From Santa Fe, we drove to Albuquerque and stopped at quite a few amazing spots on the way.
The first stop was Bandelier National Monument. It’s one hour loop. The hike is short, with occasional ladder climbs, and has small caves at the end.
Next, we headed to the Spence Hot Springs. It’s open to the public and free. The hike is a bit involved with a fair bit of a climb. Unfortunately, it was a complete disappointment. The pool was small. The water wasn’t very warm except inside a small cave where it all came from. I would recommend skipping it.
Then we headed to the second hot spring in the vicinity, McCauley Hot Springs. It’s a 7-mile round trip gorgeous hike. The springs look gorgeous but the water was even colder. Second disappointment of the day.
Finally, we decided to stop at Soda dam for the photos and that’s where we found the best hot springs in the area, Soda Springs. It is very easily accessible and it is warm and next to a cold waterfall. I would highly recommend spending at least an hour here. Do note that this is the same water that goes downstream to Jemez Hot Springs that charges 25$ an hour.
Eventually, we reached Albuquerque. There are a few small things we wanted to do here. Like checking out the first Microsoft office. Few know that Microsoft started in the unassuming city of Albuquerque before moving to Seattle.
One shop I would recommend checking out in Albuquerque is I scream ice cream.