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All 63 USA National Parks Ranked Best to Worst



a map of the USA

There are a lot of national parks in the USA, so it can be hard to choose which one you might want to go to.

There are lots of factors in choosing which US national park is the best. Some of the things that go into the ranking of the parks are hiking trails, facilities, crowds, and photogenic. However, the biggest thing that goes into ranking national parks is the scenery. This list is mostly based on how breathtaking each park is. 


1. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited national parks.

Located in California, Yosemite National Park has lots of activities, accommodations, and accessibility. Yosemite Valley is the most famous stretch of road in the park and getting out of the car provides you with gorgeous views of the park.

There are lots of rock climbing routes for all kinds of rock climbers too. Iconic park views include El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. There are miles of trails available to you to go hiking and biking and gorgeous wildflowers and wildlife to take in.

Everything about Yosemite is great, which means that it gets lots of visitors every year. Don’t let the crowds intimidate you though, there are 750,000 acres of land to be explored. 

2. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

While some think this park is largely overshadowed by Yellowstone, it’s just as beautiful and a lot less crowded. Yellowstone and Grand Teton are the only two national parks in Wyoming. The most popular attraction in Grand Teton is Jackson Hole.

If you don’t want to get out and hike, the scenic drive down Teton Park Road offers great views of the park without getting out of your car. As for hikers, long-distance trails Cascade Canyon and Teton Crest are great hikes for experienced hikers. For non-experienced hikers, Jenny Lake Loop offers 7.6 miles of trail that everyone can hike. 

3. Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Sometimes called the “Crown of the Continent,” this jaw-dropping park lives up to its name. There are one million acres of wilderness in Montana’s backcountry. There are two mountain ranges and over 130 lakes. If you want to experience Glacier from your car, there’s the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The road crosses the Continental Divide and goes on for 50 miles. Glacier is one of the best national parks in the country. Glacier National Park stops at the Canada line and shares a border with Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada.

These parks are a part of the first International Peace Park. Both parks are two of the most popular in North America. 

4. Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park

Visiting this park will be like going back in time to the ice age. Harding Icefield sits in this park, which was a 700 square mile glacier that covered a majority of Alaska. You can take the 8.2-mile-long Harding Icefield Trail to view every part of the old glacier.

You can also hop in a kayak and take a guided tour of the fjords. The nearby city of Seward is a better place to find accommodations than inside the park itself. 

5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Many people assume that the most visited national park is Yellowstone or Grand Canyon, when in fact, it’s the Great Smoky Mountains. This is because of how accessible the park is. It goes through Tennessee and North Carolina and has many small towns and several major cities in it.

There is also the world-famous Appalachian Trail that stretches for 70 miles. You can access the park by any means necessary. The only thing that the park doesn’t have is a peak over 10,000 feet. The fall season is the most popular time for the Great Smoky Mountains.

The hillsides turn breathtaking shades of orange, red, and yellow. Another great perk of this park is that it’s free to visit. 

6. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

This park offers snowy mountain peaks, temperate rainforest ecosystems, and rugged coastlines. Located in Washington, Olympic National Park offers all of these terrains in one place. There’s Hurricane Ridge, Puget Sound, Ruby Beach, and Quinault Forest.

There are so many things to do here. You’ll definitely need more than one day to experience everything that Olympic National Park has to offer. You can go hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and biking. You can also go stargazing and take in the beauty of the galaxy. 

7. Wrangell St. Elias National Park

Wrangell St. Elias National Park

There are13.2 million acres of gorgeous landscape and four major mountain ranges to explore in this park. The park is said to be the same size as Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Switzerland combined. The park also has 60% of the USA’s glaciers. Also, this park is completely isolated. The size and location are perfect for those who want to truly getaway to the wilderness. 

8. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier’s peak can be seen from over 200 miles away when it’s clear outside. Every backpacker wants to hike the Wonderland Trail, which is a 93-mile long trail that goes through valleys and forests while going around the volcanic Mount Rainier.

However, the Wonderland Trail is not meant for inexperienced hikers. There is the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center that is the trailhead for easier trails in the park. Mount Rainier is still an active volcano that is expected to have future eruptions, so it’s always a challenge to hike it. It’s very close to Seattle too, which is why it’s so popular. 

9. Denali National Park

Denali National Park

Denali is Alaska’s most visited national park. The mountain Denali, which the park is named after, is the tallest peak in North America at 20,320 feet high. There are many campgrounds and lodges for you to stay at during your visit. However, the reason that Denali isn’t visited as much as the other national parks are because it’s very hard to get to. It’s also hard to explore around the park safely. 

10. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is the first national park and is most known for its geysers. The most famous geyser is Old Faithful. Yellowstone also has its own Grand Canyon, although it’s not the Grand Canyon that people think of when they hear Grand Canyon.

Even though millions of people visit the park each year, most don’t venture beyond the popular attractions. The park has 12 campgrounds and several restaurants and stores for everyone to visit. Even though the park is very popular, wildlife doesn’t care. There are often “bear jams” in the park that take park activity to a halt. 

11. Glacier Bay National Park

This park gets lots of visitors, but most of them are just stopping by on their way to an Alaskan cruise. However, this park deserves to be explored for everything it offers. You’re free to explore this park’s backcountry if you’ve already done the designated trails. While there aren’t any restaurants in park limits, there’s a town nearby where you can restock before heading back to Glacier Bay.

12. Zion National Park

This park is home to Angels Landing and is Utah’s pride and joy. Once you get to the tallest peak in the park, you can take a break and swim in the shallow water of the Narrows, which is the skinniest section of Zion Canyon. There are three campgrounds, but they fill up very fast. There are lots of towns around the park, though, and they all have plenty of places to stay. 

13. Katmai National Park and Preserve

When you think of Katmai National Park and Preserve, you should think of one animal: the brown bear. There are approximately 2,200 brown bears in this park, and there are companies that have viewing platforms where you can watch the brown bears catch salmon without disrupting them. This park is also home to the largest volcano eruption in the 20th century. Katmai is a gem in Alaska’s vast wilderness. 

14. North Cascades National Park

If you love waterfalls, North Cascades is perfect for you. Even though Washington state has Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park, North Cascades is the best park in the state if you want to hike. The trails stretch all over the backcountry and lead to beautiful scenery. 

There are lots of camping opportunities in North Cascades, so you won’t have to leave after just one day. You’ll be able to explore most of the park if you take your time. There are restaurants and lodges as well. 


15. Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are world-famous.

Home to one of the most well-known mountain ranges, this park is visited by over four million people each year. You can find the best views of the park while driving on Trail Ridge Road. Be careful though, because the road doesn’t have a guardrail. There are great hikes as well. Some treks include Glacier Gorge, Hallett Peak, and Longs Peak. 

