McCauley Hot Springs

MODERATE 85 reviews
#3 of 71 trails in

McCauley Hot Springs is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jemez Springs, New Mexico that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
885 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

hot springs

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

3 days ago

We are pretty inexperienced hikers and this was our first time to the area. We pretty much only found it by happenstance. Here are my personal tips to find it

-There is no real trailhead for this trail. This may be a given for some folks but don’t expect a sign directing you where to actually start. We started on trail 137(East Fork Trail) but the map posted there doesn’t really say anything about the springs.(Although there’s a generic sign saying McCauley Springs Trail ahead)

-When you start on that, you hike along a river uphill for a bit and you will finally find a downed sign with McCauley Springs to let you know you’re on the right path. (You still prob have about 2 miles to go)

-During one uphill switchback, it got pretty confusing. There’s a downed tree that was like a boarder but was hard to tell if you continue over it or if you switch directions. We switched directions and continued uphill that got us back to an obvious trail. I’m not sure what would’ve happened if we would’ve continued over the tree. We might still be in the woods right now.

-Cell signal was shotty with Verizon up there and guessing it prob is with most carriers. Would’ve been nice if we prepared and downloaded a map.

-Shoutout to all the people that left stacked rocks to let us know we were on the right path!

Really beautiful up there and well worth it once we made it up.

Edit: I’m not sure what was up with the latitude/longitude to start at but my GPS would not pull it up.

hiking
20 days ago

It was an excellent hike! Many switchbacks which gets confusing and there was a downed tree which blocked off the path and we got lost in a large burnt clearing for a bit. There are red trail markers to look out for. Not really a hot springs more luke warm but it was stunning. Go early as it gets very busy and some of the trail is in direct sun for a while so bring sunscreen!

1 month ago

Not really hot springs. Just warm springs. But the water features little fish that will nibble on your toes. We loved it.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Great hike. this is not a loop trail though, see users recordings. go out and back on the upper part of the shown loop only. the trail is clearly worn and easy to navigate.

1 month ago

epic.

1 month ago

Beautiful scenery, just astonishingly beautiful! Better to stay on the north side of the loop as the south side is washed out quite a bit. Would do this hike again, loved it!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Wow!!! Nice hike and a wonderful spring! Definitely warm, not hot. But extremely quiet and peaceful when no one else is around. Lots of little fishies nibbling my toes lol

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

We had heard that this trail was not clearly marked, however we followed what we thought the trail was and made it up there! The Springs are warm rather than hot, but it's beautiful once you get there! Biggest advice is, if it seems like the trail is trying to lead you one way.. take that path. We ran into a couple that was debating on which way to go, it very much seemed like there was a path trying to lead us left so we went left, they followed and they were glad they did.

Well.....we didn't actually make it. I guess we took a wrong turn somewhere after we took a left at the fallen sign. But we did lend up on top of Battleship Rock. Incredible views.

2 months ago

Beautiful trail I will definitely do again. I would not do this without the trail map downloaded tho!

hiking
2 months ago

1+15 hike up to the springs from Battleship picnic area, and well worth it. The trail was a little confusing at times but the most important things to keep in mind are as follows: Make a left at the fallen sign, then 5 minutes later the trail forks and you need to go right (up the steeper trail away from Battleship rock). Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Began with the intention of completing the McCauley Warm Springs trail. However, Trail 137 connects up to the Jemez Falls trail, as part of the East Fork Trail, making this about 8+ miles with the added bonus of viewing the falls. I agree with the other commentators that the MWS trail could be better marked... Parking for day-use is $5. Camping is also an option for the same ppd.
So, to add on to the MWS hike from Battleship rock, simply continue on the path after the quaint warm springs and climb upward to arrive at the Jemez Falls trail-head and picnic area.
Plenty of sun-dappled shade, lovely vistas, mountain breezes, and a light afternoon sprinkle.

3 months ago

I give five stars because it's a beautiful area and the springs are quite magical. There's a smaller, more shallow, warmer spring at the bottom and a bigger, less warm spring at the top that you can swim in. It's about three feet deep, I'd guess.
As others stated, the trail can be confusing though, as it's poorly marked. You start at the east trail map and take the trail to the left of the river. Keep right. Go left at the fallen sign. You'll eventually come to a fork, go right and follow the red trail markers on the trees. If you go left, on the edge of the mountain, you're going the wrong way and the trail will end.
It's a completely uphill trail so make sure to wear good shoes.
Overall, my friends and I loved it once we found it and it made the hike worthwhile. We had it completely to ourselves on a Thursday afternoon. We had to cut it short when it started to pour rain but it was fun! We'll definitely be back.
Also disclaimer that I did not know: It costs $5 (cash/check only) to park near the trail and that lot closes at 6. If you stay past that time, you'll have to find the woman in the RV to unlock the gate for you.

3 months ago

Trail is badly marked, one sign could save a lot of experienced hikers trouble. We missed it and ended up towards that top of the flat mtn and had to gps track back to main trail. But the Springs were warm and very nice.