There are plenty of private and public natural hot springs in California to soothe your body, and soul while enjoying natural and aquatic spa experiences.
While many of these geothermal mineral pools are ancient and rugged, some are full-fledged hot spring resorts that feature mud baths, spa treatment, meditation, and yoga classes.
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Here are some of the best California hot springs where you can swim and soak your bones in. From Wilbur hot springs in northern California to the Beverly hot springs in Southern California, you’ll have to work to get to, find your next destination with this list of the best hot springs of California.
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Best Hot Springs in Northern California
Wilbur Hot Springs in California
Located on a large nature preserve, this northern California hot springs is just about 90 minutes drive from Sacramento and about 2 hours from San Francisco. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, visit Wilbur hot springs, a solar-powered mineral hot springs resort.
Their specialty is Japanese-style onsen structure springs that contain sulfur. The flumes and pools are open 24/7 and some of which are clothing optional. There’s even a dry sauna and a geyser on-site.
Apart from hot springs, you can join yoga classes and enjoy a massage or healing treatment. If you prefer outdoor activities, this 1800 acre natural preserve has several options for hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching.
Overall, the resort is peaceful, pet friendly, and the staff is very helpful and polite. There are cabins, hotel rooms(non AC) to stay overnight in the resort.
Address: 3375 Wilbur Springs Rd, Williams, CA 95987(Be sure to download offline map because of lack of WiFi and cell phone signal.)
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Crowley Hot Springs
Located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Crowley Hot Springs (which is also known as Wild Willy’s Hot Springs) is one of the most beautiful hot springs in Mammoth Lake.
It is a great weekend getaway in California for those adventurous ones who want to enjoy a panoramic view of Long Valley and the magnificent Eastern Sierra while soaking in mineral hot water.
You have to hike two miles along an elevated wooden walkway to reach these public pools which are completely free to access. Winter is the best time to enjoy these natural California hot springs that offers a majestic view of Sierra mountains in the background.
There are two main pools: The first one is 10-foot wide, 3 feet deep, and can accommodate up to 15 people. The pool temperature is around 98-102 degrees Fahrenheit, while the second one is a heart-shaped pool that is hotter and is located a few yards away near a big rock.
Tip: Bring some snacks and hot beverages while visiting these hot springs in northern California as you won’t find any service available.
Address: Hwy 395 Benton Crossing Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
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Calistoga Hot Springs in Northern California
Calistoga is also known as the “Spa Capital of Northern California” due to its abundance of hot springs. Located at the northern end of upper Napa Valley, Calistoga hot springs are providing its service since 1861.
It is an old hot spring establishment that is popular for its signature mud bath and spa treatment. They use warm mud made from volcanic ash to your neck.
If it doesn’t suit you, there is an Olympic-size mineral water pool known as the Roman Pool, and four geothermal mineral pools: a tranquil whirlpool at 104°F, a Soaking Pool at 100°F, a multi-lane Lap Pool at 80°F, and a wading pool for younger guests.
There are plenty of things to do in Calistoga. After a tiring day at Napa Valley wineries, sleep peacefully in their renovated guestrooms which are equipped with king-size beds, LED televisions, kitchenettes, and other basic amenities.
Address: 1006 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515
Contact: (707) 942-6269
The Esalen Institute
Nestled in the cliffs near Big Sur, Esalen Hot Springs is one of the best hot springs on the California coast. Who doesn’t love to soak in hot tubs overlooking the pristine Pacific Ocean? Trust me, it feels like heaven, especially at night.
The springs are operated by the Esalen Institute. There are indoor, outdoor, covered and exposed hot tubs, but reserved for their guest who stays overnight. General visitors can get access between 1-3 am for $20 per person upon reservation.
It is an incredible experience to soak in the natural geothermal mineral water and relax your soul while enjoying the dramatic ocean views in a quiet ambiance. Restrooms, showers, and changing rooms are also available for the guests.
Address: 55000 Hwy 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Contact: (888) 837-2536
Sierra Hot Spring Resort
This California hot spring is an awesome resort that is about 90 minutes drive from Lake Tahoe. It has three different spring areas: A Meditation pool, an Old bathhouse, and a Domed hot spring.
If you are looking for solitude, look no further than the Meditation pool situated in the middle of large pine trees in the Sierra Nevadas. It is a no-talking area and the pool temperature averages 102 degrees. The bathhouse is also warm and relaxing.
The main highlight of this resort is the Domed hot spring. Here the spring is inside the dome. Although it is the hottest spring in the resort, they have two cold springs too. A pool deck is available to relax and the sauna is also great. Various types of massage and spa are offered by therapists.
Please Note: Clothing is optional at this northern California hot springs.
You can book a room at this historic lodge for an overnight stay. For an affordable alternative, you can pitch your tent if you are looking for camping near a hot spring in California. Keep in mind, No camp stoves are allowed for fire safety.
Address: 521 Campbell Hot Springs Road, Sierraville, CA 96126
Contact: (530) 994-3773
Vichy Springs Resort
Established in 1854, this historic northern California hot springs resort is just 2 hours north of downtown San Francisco. Vichy Springs Resort is all about relaxation. The resort is open for day visits, overnight stays, and multi-day retreats.
The water has the same carbon dioxide (CO2) rich high mineral contents as the famous waters of Vichy, France. It is the one and only spring in North America that offers natural carbonated “Vichy” mineral baths.
Vichy also features a heated soaking pool and an Olympic-sized swimming pool with varying temperatures. Their other relaxing services include reflexology, herbal facial, and a range of massage and beauty treatments.
They have 700 acres of property where you can enjoy picnicking, hiking, and mountain biking. The trail leads to beautiful Chemisal Falls, where you can dive into the chilly pool. You can also find here the giant redwoods, lakes, rivers, and many wineries.