16. Lake Clark National Park

This is another park that you can only get to by boat or plane. This park is double the size of Yellowstone without all the people. Only about 22,000 people visit Lake Clark every year. The park doesn’t have any roads on it, which means no cars, so expect complete peace and serenity when visiting Lake Clark.

17. Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale is located in Michigan, and it’s only accessible by boat, plane, or ferry. Everything about this park is remote; you can find wolves and moose wandering the hiking trails and maybe even the northern lights. It sits on Lake Michigan, so you can go diving to shipwrecks at the lake’s bottom. This park isn’t open year-round, so make sure that you plan your trip accordingly. 

18. Acadia National Park

This park has the best display of colors during fall. It sits on the North Atlantic Coast in Maine and has the best hiking trails on the northeast coast. The only downside to this park is how popular it is. It has over 3.5 million visitors every year. However, you can climb Cadillac Mountain, sit on the shore at Sand Beach, and just enjoy the colors of fall. 

19. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is home to the hoodoos, which are tall, skinny formations of rocks that stick up from the bottom of basins. There are many different levels of trails inside the park that will take you all around the canyon. The park is very small in comparison to the other national parks, but its beauty makes up for its lack in size. 

20. Death Valley National Park

Don’t let the name scare you away; this park is amazing. There are 21 trails, and this park has some of the best stargazing in the country. This park is massive; it has nine campsites, four lodges, and five restaurants. Because this park is so big, you’ll have to spend lots of time inside your car. 

21. Kings Canyon National Park

This park is adjacent to Sequoia and is full of Sequoia trees. The park is named after a creek that used to run through the canyon. It used to be named after General Ulysses S. Grant, and its name changed in 1940. It’s home to mule deer, pika, and yellow-bellied marmots. 

22. Shenandoah National Park

This park is home to the famous 105-mile Skyline Drive. It sits right outside Washington D.C. You can see the Blue Mountains everywhere you are in the park. You can also hike the Appalachian Trail because it stretches that far north. Don’t worry about trying to find anywhere to eat or sleep because there are places to do everything within this park. 

23. Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon can be seen from space; that’s how big it is. It’s also one of the seven wonders of the world. The park is more of a tourist attraction than anything, but you can still do other things like hiking here. There are lots of campgrounds and lodges here too. 

24. Big Bend National Park

In terms of places to stay, you won’t find yourself struggling to get a place to sleep here. You can’t do this park in one day, and you won’t have to. You can also climb the Chisos Mountains, venture into the Santa Elena Canyon, and then soak off in the hot springs. The only downside to this park is that it’s about three hours away from any major cities.

25. Sequoia National Park

Sequoia trees are massive, and this park connects to Kings Canyon National Park. The park has a signature sequoia named General Sherman. The park has open hiking, so you have lots of land to explore. This park was one of the first parks that were created specifically to protect wildlife. 

26. Redwood State & National Park

This park is home to the tallest trees on earth, and it protects them perfectly. It’s also home to the drive-thru tree, which is exactly what you would imagine. It’s a massive redwood that has a hole carved into it for you to drive through. However, this isn’t the only great thing about the park. It also has lots of campgrounds, hiking trails, and rivers. 

27. Arches National Park

This park has the most land-made arches in the world. There’s the Delicate Arch, the Tower Arch, the Landscape Arch, and the Double Arch. This park only has one campsite and it fills up fast, so don’t wait too long. You can go biking, hiking, and rock climbing here too. 

28. Crater Lake National Park 

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the USA. The park also sits inside a dormant volcano, Mt. Mazama. This park is enjoyable any time of year because the park gets covered by almost 50 inches of snow. You can go swimming and fishing here too. There aren’t many places to stay here, but you can buy groceries and eat. 

29. Lassen Volcanic National Park

This park has four different kinds of volcanoes: plug dome, composite, cinder cone, and shield. It has almost every ecosystem inside it. You’ll find over 150 miles of hiking trails and opportunities to swim, kayak, and fish. Don’t forget to visit the remains of Mt. Tehama, which used to rule the area.

30. Great Basin National Park

This park will shock you because it has lakes and mountain peaks amongst the flat desert that inhabits the rest of Nevada. However, the best part of this park is when the sun goes down because you can see the Milky Way, meteors, and millions of stars. This park isn’t as popular as some of the ones that surround it, but it’s truly an underrated gem. 

31. Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is broken into districts: the Island of the Sky and the Needles. The park can only be accessed by a handful of roads. The Island of the Sky is where most tourists visit. The Mesa Arch is the best place to take pictures. The Needles is more for people who like to go backpacking in the country.


32. Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

A national park in the Virgin Islands sounds like a win-win!

Virgin Islands National Park looks like a postcard. It covers the majority of St. John island. You can also go snorkeling, swimming, fishing, boating, and sailing in the water. To reach the island, you’ll need to drive, fly, or take a ferry. This island isn’t as crowded as other islands in the area, so you don’t have to worry about too many people. 

33. Great Sand Dunes National Park

This park has both alpine peaks and sandy dunes for everyone to explore. The dunes don’t get many visitors due to the heat index that they reach on an otherwise regular day. However, in this park, you can go fishing, hiking, sandboarding, horseback riding, and stargazing. You won’t get bored, but remember to go anytime other than summer. 

34. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

This park has lots of things to do and see, like a live orchestra, an art exhibit, theater productions, and railroad tours. You can go canoeing or kayaking down the Cuyahoga River. Brandywine Falls is breathtaking, and it’s what made Cuyahoga Valley so famous. There are only a handful of campsites here, though. 

35. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

This park is home to Kilauea and Mauna Loa, which are two of the most active volcanoes in Hawai’i. If you’ve ever wanted to see lava up close, you’ll get your chance here. They offer guided lava tours and self-guided lava tours. There are lots of hiking trails and a great rainforest for you to explore. Keep in mind that these are active volcanoes, so stay vigilant and keep up with park announcements. 

36. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is home to the Joshua Tree, and you can only find this tree here. It’s the oldest tree in the world, which is why so many people come to this park to see them. However, the trees aren’t the only thing that attracts visitors. The park also has many different kinds of wildflowers that give the desert horizon a brilliant splash of color. 

37. Haleakalā National Park

This park offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences like viewing the Milky Way, hiking a dormant volcano, or swimming in a jungle. This park’s main attraction is the Haleakalā Crater, which is a 2,270-foot crater that formed as the volcano eroded. There are a few campsites and lodges, but make sure to reserve your spot. 

38. Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is just another of Utah’s amazing national parks. This park is full of red rock canyons, buttes, and ridges. While this park might feel a lot like the others in its area, it’s worth it to see the beauty it has to offer. There’s an arch called the Hickman Bridge that’s over 130 feet long. 

39. Badlands National Park

While this park gets its fair share of visitors, most stay in their cars and don’t get out and explore. The park doesn’t have many designated trails, but you’re free to wander the backcountry as much as you please. Badlands has two campgrounds and one lodge; however, the lodge isn’t year-round like the campgrounds are. 


40. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Crocodiles and alligators are indigenous to the Everglades.

The Everglades is home to several different endangered species, which is one of the things that attracts so many people every year. This park has a few hiking trails; however, alligators and crocodiles like to sunbathe on them, so watch where you’re walking. While there aren’t any lodges or restaurants, there are different kinds of campsites to accommodate everyone’s needs. 

41. Mesa Verde National Park

This park is home to over 5,000 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings from 600 A.D. It was all made by the Ancestral Pueblo culture, and you can find more information on them at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. You can trek the 116-mile Trail of Ancients to take in everything that this park’s history has to offer. 

42. Channel Islands National Park 

This park is made up of five islands, and they are mostly undeveloped and undisturbed. Santa Cruz island is one of them, and it holds one of the biggest sea caves in the world. This park has a little bit of everything: you can go hiking up a mountain or snorkeling in crystal clear water. There’s only one campground on each island, and you have to walk everywhere you go. 

43. Biscayne National Park

There aren’t many hiking trails here, but you can go down paddling trails. 95% of this park is underwater, and it’s home to the world’s third-largest coral reef. The best way to explore this park is by snorkeling, diving, boating, or paddling. This park is only accessible by boat, but it’s worth it to get this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

44. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

While this park offers lots in terms of things to look at, it doesn’t have much to do. There are hiking trails and you can go kayaking in the river at the bottom of the canyon; however, there aren’t as many hiking trails as other parks because of how steep the canyon is. You can stay inside your car and take the South Rim Drive and take in the park that way.

45. Pinnacles National Park

California’s least-known national park has more to do than meets the eye. This park has lots of hiking trails that take you all over the volcanic rock formations and show you gorgeous scenery. There’s only one campground in this park, and it’s on the eastern side. Because there’s only one, make sure to get there soon enough that you have a place to sleep. 

46. Voyageurs National Park

Rainy Lake, Namakan Lake, Sany Point Lake, and Kabetogama Lake are what makes up 40% of this national park. Also, these are just the large lakes; there are 26 other lakes within this park. You can explore this park on guided boat tours, which is most likely the best way to do so. There are campsites and hiking trails available to everyone. 

47. Dry Tortugas National Park

Just because this is America’s least visited national park doesn’t mean that it has nothing to do. Only 1% of this park is dry land, which means that this park is perfect for going snorkeling and diving. You could visit coral reefs or shipwrecks and observe different aquatic life in its natural habitat. This park is at the end of the Florida Reef system, so the coral reefs are hardly visited and in great condition. 

48. Mammoth Caves National Park

Kentucky is home to Mammoth Caves, which is the largest underground cave in the world. It’s over 400 miles long, and the park has loads of tours led by the National Park Service rangers. If you find yourself feeling claustrophobic, there are lots of other things to do outside of the cave. There are more trails above ground, and there are two rivers for you to cool off in. 

49. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Peak is the tallest mountain peak in Texas. This park is actually home to four of Texas’s tallest peaks. This park is great for those who like to mountain climb and hike in desert terrains. While the other national parks have better scenery, this park is hardly crowded and has great things to do. 

50. American Samoa National Park

This park technically sits on land that the USA doesn’t own. This is the only national park that lies on the south side of the equator, and it’s very underdeveloped. The island isn’t made for tourists to visit. There are only 13 hiking trails, and no camping is allowed. However, the park’s beauty and uniqueness make up for it all.

51. Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Almost 1,000 feet below New Mexico is Carlsbad Caverns. It’s very close to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, so if you want to visit both, you could combine the trips. There isn’t much to do at this park when compared to the others. There are two trails, one restaurant, and primitive camping. 


52. Gates of the Arctic National Park

Gates of the Arctic National Park

The Gates of the Arctic is one of Alaska’s hidden gems.

The entirety of this park is above the arctic circle, and it has the Brooks Range, which is the tallest mountain range in America. This park is very difficult to access, though. You can either go on a sightseeing flight over the park or take a bush plane into it. Also, this park isn’t like the others at all. There are no trails, lodges, campgrounds, or roads. 

53. Wind Cave National Park

This cave is hidden beneath the grasslands of South Dakota. There are about 30 miles of hiking trails above the cave. Cave tours are available from the NPS rangers. There isn’t much to do in the park other than touring the cave, hiking the trails, and looking at the animals. There are no amenities like lodging, restaurants, or campsites. 

54. Indiana Dunes National Park

This park is only open during certain hours of the day. However, this park has a little bit of everything. There are marshes, prairies, swamps, and a forest. You can climb Mt. Tom, Mt. Jackson, or Mt. Holden to get gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. There isn’t anywhere to camp in this park, but there are many towns nearby for you to stay at. 

55. Congaree National Park

A lot of people think of Congaree as just swamplands because it used to be called Congaree Swamp National Monument. However, it’s so much more than that. While there aren’t any mountain peaks to climb, there are lots of hiking trails to explore the calming environment Congaree offers. There’s also a boardwalk that you can walk across instead of going through the dense wildlife. 

56. Petrified Forest National Park

This park used to be filled with lush green trees that were swallowed by a volcano eruption. The remains are beautifully colored rocks that are great to explore. However, this park isn’t open 24/7. It also doesn’t have any campgrounds, lodging, or restaurants. The main thing this park offers is something gorgeous to look at. 

57. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

This park is the only national park in North Dakota, and it’s the only park named after a president. It has paved paths that are easy to access and great backpacking trails. The park is home to mule deer, bison, prairie dogs, wild horses, and elk, so be extra careful. There’s also a painted canyon and a petrified forest. This park has a little bit of everything. 

58. Saguaro National Park

Located in Arizona, this park is most known for its saguaro cacti. Those cacti are the kind that everyone thinks of when they think of a cactus: two arms pointed towards the sky and attached to a base. This kind of cactus is actually only found in this region of the country. The Rincon Mountain District and the Tucson Mountain District are the two parts of this park, and they have over 150 miles of hiking trails between the two of them. 

59. Hot Springs National Park

Otherwise known as the American Spa, people have been going to this park to relax for years. Not only does this park have a natural hot spring, but it also has scenic drives and hiking trails. If you don’t want to unwind in the hot springs, there are also European bathhouses for you to enjoy. The only downside to this park is its popularity because over one million people flock to it yearly to experience the spring’s healing powers. 

60. Gateway Arch National Park

This park made people question what it really takes to be a national park. Located in the middle of St. Louis, Gateway Arch is home to the famous arch that marks Thomas Jefferson’s westward expansion. Because it’s in the middle of a city, you don’t need to look very far for food and lodging. There’s very easy access to every accommodation you could ask for.

62. White Sands National Park

This park is the second most recent to be named a national park. It used to be a national monument. It’s located in New Mexico and is full of white sand dunes made of gypsum crystals, which is the biggest white sand dunes in the world. Coyotes, rabbits, and bobcats live here so be careful of finding a habitat. 

