Jemez Springs is a small mountain town along the Jemez River in New Mexico. It’s an easy drive from Albuquerque (about one hour) or Santa Fe (about 90 minutes). I fell in love with Jemez Springs during a one-night visit in late October. I had flown into Albuquerque for a road trip around Northern New Mexico, and this little town was my first stop. The autumn scenery around these parts was phenomenal — so many trees bursting with golden yellow leaves against a backdrop of red-hued mountains and cliffs. It was breathtaking.
What to do: Nature is definitely the star of this town. It’s called Jemez “Springs” because of its natural volcanic hot springs. There are several hikes you can do in the area to experience natural hot springs in the wild. I took the easy route and enjoyed the natural hot springs water at Jemez Hot Springs, which has an awesome (and clean!) collection of springs-fed pools of various temperatures.
Where to eat: There aren’t many restaurants in this town, so a dinner at Los Ojos Restaurant & Saloon is pretty much mandatory! Los Ojos has a fun, authentic wild west vibe, and their classic New Mexican dishes are super tasty.
Where to stay: Cañon del Rio is a lovely bed & breakfast situated right along the Jemez River. The owners were warm and friendly, the rooms were cozy and clean, and the property is beautiful, with plenty of room to roam and explore the nature around you. There’s also a pool, hot tub, and spa facilities.
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