Volcanic activities sometimes have destructive influence on human society.
Out of them, an ultra-Plinian eruption brings on a particularly large explosion that causes global change in environment and mass extinction.
Around such supervolcano, hot springs have been gushing over one million years after the eruption.
Only 30 minutes’ drive from Jemez Springs will take you to Valles Caldera that erupted 1.15 million years ago.
The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) was seven; relatively small-scale for ultra-Plinian eruption, but the enormous explosion created the characteristic geography.
At the center of 13.7 miles field in diameter, you can see a typical lava dome.
2.5-hour Hiking for Round Trip
Between the caldera and Jemez Springs, there is a characteristic huge rock like a battleship.
You need to climb the mountain after leaving your car at the campground next to the rock.
Different from Spence Hot Springs nearby, you need certain preparation as two hours and a half round trip is required for the steep mountain trail.
There are some waymarks there, but it is likely to lose sight of the route due to fallen trees.
Fortunately, there are other hikers and you can help each other to get to the hot spring.
As for me, I got lost because I thought that normally hot springs are at the bottom of the canyon.
This spring is for some reason on a hillside.
From the bottom of shallow pools, extraordinary clear water is gushing.
The water temperature is as same as at body temperature, and it has no taste and smell.
Small fishes are swimming in the pool and they softly push the skin.
The water gushing from sand areas gradually makes a hot spring river.
Someone created an open-air bath with fallen trees, and the water is so tepid.
Right in front of you, there is a virgin forest that you can think of the great eruption in ancient days.
Ultra-Plinian eruption repeats.
Imagine it happens tomorrow and destroys all civilization.
McCauley Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, New Mexico, U.S.
- Walk-in: Yes
- Lodging: No