62. Kobuk Valley National Park

This park is as far away from society as you could possibly get. This isn’t the kind of place that you want to go to if you prefer glamping over roughing it. While this park is an arctic wonderland, it’s also home to three sand dune fields. The only way to access this park is by plane, boat, or snowmobile, so don’t try to just drive up there. You’ll need to plan your trip and get boat or plane tickets. 

63. New River Gorge National Park

New River Gorge is the holy grail for rock climbers. It was just given national park status in 2021, but it was popular long before it was named a national park. The New River had protected status before the park had status, so you don’t have to worry about the river being full of pollution and trash. The park is located in West Virginia. 

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13 Best Hot Springs in Utah




In the heart of the rugged and diverse landscapes of Utah, a collection of natural geothermal wonders awaits your discovery – the state’s best-kept secrets, its hot springs. Utah’s hot springs offer an escape from the ordinary, a chance to soak in warm, healing waters while surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the state’s wilderness.

From hidden desert gems to alpine hideaways, Utah’s hot springs provide an array of unique experiences. In this guide, we embark on a journey to explore the finest hot springs Utah has to offer. Each of these geothermal treasures is complemented by its unique charm, beckoning travelers and nature enthusiasts to unwind in their therapeutic embrace. So, pack your sense of adventure and a desire for relaxation as we venture through the desert wonders, mountain retreats, and serene oases that make up the best hot springs in Utah.

1. Mystic Hot Springs/Monroe Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @mystichotsprings

Mystic Hot Springs, a unique oasis nestled between Fishlake National Forest and Sevier Plateau in Sevier County, Utah, offers a remarkable blend of natural wonder and bohemian charm. The resort boasts stunning valley views, making it a captivating destination. What sets these hot springs apart are the way they cascade over massive rock walls adorned with captivating calcium deposits. The hot spring waters here range from 100 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, offering a variety of soaking experiences. Several tubs are thoughtfully integrated into the natural landscape, providing visitors with a range of options to unwind in these soothing waters.
  • Location: Monroe, near Richfield off I-70, approximately 1.5 hours west of Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Temperature: 100-106°F
  • Things to do: Indulge in two spacious hot spring swimming pools, or choose the private vintage bathtubs surrounded by mineral-formed rocks for a truly Instagram-worthy experience. Water temperatures in the tubs vary, ranging from 99 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mystic Hot Springs goes beyond the relaxing soaks by offering mindful massages and Hypnotherapy sessions focused on aligning your body, mind, and heart.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but summer offers the added allure of music festivals and concerts.
  • Cost: Admission fees apply, and additional fees may be charged for specific services.
  • How to Reach: Located near Monroe, Utah, the hot springs are accessible from Richfield off I-70, and are approximately 1.5 hours west of Capitol Reef National Park.

2. Homestead Resort/Crater Hot Spring, Midway

Photo Courtesy: @homesteadresort_utah

Tucked away in the scenic foothills of the Wasatch Valley, Homestead Resort beckons as a tranquil hot spring retreat. Boasting an array of amenities, including a swimming pool, golfing facilities, and well-appointed rooms, it sets the stage for a relaxing escape. However, the crown jewel of this resort is the Crater Hot Spring, a geothermal marvel nestled within a 55-foot tall limestone rock.
  • Location: Midway, about 45 minutes east of Salt Lake City.
  • Temperature: 90-96°F
  • Things to do: Encased within a beehive-shaped limestone dome formed over 10,000 years ago, the Crater Hot Spring offers a unique experience regardless of the season. The underground cavern, bathed in natural light filtering through a hole in the dome’s apex, presents a distinctive destination within Utah. This geological wonder maintains a soothing water temperature between 90 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Admission fees apply, and additional fees may be charged for specific services.
  • How to reach: From Salt Lake City, take a drive that’s roughly 45 minutes to the east, and you’ll find yourself in the charming town of Midway, where Homestead Resort is nestled.

3. Inlet Park Hot Springs, Saratoga Springs

Photo Courtesy: @kyccl

Inlet Park Hot Springs, a publicly accessible natural hot spring nestled beside the picturesque Utah Lake, offers a convenient and relaxing soaking experience. The hot springs are easily reached with parking facilities nearby, ensuring accessibility for visitors. The main attraction here is a generously sized hot spring pool, stretching approximately 40 feet in length and width and plunging up to 3 feet deep. The water in this pool can reach balmy temperatures of up to 110 degrees, providing a rejuvenating soak. It’s advisable to wear water shoes or tread cautiously, as the popularity of this spot sometimes results in leftover debris. Please be aware that the hot springs close at 10pm, and soaking beyond that hour may incur substantial fines.

  • Location: Saratoga Springs, approximately 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City, situated northwest of the Provo metropolitan area.
  • Temperature: Up to 110°F
  • Things to do: Inlet Park Hot Springs is a favorite hotspot near Utah Lake, known for its three distinct pools, each offering water temperatures of up to 109 degrees. These pools feature muddy bottoms, so wearing water shoes is recommended if you prefer to keep your feet clean. When the heat becomes too much to bear, you can cool off in the closest pool to the lake, which tends to be muddier. The city has made efforts to develop the area around the hot springs, including a pathway from Inlet Park’s parking area.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Admission fees may apply.
  • How to reach: Located in Saratoga Springs, this hot spring is situated roughly 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City, to the northwest of the Provo metropolitan area.

4. Crystal Hot Springs, Honeyville

Photo Courtesy: @crystalhotsprings

Crystal Hot Springs, located just over an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City in Box Elder County, Utah, is a delightful family-friendly hot spring resort with a wide range of attractions. The resort boasts seven hot spring pools, three hot spring waterfalls, and even a thrilling waterslide. Whether you’re seeking a day of relaxation or an extended getaway, Crystal Hot Springs has you covered with RV spaces and camping options available. The hot spring pools feature a diverse range of temperatures, ranging from a comfortable 85 degrees to a toasty 110 degrees. After soaking up the warmth, cool off by taking an exhilarating plunge under the cold waterfall.

  • Location: Honeyville, approximately one hour north of Salt Lake City, in the Brigham City area.
  • Temperature: 85-110°F
  • Things to do: Crystal Hot Springs, known for having the highest mineral content in the world and the unique occurrence of hot and cold springs in a single location, offers an array of attractions. You can unwind in three mineral hot tubs, take a dip in two large pools, and experience the excitement of a double water slide, all of which are open year-round. The water temperatures in the pools and springs span a wide range, from 65 to 134 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Admission fees apply, and camping fees may vary.
  • How to reach: Situated in Honeyville, Crystal Hot Springs is conveniently located about one hour north of Salt Lake City, in the Brigham City area.

