In the early 1900s, the location of the Big Bend hot springs functioned as a small health spa featuring a bathhouse, motel, post office and trading post. Today, the old buildings are still intact and able to be viewed from the Hot Springs Canyon Rim Trail along with pictographs on the cliff walls that line the hike, a testament to the popularity of the area far before the 20th century.
The hot spring is still contained in the ruins of the old bathhouse and is situated at the edge of the Rio Grande River, making it a popular occurrence for visitors to dip back and forth between the hot and cold waters.
After spending three nights in the backcountry, we were excited to soak our sore bodies in the warm waters of the spring. We also figured it would clean us up a bit as it had been three days since our last shower. So, after we hiked back to the car from the Marufo Vega trail, we suited up and headed over to the Hot Springs Trailhead to make the short 1/4 mile walk to warm waters.
The water from the spring is 105 degrees, and at the time we visited, the river was around 50. While we didn’t ‘jump in the Rio Grande’, we did take the opportunity to dip our feet in the cold water several times, reducing swelling and increasing our sense of relaxation.
It wasn’t picturesque or private, but it was our first hot spring experience and another adventure to add to our memory of the trip.
For more information on the hot springs and other attractions in Big Bend National Park, Check out this guide book we used to plan our trip.