Address: 2605 Vichy Springs Rd, Ukiah, CA 95482
Contact: (707) 462-9515
You can check out the hot springs in California map for location details
Best Hot Springs in Southern California
Beverly Hot Springs
This southern California hot spring is the only natural hot springs spa in Los Angeles. This natural mineral-rich water is ideal for drinking and bathing. They have separate men’s and women’s spa sections. Each section has a hot water pool, cold plunge, dry sauna, steam bath, showers, and restroom.
The waters contain sodium bicarbonate and the temperature ranges from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The pools are beautifully decorated and are surrounded by ferns and statues of Buddha.
It is a Korean bathhouse that allows you to soak in natural hot springs. They even wash and condition your hair. Beverly hot springs are also renowned for their bamboo stick massage, body treatments, and skincare treatments.
It is not a pet-friendly place and NO cellphones are allowed in the spa – so that you can relax in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Tip: Eating is not allowed inside the spa. Grab a light snack beforehand. Free parking is available.
Address: 308 N Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Contact: (323) 734-7000
Deep Creek Hot Springs in Southern California
Located in the desert foothills of the San Bernardino National Forest in the northern Mojave Desert, Deep Creek Hot Springs was a hidden gem of southern California. Nowadays it has become very busy, and you will be surprised how popular it is despite the strenuous hike.
These natural hot springs of California are perfect for adventure lovers and hikers. This four-mile round trip trail is steep, sandy, and not that easy. Make sure to bring proper hiking shoes with good grip to maintain stability. You can also check our sorted list of best and cheap hiking boots with buying guide.
The trail is hard but rewarding also. Once you reach the springs, you will see 6-7 natural pools with temperatures ranging from 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit. It feels like a natural hot tub. This is a clothing-optional hot spring, so this may not be a place for you if you’re not comfortable with nudity.
Tips: Entry fee is $5 cash per person. Bring a lot of water.
Address: 6100 Bowen Ranch Rd, Apple Valley, CA 92307
Contact: (909) 382-2600
Desert Hot Springs
Desert hot spring consists of 20 hot spring spa resorts in southern California. It is just 20 minutes drive from downtown Palm Springs and about 2 hours from Los Angeles. If the smell of sulfur doesn’t appeal to you, you can soak your body in these odorless mineral hot springs.
The unique thing is they have both hot and cold mineral aquifers. Water is very soothing and replenishing. This Desert Hot Springs hotel features 8 high mineral riched whirlpools and soaking pools with varying temperatures for its guests.
Their spa services are extensive and affordable. They also feature luxurious massages, facials, and beauty treatments.
Address: 10805 Palm Dr, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Contact: (760) 251-6000
Sespe Hot Springs
This is a remote southern California hot spring located near Ojai which is about 2 hours drive from LA. At 194 degrees Fahrenheit, it is the hottest natural hot springs in California. Thankfully there are many natural pools where you can enjoy the water at the bathing temperature you like.
There are several hiking trails to get to Sespe Hot Spring, we will recommend the 18- mile one-way Piedra Blanca Trail. Please note, most of these trails are strenuous multi-day backpacking trips.
The best time to visit these hot springs is the month of fall, spring, and winter. Summer is very hot here.
If you follow the Piedra Blanca Trail, you can consider staying in a campsite near the Willett Hot Springs at the 8.5-mile mark. Be prepared for a long hike and bring plenty of water.
Hot Springs in Central California
Travertine Hot Springs
Travertine hot springs is located in Bridgeport on Highway 395. It is one of the most popular natural central California hot springs which is just 1-hour drive from Yosemite. There is a total of 4 pools with varying temperatures.
The first one is a small cement tub which is adjacent to the parking area. The other three tubs are within a short distance and are formed with rocks and calcium from the hot spring minerals. These are more authentic and give a natural feel. The sulfuric mud of these pools is very good for the skin.
Travertine hot springs is Free to access and clothing optional. So, be prepared if you are planning to visit with your family. The hot springs get a lot of traffic because of their convenient location. It is a pet-friendly hot spring in California but your pooch must be on leash.
Make sure to bring your own towel, drinking water, some snacks, and a trash bag to pick up your trash.
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
Sycamore offers an open-air authentic mineral springs experience in their hillside hot tubs and private hot tubs. Bonus: Majestic view and serene environment. The resort is located at the north of Pismo Beach.
Each hot tub can accommodate up to four people. I personally like their Oasis Waterfall Lagoon which is basically a lagoon-style pool with a cute waterfall.
Other relaxing and refreshing services offered by Sycamore include a large spa, body massage, yoga classes, and skin treatment. The resort is a 100-acre property, with some hiking trails in the surrounding area.
Don’t forget to check out Gardens of Avila Restaurant, a very popular place that serves healthy garden cuisine with seasonal, and locally grown produce.
Address: 1215 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405-8048
Contact: (805) 595-7302
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FAQ on Best California Hot Springs
1. Where are natural hot springs in Southern California?
A: Here are some natural Southern California hot springs where you can relax and rejuvenate your body with healing mineral-rich water: Desert Hot Springs, Deep Creek Hot Springs, Beverly Hot Springs, and Sycamore Hot Springs.
2. Where to find free hot springs in California?
A: Cowley Hot Springs and Travertine Hot Springs are completely free for visitors. You don’t need to spend a buck to access these California hot springs.
3. Are there hot springs in Northern California?
A: There are some beautiful hot springs in northern California that you shouldn’t miss. Wilbur hot springs, Calistoga hot springs, Sierra hot springs are some of the best among them.
4. What are the cheap hot springs in California?
A: There are more than hundreds of hot springs in California. Most of which are pretty expensive. Cowley hot springs is a great option that is free to access.