5. Veyo Pool Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @veyopool

Veyo Pool Hot Springs is a family-friendly hot spring resort located near Zion National Park in Utah. This inviting destination features a generously-sized hot spring-fed swimming pool with water temperatures ranging from 94 to 98 degrees. Whether you’re seeking a cozy room, a camping spot, or an RV site, Veyo Pool Hot Springs offers various accommodation options for all types of travelers.

Founded over a century ago, Veyo Pools is nestled amidst the dramatic desert canyons and towering cliffs of Utah. Although the pool’s temperature may not be scorching, it becomes an ideal retreat during the hot Utah summers when desert temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Families will find it particularly appealing, with historic farmhouse lodgings, tent camping areas, and ample RV spaces.

  • Location: Veyo, near Zion National Park, one of Utah’s premier national parks.
  • Temperature: 94-98°F
  • Things to do: Veyo Pool Hot Springs is an excellent choice if you’re planning to explore the national parks in the southern part of Utah. This historic hot spring destination offers a large pool filled with geothermal mineral water, providing a unique soaking experience. The resort features camping facilities, showers, restrooms, parking, a gift shop, and towel rentals.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, with summer being an ideal time for a refreshing dip.
  • Cost: Admission is $16, and children under 2 enter for free.
  • How to reach: Veyo Pool Hot Springs is located in Veyo, near Zion National Park, making it a convenient stop when exploring the southern national parks of Utah.

6. Diamond Fork/Fifth Water Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @bethanyboundlessbody

Diamond Fork Hot Springs, also known as Fifth Water Hot Springs, is a captivating natural oasis located approximately 30 minutes outside of Provo, Utah. These hot springs are renowned for their extraordinary natural beauty. As you venture on the moderate 2.5-mile hike to reach them, you’ll discover multiple rock-walled pools, each filled with milky blue and green-hued water that flows from one to another. The water temperature in these pools ranges up to a cozy 102 degrees, providing an array of soaking options.

  • Location: Accessible via the trailhead on Diamond Fork Road, about 1.5 hours southeast from Salt Lake City, and approximately 30 minutes east of Spanish Fork on U.S. 89.
  • Temperature: 102-111°F
  • Things to do: The journey to Diamond Fork Hot Springs is an adventure in itself. You’ll embark on a 2.5-mile moderate difficulty hike that takes you through scenic landscapes and past three picturesque waterfalls. The hike can be challenging, especially in winter when the road is closed, necessitating a 10-mile roundtrip trek. Upon reaching the hot springs, you can explore various pools of varying sizes and temperatures. For a quieter experience, hike to the higher second waterfall pools, which are less crowded and offer stunning views. It’s essential to bring plenty of water, wear suitable hiking shoes, and pack a towel and dry clothes for the hike back.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but be prepared for a longer hike in the winter when the road is closed.
  • Cost: Admission is free.
  • How to reach: The trailhead to Diamond Fork Hot Springs is situated on Diamond Fork Road, making it accessible from Salt Lake City and Spanish Fork. Be sure to check the road conditions, especially during winter, to plan your visit accordingly.

7. Meadow Hot Springs, Meadow

Photo Courtesy: @thereeemster

Meadow Hot Springs, located just south of Fillmore, Utah, in the charming town of Meadow, is a remarkable gem among natural hot springs in the United States. These hot springs offer a truly unique experience, set in a picturesque landscape. You’ll discover two clear water hot spring pools, with the larger one plunging to an impressive 25 feet deep and maintaining a toasty temperature of around 100 degrees. In the smaller pool, which is slightly cooler, you’ll even find small fish that offer a surprising spa experience as they give your feet a gentle manicure. It’s important to note that Meadow Hot Springs are privately owned, and visitors are kindly requested to respect the landowners’ rules, which allow them to share this natural wonder with the public.

  • Location: Situated in Meadow, Utah, this hot spring can be found just off I-15, roughly 1.5 hours south of Provo and two hours northwest of Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Temperature: 100°F
  • Things to do: Meadow Hot Springs is perfect for a relaxing soak and enjoying the scenic surroundings. With two clear water hot spring pools, you can choose between a warm dip or a slightly cooler experience. Don’t miss the chance to observe and interact with the small fish in the smaller pool, providing an unexpected and delightful experience.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round access, and it’s particularly enchanting in winter when you can relish the pristine environment, accentuated by the contrast between freezing air temperatures and the soothing hot waters.
  • Cost: Free admission.
  • How to reach: Meadow Hot Springs are conveniently located off I-15, accessible via a 5-mile, non-technical dirt road. While the journey might get your vehicle a little dirty, the experience is well worth it.

8. Baker Hot Springs: A Tranquil Desert Retreat

Photo Courtesy: @vinnyvedivechi

Nestled in the heart of Utah’s expansive West Desert, Baker Hot Springs offers an idyllic escape for those seeking solace amidst the arid wilderness. Just a short drive from Provo and in close proximity to the striking Great Basin National Park, this natural thermal wonder promises a serene oasis. As you embark on your journey, prepare to be enchanted by three cement-walled tubs brimming with warm, mineral-rich waters, providing the perfect setting for relaxation.

The road leading to Baker Hot Springs might be a bit rugged, and a 4×4 vehicle is advisable, but it will guide you directly to these inviting springs. While the tubs are not meticulously cleaned, this unspoiled state adds to the springs’ unique allure. The flexibility to adjust the water temperature by mixing the warm spring water with a refreshing flow of cold water allows for a personalized soaking experience. With its simplicity, undeveloped charm, and natural surroundings, Baker Hot Springs offers a truly exceptional desert escape.

  • Location: Delta, about two hours southwest of Provo in Utah’s West Desert.
  • Temperature: The springs boast a toasty temperature of around 107°F.
  • Things to do: Enjoy a peaceful soak, adjusting the water to your preferred temperature in the cement-walled tubs amidst the Utah desert.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round escapade for those seeking a tranquil soak in the midst of nature.
  • Cost: Admission is free, making it an accessible natural hot spring experience.
  • How to Reach: Accessing the hot springs involves a bit of a rough drive down a dirt road, preferably with a 4×4 vehicle for ease. The road leads directly to the springs.

9. Stinky Hot Springs

Stinky-Hot-Springs-UtahPhoto Courtesy: @wickedpixiecreation

Stinky Hot Springs, true to their name, are renowned for their distinct sulfuric aroma, showcasing the rich mineral content in their waters. Nestled on private property, the gracious owner allows public use, inviting enthusiasts to enjoy the therapeutic effects of these springs. Comprising three cement hot spring tubs, these geothermal pools provide a unique and rejuvenating soaking experience.

  • Location: Accessible right off a highway, ensuring convenient and straightforward access.
  • Temperature: The hot springs maintain a temperature that aligns with their rejuvenating properties, laden with minerals.
  • Things to do: Immerse yourself in the mineral-rich waters, experiencing the potential health benefits these springs have to offer.
  • Best time to visit: Stinky Hot Springs are a year-round retreat for those seeking the benefits of geothermal soaking.
  • Cost: The hot springs are open to the public for free, offering an accessible natural hot spring experience.

