it was like for you.
Enjoy the soak!
12 thoughts on “New Mexico Hot Springs Perfect for First-Time Couples to Spring into Social Nudity”
San Antonio Springs is a wonderful place to go. I started going there in about 1990. I used to hike the 3 mile trail to the springs naked too but a piece of it crossed private property and the owner built a house blocking the trail. Still a great springs.
Thanks Brad. I love it. Wish I had had more time to go to other hot springs in the area. We don’t have hot springs in Ohio. Was an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
“Nudity is legal on U.S. Park Service lands so you are breaking no laws.”
Unfortunately, in this case you’re incorrect. The Supervisor of a National Forest has broad powers to order closures or usage restrictions on Forest Service land. That’s what’s happened in this case. In 2014, the Supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest (in which San Antonio Hot Springs lies) outlawed nudity within the entire forest (you can read the order at https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3806023.pdf). You’re lucky that you didn’t encounter a ranger while you were at the springs; the SFNF website states that you’ll be ticketed if you’re found nude on SFNF property. The order expires at the end of 2016, so maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll forget to renew it….
Johnathan, Thanks for the heads up. You are correct and I am wrong on this one. I went by what I had read online and several reviews. Always best to defer to someone local. Seems that it gets a lot of nude use, but yes, use at your own risk. Much appreciated. Thanks for pointing it out. Hopefully they won’t renew the order.
When hiking in New Mexico, were you concerned about possibly encountering venomous snakes?
Great question DS. Honestly, it never occurred to me to be concerned about snakes. I brought water and snack food but didn’t think twice about snakes. Anyone from New Mexico want to share their thoughts?
I would like to reblog your article about NM Hot Springs. If you agree, I will reprint it in a section of our website: http://www.roadrunnernaturists.com. We are a C/O club in central NM. BTW, snakes are like most wild things–they want to avoid humans if possible. You should always be aware though and carry a hiking staff to be used to move them off the trail if necessary.
Thanks for your note and suggestions on how to be prepared for snakes. Honestly, it never occurred to me. I appreciate it and yes, you can reprint the article. I hope to visit one day. Thank you!
Another wonderful place to soak in New Mexico is Stagecoach Hot Springs in Taos. http://catalystnewspaper.com/active-life/stagecoach-hot-springs-clothing-optional-soaking-on-the-rio-grande/
It is a beautiful 15 minute hike down to the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge. Soak in the pools or swim in the river. It is a magical place to relax and soak in the beauty of wonderful New Mexico. Clothing optional makes it that much more a back to nature experience.
Thanks so much for the suggestion Greg. My trip to the hot springs was amazing and I’d recommend it to anyone. I appreciate your suggestions and am sharing them too. Thank you for reading our blog. TC