Is there a way to hike to the San Antonio Hot Springs in the winter? We have never been, but are looking for a hike with a warm soak that we could do over the holidays. From what I've gathered online, I think the hike in would be about 5 miles, but I don't know any details, where to park in the winter, if snowshoes or GPS are necessary, if the trail is something we should even try to find on our own in the snow, etc. Is there anyone out there who can offer advice? Thanks!

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You want to follow Forest Road 132 from its closed gate off Hwy 126 a couple miles west of La Cueva (junction of 4 and 126 where the store is). No GPS needed .. just follow the right side of the river. Hot spring is uphill to the right, past a bunch of buildings.
Many years ago we would cross country ski the five miles. There is the road, which is a few miles east of Fenton Lake. I think that's Nm 126.
Snow shoes or cross country skis would be a requirement for sure. Count on snow, slush and ice. The road is easy to follow from the gate.
I went to San Antonio 8-10 years ago on a snowy afternoon and it was very nice (and lots of people). I believe you will need a 4wd to drive any length on the forest rd. to the springs
Road to S.A. Hot Springs is really bad. I know of two people who were in 4WD, high clearance trucks that got stuck this summer. Can't image how bad it would be in the snow and ice.
The forest service road that accesses the hot springs is CLOSED in winter. That's why you have to park at the gate and hike/snowshoe/cross-country ski in. We used to do it fairly regularly for our annual X-Mas day hike. One year, after renting snowshoes at REI, our friendly foursome were greeted by only partially snow-covered conditions. We had to carry our showshoes as mere hiking boots provided better transport. The springs, as usual, were incredible. And there were about 8-10 other people there, to boot.
There are two roads towards San Antonio Hot Spring from NM126. Forest Road 376 is a rough road that goes almost all the way to the spring in the summer. It starts after a steep climb from LaCueva. This is NOT the way to walk in because it is a long walk. Instead, you want to park at the gate for FR 132, across from the campground at the bridge on NM126 that crosses Rio San Antonio. The walking is easy along this road (and river). The road quits couple miles shy of the springs but a good trail continues. Ice Cave Trail up to Thompson Ridge joins this trail just past the end of the road. Coming down from Thompson Ridge is shorter but you have to work harder climbing up to your car at the end of the day. No need for 4WD, GPS, skis or snowshoes (unless it snows a lot).
Elichi's info is the best. I was referring to FR 376 ( I was wondering why people were saying it was only a couple of miles, walking that road seemed like 6-7!) and have never taken the road he refers to, that seems like the way to go. I knew of its existence but have never taken it.
We skiied that road/trail once in the 80's - the one on the east side of Rio San Antonio. I think it's shadier, denser forest, some tighter turns, if my memory is right. But shorter. Great to hear all the details from everyone else - good directions!!!
thanks for the report of the beauty!!
It sounds as if you walked in on Forest Road 376 which is west of the stream. Was it hard getting across the stream for the uphill hike to the springs? I ask because last time I took this route (this summer), the bridge across the stream was in very bad shape and we waded across. Thanks in advance for the information as we are planning a x-country jaunt to the springs soon. If the bridge is out, we will likely take the trail on the east side of the stream.

Thanks again.
A friend and I made it in yesterday and it was very nice. We could not find the beginning of the trail on the east of the stream and went the FR376 route. It appeared as if the bridge has been completely removed but, fortunately, the snow/ice cover on the stream was sufficient to cross with no problems.

Anyway, we had no luck finding the trail head for the trail on the east of the stream. The map made it sound as if it was FR132 but we did not immediately see this. From talking with others at the springs, it sounds as if there is another route to the springs that approaches directly from the east but I've not tried that either.


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