10. Belmont Hot Springs RV Park and Resort

Photo Courtesy: @belmontparksrec

Belmont Hot Springs RV Park and Resort is a unique and all-encompassing destination for hot spring enthusiasts. Situated in northern Utah, near the Idaho border, this resort offers a distinct blend of natural relaxation and outdoor adventure. What sets Belmont apart is its combination of hot spring pools, nearby hiking trails, and electrical hookups for RV travelers.

  • Location: Nestled in northern Utah, near the Idaho border, making it an ideal stop for travelers on a Southwest road trip.
  • Temperature: The hot springs at Belmont RV Park maintain a soothing jacuzzi-like temperature, ranging from 97 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Things to do: Enjoy a soak in the spacious hot spring lake, perfect for paddleboarding or leisurely relaxation. Scuba diving opportunities are available, providing a unique underwater perspective. The surrounding area features numerous hiking trails, and Nordic Valley Ski Resort is just a short drive away.
  • Best time to visit: Belmont Hot Springs welcomes visitors year-round, ensuring access to geothermal relaxation and outdoor activities in all seasons.
  • Cost: For those staying at the RV Park, the nightly fee is $40, with a weekly rate of $250. The extensive amenities provided include restrooms, showers, hot water, front desk services, laundry facilities, and a clubhouse. Nearby attractions, including ski slopes, add to the appeal of this remarkable destination.

11. Ogden Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @hotspringadventure

Discover the secluded, natural geothermal escape of Ogden Hot Springs in Utah. The status of these mountain springs may seem uncertain online, but rest assured, they’re open and ready for those seeking a tranquil and authentic soaking experience. A scenic hiking trail winds through the forest to reach these hidden mountain springs, each offering its unique temperature. Embrace the serene and refreshing natural waters in the company of lush wilderness. Ogden Hot Springs enforces a strict “Leave No Trace” policy, emphasizing a commitment to preserving the environment. The springs are pristine and serene, free from the interference of glass, pets, or littering. While parking near the springs is limited, convenient options are available at the base of the canyon, just a short walk away from this hidden gem.

  • Location: Ogden, Utah
  • Temperature: Typically ranging between 97 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Things to do: Explore the multiple pools tucked away in Ogden’s beautiful wilderness, surrounded by nature’s tranquility.
  • Best time to visit: Open year-round, these hot springs offer a warm retreat no matter the season.
  • Cost: Enjoy free admission, making Ogden Hot Springs a natural and budget-friendly destination. The springs feature multiple pools, free parking, and a clothing-optional atmosphere.
  • How to Reach: Accessible via a scenic hiking trail through the forest. Limited parking is available near the springs, with additional options at the base of the canyon, requiring a short walk to the springs.

12. Red Hill Hot Springs, Monroe

Photo Courtesy: @crazyraisinbuns

Nestled just a short 4-minute drive away from the renowned Mystic Hot Springs, Red Hill Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah, offers a tranquil escape without the crowds. These lesser-visited springs are a hidden gem, and the best part? They won’t cost you a dime. Four distinct pools provide options for relaxation, and the picturesque backdrop of the surrounding red rock formations adds to the allure of Red Hill Hot Springs.

Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Utah’s iconic red desert landscape, the inviting pools at Red Hill Hot Springs offer an intimate and serene soaking experience. These pools are relatively small, accommodating only a few people at a time. To savor the full wonder of these thermal springs, consider an early morning visit when you can have one of these little pieces of paradise all to yourself. Additionally, the winter season presents an excellent opportunity to enjoy these hot springs in solitude.

  • Location: Monroe, Utah
  • Temperature: Up to a toasty 154 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Things to do: Revel in the intimacy of smaller pools, surrounded by the beauty of red rock formations in the Utah desert.
  • Best time to visit: Open year-round, so you can enjoy the soothing waters in any season.
  • Cost: Free admission makes Red Hill Hot Springs a budget-friendly destination. The site includes amenities like pit toilets, a parking area, and multiple pools to choose from.

13. Horseshoe Warm Springs, Salt Lake City

Photo Courtesy: @jhsfire

Nestled amidst Utah’s striking desert plains, Horseshoe Warm Springs offer a soothing oasis surrounded by fragrant sagebrush. These natural hot springs are a haven for those seeking muscle relaxation and a connection with the unique beauty of the desert. The springs derive their name from the distinct horseshoe-shaped pools they form, creating a captivating sight in Skull Valley, located in western Utah. Unlike traditional hot springs, the waters here are considered “warm springs,” boasting a comfortable temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes Horseshoe Warm Springs particularly inviting during the summer months, offering a refreshing contrast to the desert’s arid climate.

The hot springs provide a tranquil escape, with a spacious deck running alongside, providing a perfect place for your four-legged friend to rest while you bask in the warm waters. Apart from the springs themselves, Horseshoe Warm Springs offer an array of experiences. The area is renowned for fishing, beckoning anglers to test their skills in its waters. Adventure enthusiasts will find plenty to do, including ATV rides and hiking trails, allowing you to explore the desert landscapes. Additionally, you have the opportunity to delve into history by visiting the nearby ghost town of Losepa.

  • Location: Skull Valley, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Temperature: The springs maintain a warm and consistent temperature of around 70 degrees.
  • Things to do: Rejuvenate with a soak in the horseshoe-shaped hot springs, and let your canine companion relax on the adjacent deck. Engage in fishing, explore nearby hiking trails, or embark on exciting ATV adventures in the area. For a touch of history, explore the intriguing ghost town of Losepa.
  • Best time to visit: Open year-round, with the summer season offering the allure of cooler waters amidst the desert heat.
  • Cost: Enjoy free admission, making Horseshoe Warm Springs a cost-effective escape.
  • How to Reach: Situated in Skull Valley near Salt Lake City, Horseshoe Warm Springs are easily accessible, offering a convenient retreat into the captivating desert landscapes.


Utah’s diverse and picturesque landscapes are not only renowned for their stunning red rock formations and majestic mountains but are also home to a collection of exquisite natural hot springs. From the mystic beauty of Mystic Hot Springs to the adventurous soak at Fifth Water Hot Springs and the calming serenity of Meadow Hot Springs, Utah’s geothermal wonders offer a range of experiences for all.


Are these hot springs safe for children and families?

Most hot springs in Utah are family-friendly, but it’s essential to consider the water temperature and your child’s tolerance. Some hot springs have varying pool temperatures, making it easier to find a comfortable spot for children. Always supervise children closely and check individual hot spring rules for age restrictions.

Are the hot springs clothing-optional?

The clothing policy varies depending on the hot spring. Some hot springs are clothing-optional, while others strictly require swimwear. Always review the specific rules for each hot spring and adhere to them.

Can I bring food and drinks to the hot springs?

