Saturday, February 13, 2016

Got Springs? Big Bend

This morning (friday) we got up pretty early and rode our bikes down about 3 miles from Candelilla to the hot springs on the Rio Grande.

Candelilla is the first roadside primitive site up the gravel road about 1.5 miles from the main paved road. The road is posted as 4wd required, and is not passable for motorhomes or bigger trailers. Maybe a sprinter van or class B could make it, although I've not seen further up the road yet. Our trailer was tight on some of the turns and we did definitely need 4wd low range to get up a couple spots. We just went real slow driving in.

The springs are about 105 degrees F, and just flow out of the ground into the river. Someone in the past, early 1900's, built it into a little attraction. In the 40's and 50's there was a store, and it looks like 5 or 6 hotel rooms. Now there is just the shells of the buildings, and the spring fed hot tub is still there. The water flows out a hole in the tub, and over the edge into the river. The river water is refreshingly cooler, but not exactly polar bear cold.

We thought it would be empty this early in the morning, but there was a whole set of people from up north sitting in the hot water; a lady from Quebec, a guy from Connecticut, a couple from Massachusetts, and then us. Lyle Lovett was here too with his hair dyed red.

The last 1/2 mile of the road down to the hot springs is pretty neat, with small stone walls supporting the road along the gulley sides. There's a parking area with go no further signs for trailers, rvs and dually trucks.

On the way back, Alice stopped to look at the bluebells along the road. I'm thinking they grow better with the rain concentrated from running off the pavement.

Again this morning (Saturday), Annie and I rode down to the springs. The kids slept in. Again there were northerners there; a guy from Wisconsin, and a woman from Alaska / Washington. We also found Annie a new pet along the trail.

Today we're moving to another spot a little West in the park for 2 nights, and maybe another one after that for two more. We'll be looking for hot springs from now on. We heard Albuquerque could be good.


  1. You are in one of my favorite spots! Nice with hot springs and lots of sun. Watch out for Javelinas. They can be very aggressive and are plentiful in that area.

  2. We have seen them, and their bites out of the prickly pears.

  3. We have seen them, and their bites out of the prickly pears.


What do you think, where should we go next?