The camping ground is located in the middle of nowhere in Gila National Forest.
Dip in hot springs in the quiet forest.
Lone Camp Site
I went to the west side of Gila National Forest in the state of New Mexico, close to the border with Arizona.
The Sundial Springs Road was a dirt road, but normal cars can drive.
Be careful sometimes flash floods get across the road.
The entrance was closed by the steel gate.
I opened the unlocked gate as I made the reservation beforehand.
The camping ground is on the slightly terrace along the San Francisco River.
San Francisco Hot Springs is located at the edge of the water.
There are six full hookup RV sites that accommodate 34-foot trailers
There are two tent sites; one is primitive near the canyon.
I set up a camp in the other site with a roofed picnic table.
Also there is a rustic cabin.
It was thunderstorm in the late afternoon.
The friendly owner allowed me to escape into the cabin.
The bathhouse has two showers, two clean toilets, and a laundry.
Big and Little Private Pools
Overnight guests can use private pools for an hour per night.
There are two pools depending on seasons.
In a cold day the little pool for around three people is available.
The Big Pools consists of two step-like pools for around ten people.
The spring water is pumped from the well only on demand.
It takes over an hour for filling up the Big Pools.
Make sure to close the valve that gets stuck on the ground in order to soak in the lower pool.
Meanwhile thunder starts rumbling; the owner came saying that “you could use it for four hours because of the weather.”
Fortunately the thunder cloud went away, and I dipped in the pools.
Fresh hot water was provided with fine bubbles.
It was 106 degrees F around the water outlet.
Overflowed water from the upper pool started filling the lower one.
The water does not have strong smell.
Rather I felt the smell of wet forest after the storm.
Sundial Springs, Gila National Forest, New Mexico, USA
- Walk-in: Yes
- Lodging: Yes (Close in Winter)