Boquillas Hot Springs, Texas

Kurt Norris
Last Updated: February 21st, 2023

Once a luxurious soaking resort, the Boquillas Hot Springs have long been left abandoned and now serve as a popular primitive thermal pool operating out of the foundational ruins of the historical bathhouse along the north banks of the picturesque Rio Grande.

Also known as the Langford Hot Springs, this thermal pool destination is only one of the many attractions situated within the idyllic Big Bend National Park and offers visitors a comfortable respite in which to soothe their weary bones after trekking one of the park’s many hiking trails or visiting one of the region’s more physically demanding landmarks.

The Boquillas Hot Springs is one of the most unique attractions in southern Texas. It entices both local visitors and tourists from around the world thanks to its combination of therapeutic waters and natural environment. However, the soaking experience the thermal pool provides becomes even more surreal when you consider the history behind the site.

From its earliest days as a hot spring resort to the best nearby accommodations and attractions, this is everything you need to know before visiting the Boquillas Hot Springs, Texas.

History of Boquillas Hot Springs

Big Bend National Park Via Jasperdo

Located within the Hot Springs Historic District of Big Bend National Park, the Boquillas Hot Springs boast a history that dates back thousands of years. Visitors can explore the breadth of human occupation within the region, starting from the rock art left on limestone cliffs from the prehistoric past to the remains of the Hot Springs Post Office from the 1900s.

Despite its long-standing habitation amongst the local indigenous tribes and early Euro-American settlers, the Boquillas Hot Springs only became a popular destination during the early 20th century. Heading the call to go west, J.O. Langford made his way to West Texas, where he heard about a natural spring renowned for its curative properties.

Intrigued by the mysterious spring, Langford immediately conceived of a spa-like resort similar to the Hot Springs in Arkansas. So, without even visiting the land, the Mississippi native filed a claim with the county surveyor’s office, and within two weeks, he and his family moved to their new home.

The first person to enjoy the therapeutic waters of the Boquillas Hot Springs was Langford himself, who had suffered from recurring bouts of malaria since he was a child. After a 21-day treatment of drinking and soaking in the mineral water, J.O. regained his health and set out to promote his newly established thermal pool resort and spa.

The bathhouse and the Hot Spring Village, which had developed to service the area around the site, have been abandoned since the 1940s and were officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places three decades later in 1974.

Today visitors can still soak in the same mineral waters once enjoyed by J.O. Langford and his family over a century ago while exploring the breathtaking views of the Rio Grande and the historical foundations first established by the famous settler.

Boquillas Hot Springs Facilities

Hot Springs @ Big Bend National Park, Texas Via daveynin

There are several hot springs lining the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. However, the Boquillas Hot Springs specifically refer to the one found within the old bathhouse of J.O. Langford. While this bathhouse has long been abandoned to ruins, visitors today still enjoy the facility within the convenient comforts of the building’s spring-filled foundations.

The hot spring water featured within the thermal pool is considered ancient and irreplaceable fossil water that has existed beneath the earth for thousands of years. During its time beneath the planet’s surface, the water accumulates high mineral concentrations and is geothermally heated.

Shooting its way back up through the earth’s crust, the mineral water filters itself into the natural pool, where it averages about 105 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, although there is some variation between seasons.

Thanks to its high mineral counts, the fossil waters of the Boquillas Hot Springs have become world-renowned for their healing properties. Combined with the soothing atmosphere of the national park, the Langford Hot Springs is easily one of the most popular attractions in western Texas and offers a tranquil retreat for thousands of visitors each year.

Attractions Near the Boquillas Hot Springs


While the Boquillas Hot Springs may be the biggest draw to the region, the protected lands of the Big Bend National Park offer visitors a much deeper exploration of the region’s geological landmarks and historical sites along several hiking trails that weave through the area.

One of the most popular hiking routes through the Big Bend National Park is the Hot Springs Canyon Trail. This 6-mile out-and-back hike guides visitors along the Rio Grande to the Hot Springs Historic District while passing through the picturesque Hot Spring Canyon. A moderately challenging hike, the trail ends at the hot springs, where visitors can unwind in the mineral waters.

Another fantastic yet slightly less challenging hiking trail that accentuates the natural beauty of the national park is the Boquillas Canyon Trail. This hiking path explores the region’s three breathtaking canyons while exploring ancient fossils from the region’s prehistoric oceans and indigenous inhabitants within the region’s limestone cliffs.

Accommodation Options at Boquillas Hot Springs, Texas


As a primitive hot spring destination, no accommodation options service the region immediately surrounding the Boquillas Hot Springs. Not even camping is permitted in the area around the thermal pool.

Luckily, Big Bend National Park features several fantastic campsites located only a short hike from the hot spring complex. The nearest grounds visitors can camp during their visit to the springs are the Rio Grande Village Campground & R.V. Campground.

For a more comfortable night stay, visitors can also opt to stay in the nearby community of Terlingua, which boasts a limited yet diverse selection of hotels and campgrounds. Visitors should book a site at the Space Cowboys Tent Camping for camping in a controlled setting. Alternatively, visitors seeking additional comforts should book a night at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge.

Getting to the Boquillas Hot Springs, Texas

Like many of the attractions within Big Bend National Park, the Boquillas Hot Springs can only be accessed via one of the hiking trails within the park. While visitors can begin their trek from several trailheads, which offer varying difficulties and lengths, the easiest path starts at the Hot Spring Trailhead.

The path is only half a mile round trip from the parking lot. However, this route bypasses many other scenic attractions within the park but provides a quick soak. From the springs, hikers can either trek the same path they took or continue to the trail for a one-mile loop hike.

Alternatively, visitors can start their hike from a trailhead slightly further away. While this trip is approximately three miles long, it also features more of the national park. It highlights many picturesque vistas of the region while accentuating the local desert plant life.

About The Author

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. He began his professional writing career while in school as a sports journalist. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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