There's nothing better than slipping into the healing waters of a geothermal hot spring. Thanks to California’s active landscape constantly pushing natural and mineral-rich springs up to the earth’s surface, the Golden State is full of incredible places to enjoy an authentic hot springs experience.
You may be looking for a historic California hot springs destination, like Wilbur Hot Springs, originally used by the area's Native American tribes. Or something family-friendly, such as Avila Hot Springs complete with adjoining camping accommodations and a waterslide pool. From the north end of the state to Palm Springs, we have the all the info on the best hot springs in California to soak your stress away.
Northern California is packed with hot springs that provide a wide range of experiences. That means everything from luxurious spa packages that combine mud baths with massages, to properties that take more holistic approaches and everything in between.
Drakesbad Guest Ranch: Find Drakesbad Guest Ranch tucked inside Lassen Volcanic National Park near the town of Chester. Top a day of horseback riding or hiking off with a soak in one of the resort's 135 degree natural mineral pools and end it with a home-cooked meal prepared by the Ranch Chef.
Orr Hot Springs: This small property along Mendocino Coastal Range in Ukiah is exceptionally secluded, which is a highlight considering its clothing-optional policies. There are two 104 degree communal pools as well as five private porcelain tubs and two rooftop tubs (great for stargazing!) and options for overnight guests including yurts, cottages, or camping sites. A large cold pool is also available.
Surprise Valley: Just south of the Oregon border in the town of Cedarville, Surprise Valley Hot Springs are rich in calcium sulphate, magnesium, and silica minerals for an extra rejuvenating experience. Each of the property's rooms feature a private hot springs tub (15 outdoor and four indoor) and is also just 30 miles west of the the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary.
Vichy Springs: This 150-year-old resort in Ukiah boasts an extra special feature. The waters at Vichy Springs are actually carbonated, so you can feel like you're soaking in a pool of champagne. The hot springs have been around since 1854, so it's been enjoyed by important figures like Mark Twain and Teddy Roosevelt, and its waters are known for having an extremely high mineral content similar to those of Vichy, France.
Wilbur Hot Springs: Incredibly peaceful and serene, Wilbur Hot Springs is set in 1800-acre dedicated Nature Preserve and its healing waters were originally used by the Patwin, Pomo, Wintun and Colusi Native American tribes of Northern California’s Coast Range mountains. This clothing-optional hot springs is located about 60 miles north of Calistoga and is solar powered to make it extra sustainable.
Harbin Hot Springs: After falling victim to a fire in 2015, the Harbin Hot Springs property near Middletown has since been reconstructed with brand new pools and structures to complement its 1,700 acre natural surroundings. Loyal guests have continued to return every year to take part in this clothing-optional wellness retreat, which also features complimentary yoga classes, newly-restored hiking trails, and organic vegetarian fare at the onsite cafe.
Wine Country California
There's no better detox from a weekend of wine tasting than a good hot springs soak.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs: The small town of Calistoga in north Napa Valley is the region's center of geothermal activity, and Calistoga Spa Hot Springs offers four outdoor mineral pools that range from 80 degrees in the multi-lane lap pool to a 104 degrees in the whirlpool. The spa's signature volcanic ash mud bath treatment features a four step process that includes Mud bath, Chromatherapy Mineral bath, Eucalyptus Steam bath, and Blanket Wrap.
California hot springs pair wonderfully with the salty sea breezes off the coast. Plus, the views are impossible to beat.
Esalen Institute: This stunning property has waterfront tubs that overlook the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur. The springs at Esalen Institute are reserved for workshops during the day, but are open to the public by reservation between 1 am and 3 am each night. Guests can choose between quiet and silent communal tubs to enjoy the sounds of the wave crashing on the rocks below.
Skyes Hot Springs: Sykes Hot Springs is a remote soaking spot that requires a ten mile hike from the trailhead at Big Sur Station in Big Sur to access.
Sycamore Mineral Springs: North of Pismo in Avila, Sycamore Mineral Springs features 24 open-air mineral spring hillside hot tubs and a picturesque heated waterfall lagoon. Each guest room comes with a private balcony or patio with its own mineral tub, as well.
Avila Hot Springs: Avila offers a well-rounded selection of family-friendly accommodations and activities, as well as a 20' x 20' therapeutic hot mineral pool and a fresh water heated swimming pool with a double water slide.
Planning an epic California road trip? Be sure to add one of Central California's hot springs to the itinerary!
Mercey Hot Springs: Mercey Hot Springs is found near the city of Hollister. Its claim to fame is that it has been around since the early 1900s, when its water was so popular it was bottled and sold in pharmacies.
Mono Hot Springs Resort: Although it is just 90 miles east of Fresno, the secluded mountain location that makes Mono Hot Springs so special means it takes about 2.5 hours to get there. The drive is worth it, though, as its outdoor mineral pool features spa jets and lovely views of Mt. Hooper in the distance.
Southern California is known for its hot weather, but don't miss out on the area's abundance of hot springs while visiting.
Tecopa Hot Springs: You'll fund Tecopa on the edge of famed Death Valley National Park 80 miles east of Las Vegas. Hikes to an elevated labyrinth on property for views of the mountains before rejuvenating one of their silky private tubs.
Delight’s Hot Springs: Just east of the edge of Death Valley off California Highway 127, Delight's Hot Springs has four pools (one of which is equipped for those with mobility challenged), overnight cabins, and an RV park.
Beverly Hot Springs: Famous for being the only natural hot spring spa in Los Angeles, Beverly Hot Springs contains naturally-carbonated warm mineral water from a spring discovered by accident in the 1930s by an oil-driller. The spa features massages, skin treatments, and even spray tanning.
Bashford’s Hot Spring Spa: This spring located a few miles southeast of the Salton Sea gets its hot water from 530-feet deep wells. There are a total of six mineral baths at Bashford's, as well as heated pools and RV-friendly camping spots.
Fountain of Youth Spa: A spa and RV resort, Fountain of Youth offers an adult-only desert getaway in Niland with a plethora of outdoor activities, classes, and events.
Agua Caliente: Nestled inside Anza Borrego Desert State Park about 100 miles east of San Diego, this property features two naturally-fed pools and campsites for overnight visitors. Camper have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor showers with water that comes from the natural hot spring.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs: Located between LA andPalm Springs, the facilities at Glen Ivy Hot Springs include red clay mud baths that helped it earn its nickname "ClubMud." This retreat also offers daily classes, rentable private cabanas, and 19 pools.
Palm Springs Area
As the name suggests, Palm Springs offers some of the best options for natural hot springs in California.
Two Bunch Palms: This lush 77-acre resort is sure to give off some tropical vibes. Two Bunch Palms is gated, adults-only, and can trace its history back to 1930. The waters here are low in sulfur and rich in lithium and have been flowing for over 600 years.
The Spring Resort and Day Spa: About 12 miles from Palm Springs proper, the Spring Resort and Day Spa is where you want to be for luxurious relaxation and an oasis-like spa setting. Overnight guests can indulge in villas complete with a private outdoor deck, a personal spring-fed tub, and a dedicated fire pit.
Eastern California has some serious thermal activity going on.
Benton Hot Springs: Experience your own little slice of the Wild West with a choice of 11 rental sites at Benton Hot Springs, each with a natural spring hot tub, picnic table, and fire pit. This property boasts some gorgeous rustic views of Mono County.
Travertine: Travertine is a group of free, public natural hot springs that are tucked away between limestone boulders near the town of Bridgeport.