New Mexico hot springs weekend

In the New Mexico mountains, the beautiful road leads to three great places to soak your worries away

New Ofuro bath at Ten Thousand Waves
 Alison Bank

48 hours of New Mexico soaks

FRIDAY

From Albuquerque, go north on I-25; take U.S. 550 west to State 4/Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway (jemezmountaintrail.org), and continue to milepost 23 and the Battleshop Rock Picnic Area ($5 parking; www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe) for Trail 137 and the hike to McCauley Warm Springs. Afterward, stay on State 4, then take State 501 through Los Alamos. Continue on State 502, then head northeast on State 30/Los Alamos Hwy. to Espanola, where you'll go north on U.S. 285/84. After 25 miles, check into Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa (from $119; ojospa.com). Dine at the resort's Artesian Restaurant ($$). 

SATURDAY

Morning is the least crowded time in the outdoor communal pools ($22 for nonguests). Hike to 700-year-old P'osi Pueblo. Then head just outside the resort's gates for clothes and local art at Natural Wear at the Mercantile Building (11 State 414; 505/ 583-9131). At night, soak in a private outdoor pool ($40 per couple for 50 minutes) by a kiva fireplace ($10 extra). 

SUNDAY

Check out of Ojo Caliente and drive about 11/4 hours south to Ten Thousand Waves Japanese Spa & Resort (on Hyde Park Rd., about 20 minutes from Santa Fe Plaza; ten thousandwaves.com). Pamper yourself in one of its private baths, including Waterfall ($35 per person for 55 minutes), a beautiful outdoor setting, and New Ofuro ($69 per person for 90 minutes), a traditional Japanese atmosphere. Extend your weekend with a stay in a room (from $139) combining Japanese and Southwestern touches.  

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