Truth or Consequences Hot Springs (My Experiences Part 1)

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Previously I gave an overview of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico as a hot springs and bathhouse town. (To read that post, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/05/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/.) Today I will share my experiences at four of the bathhouses I’ve visited in T or C.

I soaked at Blackstone Hotsprings (410 Austin, http://www.blackstonehotsprings.com/) once, in March of 2014, in one of the historic baths. According to http://www.blackstonehotsprings.com/HotspringBaths.shtml,

You’ll find the hottest water on the property in the Historic Baths, with temperatures ranging from 110 – 112 degrees. Cold “city water” is also provided so that you can cool the water if you prefer it less hot.

The Historic Baths were originally built in the 1930s. During renovation we found evidence of 10 baths in the original bathhouse. We were able to preserve four of them. Two became the Historic Baths.

I found the baths at Blackstone incredibly clean and well cared for. I would recommend the historic baths there to anyone who is super picky about the way things looks.

Blackstone Hotsprings also boasts The Wet Room. I did not soak in The Wet Room, but this is what the Blackstone website (http://www.blackstonehotsprings.com/HotspringBaths.shtml) says about it:

The Wet Room is a tropical paradise — a large soaking pool with steps, ledges and benches so you can be in whatever depth of hotspring water you prefer. There is also a geothermal steam room, with thin sheets of water trickling down each wall, and a drenching waterfall that massages your back and neck and shoulders.

Soaking in The Wet Room costs $25 per 50 minutes. Soaking in one of the historic baths costs $5 per 1/2 hour. All bath rates include a towel and drinking water.

IMG_4124I most recently soaked at Indian Springs  (218 Austin Street) in November 2015. According to  http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/attractions/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/, “Indian Springs was established in the 1930s and has been owned by the same family since 1980. Two private, natural-flowing hot spring pools are situated next to six ’40s-style efficiency apartments.”

The small pool at Indian Springs. Notice the rocks at the bottom of the pool.

This photo shows the small pool at Indian Springs. Each pool is in a private room with a door that locks. Notice the rocks at the bottom of the pool.

Indian Springs boasts a small pool and a large pool. I like the small pool because it is 4 feet, 2 inches deep. I’m rather short, so if I stand up in the small pool, the hot water laps at my shoulders. I think two people could fit into the small pool, but those two people would really have to like each other to do that. The large pool is better suited to two people soaking together.

The price of soaking at Indian Springs is either $5 or $6 (my memory is fuzzy) for half an hour. Towels are not provided, but can be rented for another dollar (or maybe 50 cents.)

The fellow (owner?) I always encounter at Indian Springs is soft-spoken and super nice.

SDC10019

This photo shows the back of the motel part of La Paloma. At night, the star on “vacancy” sign flashes.

I also soaked once at La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa (formerly Marshall Miracle Pools, according to http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/attractions/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/ and located at 311 Marr). My visit to La Paloma was in March of 2014. Like at Indian Springs, the baths here are natural and free flowing.

This is the pool I soaked in at La Paloma. Like at Indian Springs, each pool is in a separate, private room with a door that locks. The rope is to hold onto while one propels oneself through the water. Also like at Indian Springs, there are rocks on the floor of the pool.

This is the pool I soaked in at La Paloma. The rope is to hang onto while propelling oneself through the hot water.

When I visited La Paloma, there was a chart listing the temperature of the water in each individual pool. In the free-flowing pools, there is not way to add cooler water, so if one does not want a super hot soak, it helps to know the temperature of the water in each pool. I also noticed when I visited that nice incense was burning in the bathhouse and soothing music was playing, both contributing to a sense of peace and relaxation. I also really liked the painting on the walls of the private room  I soaked in. (To see the artwork, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/07/artwork-from-la-paloma/.)

The first time I soaked at La Paloma Too ( 300 Austin), in March of 2014, the bathhouse was still called Hay-Yo-Kay. SDC10024When I returned for a soak in November of 2014, ownership had changed and the bathhouse was called La Paloma Too.

