Do you know Gila Hot Springs?
In a campground deep in the mountains of New Mexico, there is the hot springs.
I felt the same kind of atmosphere as secluded Japanese Ryokans’ open-air baths.
Perhaps the reason might be in an unlikely place.
It is 2.5 hours’ drive from El Paso to Silver City, a former mining town.
Another 1.5 hours’ drive is needed from Silver City to escape from the desert area and get to Gila Hot Springs, where is located at the riverside of the Gila River, streaming in the rich natural environment.
It is not a town, but there are several campgrounds for hillwalking.
Wildwood is one of the closest one to the source of the spring, and is a campground with a cabin.
A campground in the mountains is sometimes unclean, but it is not the case with here.
They have water washing rest rooms, clean shower rooms, cooking equipment and Wi-Fi.
They will close in winter.
Like a Ryokan’s open-air baths
There are 2 open-air baths, and you can soak at any hours.
Both of them are mixed baths; one is clothing required and the other is clothing optional.
Here is clothing required.
There are 4 tubs and 150 degrees hot water is gradually chilled in each tub.
Here is clothing optional.
There are 3 tubs with difference in height.
The water temperature is in a fine balance, so that you will enjoy all the tubs filled with hot, normal, and tepid water!
The spring water with a smooth texture is combined with the smell of virgin forest, which provides relaxation.
When I looked up, I found a lantern, which was used for Japanese festivals’ decoration.
Blue lanterns in the premises began softly shinning as the day ebbs.
They created nostalgic feel just like after a festival.
Perhaps that might be why I noticed Wabi-sabi that Japanese Ryokans’ open-air baths had.
Free-flowing tubs filled with hot, normal, and tepid water