A quick hike down into the Rio Grande Gorge just outside of Taos, NM will reward you with a riverside soak in Manby Hot Springs.

The Basics:

Hot springs abound in the Taos area. From the all-inclusive (and expensive) Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort to free, primitive hot springs like this one or neighboring Black Rock Hot Springs just to the north, there is no lack of hot water if you're looking for a nice soak. Like most natural hot springs, clothing is optional at Manby hot springs. This can present some awkward situations if you aren't down for nudity, or if you're bringing children here. Manby's main hot pool can fit about a dozen people, so it is pretty close-quarters. Be prepared.

To get to the trailhead from Taos, drive West on Hwy 64 toward the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. When you get to the Taos Regional Airport, turn right on Tune Dr. Go for a mile or two on this 2WD dirt road until you see the signed lefthand turn for the Manby Hot Springs trailhead. After this point, the road has some large dips/holes in it, so drive carefully if you have low clearance. The parking lot is at the edge of the Rio Grande River Gorge, and the hike begins down to the left.

The Hike & Hot Springs:

The hike takes you downward into the Rio Grande Gorge to the riverside hot springs. As shown by picture 3, the hike gets fairly rocky in spots. It is only about half to three-quarters of a mile one-way. However, a sturdy hiking sandal is the perfect shoe for the job, like Chacos, Tevas, or Keens. They will also come in handy to wear while in the hot springs. 
Once down to the river, you will find 2 main pools. The pool on the left is about 90 degrees. The main hot pool to the right (behind the old building ruins) is about 97 degrees. 

The Area

Just north along the Rio Grande river is another primitive hot springs named Black Rock. Also, the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge is just a few miles further down Hwy 64. It is definitely worth a stop for some photos if you're in this area. Refuel with some delicious, authentic New Mexican food at La Cueva in the center of Taos. Extend your Taos trip with an overnight stay in a vintage trailer. We stayed in Amy's Yellow Submarine, and it was the highlight of our trip! Other hikes in the area include Devisadero Peak or New Mexico's highest point, Wheeler Peak.

Pack List

  • Hiking Sandals (Chaco's are my recommendation)
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses, suncreen, hat
  • Towel
  • Backpack
  • Snacks and drinks (pack it out!) 
Show More
RT Distance 1.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Chillin, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Hot Springs
Swimming Hole


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