Policies regarding food and drinks differ between hot springs. Some may allow small snacks, while others strictly prohibit outside food and drinks. Always respect the rules of the hot spring you’re visiting and clean up after yourself.

Is camping allowed at these hot springs?

Camping policies vary widely among hot springs. Some hot springs have nearby campgrounds or even on-site accommodations, while others may prohibit camping. Check the specific rules and availability of camping options at the hot spring you plan to visit.

What’s the best time to visit Utah’s hot springs?

Many hot springs can be enjoyed year-round. The best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer offers warm weather and often coincides with outdoor festivals, while winter provides a unique experience with snow-draped landscapes. Consider your tolerance for different temperatures and the activities you’d like to enjoy.

Are there any health precautions to take when visiting hot springs?

While hot springs are generally safe, it’s essential to be aware of potential health risks. Some hot springs have high mineral content, which can irritate sensitive skin or eyes. Avoid hot springs if you have open wounds or skin infections. Also, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol when soaking in hot springs.

What’s the etiquette at hot springs in Utah?

Observing proper hot spring etiquette is crucial. Always follow posted rules and guidelines, such as bathing suit requirements, no alcohol policies, and leave-no-trace principles. Respect the environment and other visitors by keeping noise levels to a minimum and cleaning up after yourself.

Are these hot springs wheelchair-accessible?

Accessibility varies from one hot spring to another. Some may have wheelchair-accessible facilities, while others may not be suitable for those with mobility challenges. Check with the specific hot spring to determine its accessibility features.

Do I need to make reservations in advance?

While some hot springs require reservations, many are open on a first-come, first-served basis. To secure your spot, especially during peak seasons or for accommodations, it’s advisable to make reservations ahead of time.

Can I bring my pet to the hot springs?

Pet policies differ among hot springs. Some are pet-friendly, while others do not allow animals. If you plan to bring your pet, check the specific rules of the hot spring to ensure you comply with their policies.

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11 Best Hot Springs in Arizona




Nestled amid the rugged landscapes and arid deserts of Arizona are some of nature’s best-kept secrets – therapeutic hot springs. These geothermal wonders offer an escape from the ordinary, a chance to soak in warmth, serenity, and the beauty of the Arizona wilderness.

From remote desert hideaways to alpine retreats, Arizona’s hot springs provide a range of unique experiences. In this guide, we unveil the finest hot springs the state has to offer. Join us as we explore the desert gems, mountain sanctuaries, and secluded oases that make up the best hot springs in Arizona.

1. Arizona Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @readtravelhike

Nestled in the heart of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona Hot Springs also known as Ringbolt Hot Spring offers a unique desert oasis with water temperatures ranging from pleasantly warm to hot. These naturally formed springs provide a therapeutic retreat, and reaching them involves a picturesque hike from the Arizona Hot Spring Trailhead. The trail leads you through scenic canyons, offering glimpses of indigenous flora and intriguing geological formations. Once you arrive at the hot springs, you’ll be treated to a series of pools overlooking the magnificent Colorado River. To access these inviting waters, a bit of hiking is required, making it a fantastic adventure for nature enthusiasts.

  • Location: Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona
  • Temperature: 110°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy a scenic hike, soak in the hot springs with stunning river views.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation or workshop attendance.
  • Cost: Fees vary based on reservations and workshops.
  • How to Reach: Starting in Boulder City, Nevada, drive along Highway 93 for approximately 10 miles, which will take you across the Hoover Dam. Once you’ve crossed the dam, make a left turn onto Horse Thief Canyon Road. You’ll discover convenient parking options right alongside the highway, serving Arizona Hot Spring Parking. 

2. Castle Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @castlehotsprings

Castle Hot Springs, located in Morristown, Arizona, is a historic and exclusive retreat known for its healing waters and serene environment. The springs offer a range of temperatures, ensuring a delightful soak for everyone. Access to this unique hot spring is exclusively through reservations. The resort offers both overnight stays and limited day-use visits, allowing visitors to indulge in the therapeutic hot springs amidst lush surroundings.

  • Location: Morristown, Arizona
  • Temperature: 120°F
  • Things to do: Experience the tranquility of the historic resort, unwind in the hot springs, and explore the lush surroundings.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees vary based on reservations and accommodations.
  • How to Reach: Accessible through a car, ensuring an exclusive and intimate experience.

3. El Dorado Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @insane_canine_cow_people

In the heart of Tonopah, Arizona, El Dorado Hot Springs offers a chance to immerse yourself in mineral-rich waters with temperatures ranging from pleasantly warm to hot. These private hot springs are accessible only through reservations made via their website. El Dorado Hot Springs provides private tubs and accommodations, ensuring a peaceful and intimate escape in the heart of the desert.

  • Location: Tonopah, Arizona
  • Temperature: 107°F
  • Things to do: Relax in private mineral-rich tubs, savor the desert ambiance, and find solace in the serene surroundings.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees vary based on reservations and accommodations.
  • How to Reach: Accessible through reservations made on their website, providing an intimate and secluded retreat. 

4. Essence of Tranquility

Photo Courtesy: @esdoornroosje

Essence of Tranquility, located in Safford, Arizona, offers an exclusive and intimate hot spring retreat with varying water temperatures. This private escape is accessible only through reservations made via their website. Surrounded by natural beauty, Essence of Tranquility ensures a tranquil environment for visitors to unwind and rejuvenate.

  • Location: Safford, Arizona
  • Temperature: 98°F-105°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy a peaceful soak in private tubs, appreciate the natural beauty of the desert, and find tranquility.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees vary based on reservations and accommodations.
  • How to Reach: Reservations must be made in advance for all types of accommodations, including camping; walk-in bookings are not permitted. A valid credit card is necessary to secure your reservation. 

5. Hot Well Dunes Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @nomads.trekkn

Hot Well Dunes Hot Springs, found near Bowie, Arizona, is a remote desert hot spring with water temperatures reaching up to 106°F. Access to these therapeutic waters is straightforward; visitors can reach them via a short walk from the parking area. The naturally heated water is piped into concrete pools, offering a relaxing soak in the midst of the Arizona desert. The dunes and desert landscape enhance the charm of this secluded spot, making it a hidden gem for those seeking solitude.

  • Location: Bowie, Arizona
  • Temperature: 106°F
  • Things to do: Relax in the natural pools, experience the unique desert landscape, and enjoy solitude.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Free.
  • How to Reach: Begin your journey in Safford, Arizona, by heading east on Highway 70 for approximately 7 miles. Take a right onto Haekel Road, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and proceed south for about 25 miles. Please ensure you have a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle to access the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area. 

