If you’re looking for a short day trip why not Jemez? It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get there and you can make a whole day of it or camp if you like. One of my favorite places in the Jemez to stop is at the McCauley Warm Springs. It is a moderate hike, so if you’re not in tip-top shape (like me) plan on taking your time and enjoy the scenery.
My son who was five at the time hiked this with us. My husband had to carry him on his shoulders a few times because he was tired, but other than that he did great! If you park at Battle Ship Rock ($4 parking fee but if you use the upper lot it is free.) you can hike the trail up to the warm springs. It is about a 5.5 mile trip (roundtrip). There are a few steep areas and switchbacks but I think it is worth it.
|Hike Time:||3.5 hours|
If you have a GPS take it with you. The coordinates are (Lat: 35.82887 Lon: -106.6442). When you get to the top of the trail you will see the warm springs on your right. There are a few pools to choose from. One is large and the others are small. If you go during the week you will likely be the only ones at the springs. The weekends are of course the busiest time to go. The water is warm and perfect for little ones because the springs are only about 2-3 feet deep. One word of caution I would like to mention is to be aware of the poison ivy. There isn’t any where the warm springs are but if you veer off the trail to see the waterfall be aware of it, especially with little ones. We have never had any trouble but I just thought I would mention it.
After your hike pack a picnic or head back into the town of Jemez for lunch. They have a really great place to eat burgers at Los Ojos. It is kid friendly and when your finished you can walk across the street for ice-cream. :)