According to the website for both La Paloma locations (http://www.lapalomahotspringsandspa.com/baths/baths.htm),

  • Both bathhouses are over ninety years old
  • Hot Artesian mineral water flows continuously through 11 gravel-bottom pools and is considered true *”structured” water. “Structured” water only exists in two natural flow bathhouses in T or C, NMSDC10025
  • Water temps range from 98 to 115 degrees with a pH of 7.0
  • The water consists of thirty-eight valued natural minerals and are [sic] not treated with chemicals
  • Noted high Lithium content with no unpleasant “sulfur” odor
  • All pools are in a private clothing-optional rooms in our bathhouses with benches for resting. There are absolutely no public displays of nudity allowed

    This is the pool I soaked in when I visited Hay-Yo-Kay, now La Paloma Too.

    This is the pool I soaked in when I visited Hay-Yo-Kay, now La Paloma Too.

  • Guests can soak by the half hour or by the hour and have access to public bathrooms and showers
  • No children under 7 years of age in pools or pool rooms. Guests 16 yrs and younger must be accompanied by adult at all times in the bathhouses
  • The only known bathhouse built over a hot mineral drainage canal in the continental U.S.

At either La Palaoma or La Paloma Too, a half hour soak is $6 per person; full-hour soaks are $10 per person. If you happen to be in Truth or Consequences on your birthday, both bathhouses offer a free soak on that special day.

The water in the free-flowing pools at Indian Springs, La Paloma, and La Paloma Too is very hot, and there is no way to add cool water as is possible at bathhouses where the tubs have faucets and drains. Whenever I soak at any of the bathhouses with free-flowing pools, I spend my half hour in and out, in and out of the pools. I love the super hot water, but I can only stay in it a few minutes at a time before I feel overheated. On at least a couple occasions, I’ve left Indian Springs (where I’ve soaked the most) feeling definitely high. WOW! I think it’s pretty cool to feel like I’m trippin’ without having to take any drugs.

*According to http://www.aquatechnology.net/frame426230.html, a “GENERAL definition of ‘altered’ or ‘structured’ water” is

…any mechanical, electrical, optical or other process or combinations thereof which alters the physical or chemical characteristics of water, thereby creating a new form or species of water which when utilized by plants, animals or humans demonstrates measurable and repeatable benefits to chemical, enzymatic and general cellular functions.

To read about my experiences at three more Truth or Consequences bathhouses, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/08/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs-my-experiences-part-2/.

I took all photos in this post.

8 Responses »

  1. Ok, so I’ve never been to or soaked in a hot spring. Do they all have private rooms, so no bathing suit needed? Are there group soaks? What does one wear? I think in some places around the world women soak naked in a communal tub. Do you shower before – bring your own soap? Is it necessary to rinse off after? Is it like the ocean where most people aren’t comfortable with the dry salt water on them? I assume one is completely relaxed after. Are there resting lounges? Obviously, I haven’t a clue! Love to all, Miss M

    • You have many questions. I have answers!

      My answers will only apply to the hot springs in Truth or Consequences (T or C).

      The seven bathhouses I’ve been to in T or C all have private rooms, each room with a tub. One of the springs I went to (which I have not yet written about) does have a group pool in addition to private ones. Even there, I soaked in a private pool. In the group/public/communal pool, a bathing suit is required. In the private tubs in private rooms, no bathing suit needed.

      I have showered before, when I felt particularly dirty. In the bathhouses with tubs akin to bathtubs in the home (with a faucet and a drain, tubs which are filled, tubs in which dirty water goes down the drain), it is ok to use soap in those tubs. (I haven’t written much about those kinds of bathhouses yet. I will write more about all of this in my post mostly about those kinds of baths.)

      I do not find it necessary to rinse off after. While the mineral water may be saltier than regular drinking water, I don’t think the water is salty enough to leave a “crust,” which is how some people say ocean water leaves them feeling.

      Most of the baths have benches (some padded, some covered with a sheet) for resting. Some have a chair, if not a bench. Sometimes the resting area is communal (but women only and clothing optional), while in other places it’s a more open setting and people wear clothes. At one bathhouse I like, there is a bench in each private room.

      I, for one, am completely relaxed after soaking.

      I’ll have more about soaking in the next couple of days. Let me know if you have any more questions after that.

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