California is spoiled with its fair share of natural hot springs throughout the state. Whether you are seeking solitude in the warm waters of the desert or under the shade of redwood groves, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best natural and constructed California hot springs locations from north to south. Be forewarned that a majority of these hot springs are clothing optional, so don’t be surprised to see fellow bathers sans suits.
Top California Hot Springs
Wilbur Hot Springs
Located in the remote wilderness, this health retreat is known for restoring guests with mineral pools in a natural location. The property has many communal spaces, including a spacious kitchen where guests cook all their own meals. Campsites, cabins and private hotel rooms are available for overnight guests. Day passes start at $59.
Orr Hot Springs
Set within the Mendocino Coastal Range, this small resort has a number of communal and private mineral pools nestled within the surrounding redwoods. Lodging options include pristine yurts, which fulfill all your glamping dreams. A communal kitchen is available to all guests. Day passes start at $30 for adults and reservations are recommended in advance.
This 160-year old resort offers the only natural carbonated mineral baths in North America. These warm bubbly waters are what you would imagine bathing is a large tub of warm champagne would be like. This property is located in Mendocino County and boast lush grounds that are perfect for a post-dip walk. Cottages, suites, and rooms are available, and they all include a breakfast buffet. Day passes start at $35 for two hours or less.
Drakesbad Guest Ranch
With healing thermal waters that have been visited by guest for over 120 years, this peaceful resort in Lassen National Park has been enjoyed by generations of families. The hot springs pool has cooler water during the day, and then is heated up at night to mimic a giant hot tub under the stars. Only overnight guests are allowed on the property, where lodging consists of rustic cabins and three meals a day. Open only during the summer season.
Calistoga Hot Springs
This picturesque town located in Napa Valley, Calistoga is known for its array of excellent California hot spring resorts. If you’re looking for a resort that has kitchenettes and multiple hot and cold pools, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs is an excellent choice. If you prefer a more upscale experience, Indian Springs does not disappoint with a heated main and adult mineral pool and stunning grounds. Another option is the Roman Spa Resort that boasts multiple indoor/outdoor pools and beautiful Mediterranean gardens.
Known for its 1960s roots, this iconic Big Sur retreat has cliff side hot springs overlooking the Pacific Ocean that are known to have rejuvenating and healing powers. Overnight guests stay in cabins and three wholesome delicious meals are included. Esalen has several communal tubs, as wells as private claw foot tubs. Public night bathing is open for guest who are not staying on the grounds and runs from 1-3 a.m. Reservations for night bathing is required and passes are $35 per person.
Mercey Hot Springs
For a literal off-the-grid experience (the property is solar powered), this resort is an excellent place to unplug. Don’t expect a party atmosphere, since quiet time is strictly enforced. Instead soak in their individual therapeutic hot tubs, and then at the end of the day retreat to either a cozy cabin or an airstream trailer, under an uninterrupted sky full of stars. Day use starts at $30 for 4 hours or less.
Mono Hot Springs
Located in the Sierra National Forest, this summer wilderness resort is a great alternative to Yosemite. Treat yourself to private bathing tubs that are filled with natural mineral water and a communal mineral pool with views of Mount Hooper. There is also natural hot spring affectionately nicknamed Old Pedro that is located just across a nearby river. Guests have the option of staying in cabins, as well as camping options. There’s a restaurant on-site as well as a fully-stocked general store.
Beverly Hot Springs
Known as the only hot springs in Los Angeles, this East Hollywood spa is ideal for escaping the bustle of city life. The pools are single-sex and include a grotto mineral hot pool, cold plunge pool, sauna and steam room. The spa strictly enforces quiet within the pool areas, allowing for a truly relaxing experience. To complete the experience, try a full-body scrub that will leave your skin feeling baby soft.
Tecopa Hot Springs
For a completely natural hot springs experience in Death Valley, make your way to this lagoon-like watering hole that is surrounded completely by a desert landscape. If you want more developed hot springs option, the Tecopa Hot Springs Resort is a great alternative with simple motel rooms, camp sites or cabins with private mineral water tubs to soak in 24/7. A restaurant is available on the property. Day passes are $8 when room is available. Delight’s Hot Springs Resort is another option, where you can stay in their rustic cabins or purchase a day pass starting at $25.
Bashford’s Hot Mineral Spa
Located at the base of the Chocolate Mountains, soak in the healing waters with stunning views of the Salton Sea in the distance. There are six mineral pools on the property, as well as a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi. This spa has an RV-friendly campground, where a majority of guests are 55+ and over. Guests can purchase daily, weekly, and monthly passes.
Fountain of Youth Spa
Located in the Sonoran Desert region, this is one of Southern California’s most popular RV resorts that attract snowbirds looking for an active community within a mild desert climate. There are lot of pools to choose from, including a mineral one and a salt water one, as well as private soaking tubs with natural mineral water. There is also a wide-range of other activities, from fitness classes to massages. Similar with Bashford’s, there are daily, weekly and monthly RV hook-up options.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs
With live music on summer evenings, plenty of alcohol, private cabanas, and numerous hot/cold pools, this resort is a great getaway for a day. Glen Ivy Hot Springs is an hour and a half drive from San Diego, and features mineral pools, and mud baths. There are also four different restaurants and bars on-site. Daily passes start at $50.
El Morocco Inn & Spa
This Moroccan-themed resort in Desert Hot Springs (a town known for its hot spring resorts) provides a unique getaway to relax and enjoy a naturally heated mineral water pool and spa. The common areas and rooms are beautifully decorated and the hospitality instantly makes you feel at home. Other highlights include a nightly happy hour, mint tea, and a continental breakfast. Day spa passes are available at $50 per person or free with a one-hour massage or body treatment.
Agua Caliente County Park
West of Anza-Borrego State Park, this San Diego county park is the perfect place to camp under the stars, hike in the desert and relaxing in the thermal hot springs within three different pools: an indoor, outdoor, and children’s pool. The indoor therapeutic pool has large windows where you can view the mountains while soaking. Day use is $3 per person.
Wild Willy’s Hot Spring
Located near Mammoth Lake, this natural hot springs in the Eastern Sierras is free to the public and offers an unparalleled view of the surrounding mountain landscape. Park your car in the nearby gravel lot and then make your way down a boardwalk to two pools varying in temperature. The larger one feels like bathwater, while the smaller heart-shaped is hotter and feels more like a hot tub.
Hilltop Hot Springs
This is another worthwhile hot springs in the Mammoth Lake area that is located right off of Benton Road. This is a great manmade alternative to Wild Willy’s and fits only around 4 people max at a time. Go at sunrise to have the place to yourself and witness the beautiful surroundings of the Eastern Sierras in the early light.
Travertine Hot Springs
If you’re driving between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, this is a great spot to stop, soak, and breath in all that fresh mountain air. There are numerous mineral pools, the first one very close to the parking lot. If you’re looking for a more secluded experience, head down the hill from the main pool, where in a smaller pool you can enjoy your surroundings in silence. If you want to cool off there’s even a cold pool.
The Inn at Benton Hot Springs
Unplug in this remote resort in beautiful Mono County, where you can soak under a sky of stars. The Inn is located in a historic building with seven rooms, along with an additional five historic homes that feature private hot tubes and a rustic “glamping” cabin. There are also 11 rental camping sitesr that include a private hot tub. A hearty breakfast is included. Camping sites begin at $60.
What are your favorite California hot springs?
Photo source: Drakesbad, Calistoga, Tecopa, Agua Caliente
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