Santa Rosa Blue Hole
October 2, 2019
“Dang. That is COLD!”
Perhaps “dang” wasn’t the actual word shouted by my travel companion as he scrambled out of the Santa Rosa Blue Hole spring.
I stayed put. A deep pool of sixty-degree water is exactly what I craved in the middle of yet another 100+ degree day in New Mexico.
Why visit Santa Rosa Blue Hole?
Santa Rosa Blue Hole spring is a little hidden gem along a road trip through New Mexico.
Driving along Interstate 40, you will see miles of open space. Dry, dusty, windy. Hardly a tree in sight. No water in sight. And did I mention it is HOT?
But if you take exit 275 off the interstate and then zigzag a couple of times, you can be leaping into the cool blue waters of Santa Rosa Blue Hole.
How often do you get the opportunity to say you swam in the desert?
How to get to Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Your favorite navigational software will get you to the springs. It is easy to access off of Interstate 40.
That said, here are a few tips once you exit the major highway:
- As you drive down Blue Hole Road, you will see a park with water toys and then a sign for a Lake Park. These are not the springs. Drive a little further.
- The spring is behind the convention center.
- Drive around the backside of the convention center to park close to the spring entrance.
When to visit Santa Rosa Blue Hole
Santa Rosa Blue Hole is a city park. It is hard to comprehend that a gem such as this isn’t preserved at the state or national level, but the locals are proud of their spring.
The water temperature is in the low 60s so if you plan to swim, plan your visit according to the air temperature. Nights in New Mexico can be chilly and the winter daytime highs can struggle to top out in the 50s.
To have more elbow room, visit on a weekday, preferably mid-day. We visited in August on a Friday afternoon and had less than a handful of other visitors in the spring with us. One local told us we were lucky – there are usually more people. His opinion – if you visit on a weekend then you should expect hordes of people and to wait your turn on the dive platforms and the stairs.
Activities at the Santa Rosa Blue Hole spring include:
- Swimming. There are two platforms to jump from or you can take the stairs into the pool.
- Scuba-diving (check with the visitor center for details)
- Photography. If you visit when there aren’t any other swimmers, the blue water is phenomenal.
Tips for visiting
Here are a few tips we learned on our visit:
- There is no entrance fee. Walk into the springs as there is no need to stop at the convention center.
- We did not have to pay for parking. Other visitors have said there is usually a nominal fee for parking.
- There are bathrooms on site but they need renovation. Expect these to be one step from a pit toilet. There is no changing room in the bathroom.
- The springs are COLD. Year-round temperature is in the 60s.
- The stairs leading into the springs are slick. Use the hand-railing.
- The town of Santa Rosa is small. While the spring is a tourist gem, the town of Santa Rosa is not a tourist destination. The infrastructure isn’t there to support large-scale tourism.
There are a few lower-end hotels in the town of Santa Rosa. Most of the hotels are a few miles outside of the main downtown area.
Camping is available at Santa Rosa Lake State Park which is located about a 20-minute drive north of the spring. Primitive and hook-up sites are available. We planned to camp there but the evening temperatures were still in the low 100s so we bailed.
If you are heading west, check out Nativo Lodge in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’d consider it a destination hotel. The beautiful decor, even in the lobby and hallways, is Native American themed. Some of the rooms are painted and decorated by Native American artists.
If you are heading through New Mexico, Santa Rosa Blue Hole spring should be on your list of places to stop. Even though it isn’t a destination spot unto itself, it still makes a refreshing stop on a long road trip.
- Trip Date: August 2019
- Name: Santa Rosa Blue Hole spring
- Location: Santa Rosa New Mexico, USA.
- Fee: free
- Family-friendly: yep