6. Kaiser Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @duncansuhr

Kaiser Hot Springs, nestled in the breathtaking White Mountains of Arizona, provides an alpine escape with water temperatures ranging from 101-104°F. Access to these hot springs is by reservation only. This private property offers an intimate experience surrounded by alpine beauty. If you’re looking for a serene soak in an alpine setting, Kaiser Hot Springs is a fantastic choice.
  • Location: White Mountains, Arizona
  • Temperature: 101-104°F
  • Things to do: Relax in the alpine setting and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees apply, and reservations are required.
  • How to Reach: To access the Kaiser hot springs, embark on a moderate one-mile trek along a parched riverbed. Although the path to the Kaiser hot springs lacks clear markers, fear not—you won’t stray off course! Simply park by the roadside and commence your adventure by hiking down beneath the bridge.

7. Verde River Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @shwackem

Verde River Hot Springs is a hidden gem in the Tonto National Forest. These springs, with temperatures around 100-105°F, are accessible via a short hike along the picturesque Verde River. This hike is part of the adventure, and you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to immerse yourself in warm waters while surrounded by the beauty of the forest. It’s a perfect spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Location: Tonto National Forest, Arizona
  • Temperature: 100-105°F
  • Things to do: Hike to the hot springs and take in the scenic beauty of the Verde River.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Free.
  • How to Reach: Verde Hot Spring can be found approximately 30 miles to the southeast of Camp Verde, Arizona, or 86 miles if you’re traveling from Flagstaff. The forest roads leading to it are challenging, with rugged gravel and steep inclines, and can become muddy after rain, so plan your visit accordingly.

8. Sheep Bridge Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @fieldslesa

Sheep Bridge Hot Springs, also located in the Tonto National Forest, offer a peaceful retreat in the midst of the desert. The water temperatures hover around 100-105°F, and access is via a scenic hike through desert canyons. The journey to the hot springs is an adventure in itself, with rugged desert landscapes and the promise of a relaxing soak in a natural pool at the end. It’s an ideal spot for those looking for a desert escape.

  • Location: Tonto National Forest, Arizona
  • Temperature: 100-105°F
  • Things to do: Hike to the hot springs and experience the beauty of the desert landscape.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round.
  • Cost: Free.
  • How to Reach: Starting in Carefree, Arizona, take a scenic drive along Cave Creek Road for approximately 33 miles. Then, make a right turn onto Forest Road 269 and continue for about 12 miles. This route will lead you to the Sheep Bridge area, where you’ll find the inviting hot springs just a stone’s throw away. 

9. Kachina Mineral Springs

Kachina Mineral Springs
Photo Courtesy: @kachinamineralsprings

Kachina Mineral Springs, Safford, AZ, is a haven of natural lithia mineral waters with temperatures ranging from 98-100°F. Access is through private mineral baths and accommodations that can be reserved through their website. The serene setting and healing mineral waters make Kachina Mineral Springs a unique and rejuvenating escape for those in search of tranquility.

  • Location: Safford, AZ
  • Temperature: 108℉
  • Things to do: Enjoy private mineral baths and accommodations in a serene setting.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees vary based on reservations.
  • How to Reach: Reservations can be made through their website.

10. Clifton Hot Springs


Clifton Hot Springs is located in the charming town of Clifton, Arizona. With soothing water temperatures ranging from 97-100°F, this hidden gem offers a serene experience. To access these hot springs, you can make a reservation through their website. Clifton Hot Springs provides private, tub-style hot springs and a quiet environment, making it the perfect place for relaxation.

  • Location: Clifton, Arizona
  • Temperature: 97-100°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy private tub-style hot springs and soak in a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees apply based on reservations.
  • How to Reach: To get to the springs, hike a quarter of a mile downhill from where the old bridge used to be. Along the way, you’ll come across Owl Creek Campground, which has a lovely bridge over the Gila River and is part of the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area.

11. Lost Man Hot Spring

Photo Courtesy: @panzpaahntavong

Lost Man Hot Spring, located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona, a short drive south of the iconic Hoover Dam, is a well-kept geothermal secret. Despite its proximity to a major tourist attraction, Lost Man Hot Spring has managed to stay off the beaten path, making it one of Arizona’s hidden treasures. The spring’s temperature is around 133°F.. If you’re looking for a serene soak in the midst of stunning alpine beauty, Lost Man Hot Spring is an excellent choice.
  • Location: White Mountains, Arizona
  • Temperature: 133°F
  • Things to do: Relax in the alpine setting and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation only.
  • Cost: Fees apply, and reservations are required.
  • How to Reach: The Lost Man Hot Springs is situated on the border of Nevada and Arizona, approximately three miles from the Hoover Dam. You can reach the trailhead by entering the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Alternatively, you can access this natural stream by navigating a boat or kayak along the Colorado River.


As we conclude our journey through Arizona’s best hot springs, we hope you’ve been inspired to embark on your own adventure and experience the therapeutic benefits and natural beauty these geothermal wonders have to offer. From the serene alpine retreats to the hidden desert oases, each hot spring promises a rejuvenating escape. Remember to check accessibility and make any necessary reservations to ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit to these remarkable natural treasures. Whether you seek relaxation, solitude, or a unique outdoor experience, Arizona’s hot springs have something exceptional to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are the hot springs open year-round?

Yes, most hot springs in Arizona are accessible year-round. However, water temperatures can vary depending on the season.

Do I need to make reservations to visit hot springs?

It depends on the hot spring. Some require reservations for access, while others are freely accessible.

Are there any admission fees for the hot springs?

Some hot springs charge admission fees, while others are free to access. The costs can vary, so it’s essential to check in advance.

What should I bring when visiting hot springs?

When visiting hot springs, it’s a good idea to bring swimsuits, towels, water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear for the terrain. Some hot springs may not have changing facilities.

Are there any rules or guidelines I should be aware of when visiting hot springs?

Yes, it’s important to respect the natural environment. Most hot springs have rules against using soaps, shampoos, or chemicals in the water to protect the ecosystem. Always follow posted rules and guidelines to ensure a sustainable and enjoyable experience.

Can I camp near the hot springs?

In some cases, camping facilities or nearby campgrounds are available. However, it’s essential to check the specific hot spring’s regulations regarding camping.

Are there any health considerations when visiting hot springs?

Hot springs may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions. The minerals and heat can affect various health conditions, so if you have specific health concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a medical professional before visiting.

What’s the best time to visit hot springs to avoid crowds?

To avoid crowds, it’s often recommended to visit hot springs during off-peak times, such as early mornings and weekdays. Weekends and evenings tend to be busier.

Can I bring food and beverages to hot springs?

Some hot springs may allow you to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages, but it’s crucial to check each hot spring’s specific rules and guidelines.

Are there hot springs suitable for families with children?

Yes, there are hot springs that are family-friendly, but it’s important to check the hot spring’s regulations and suitability for children before planning your visit.

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Outdoor Blog

12 Best Hot Springs in California




California, known for its diverse landscapes and natural wonders, also boasts an impressive collection of hot springs. These geothermal gems offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in soothing, mineral-rich waters while surrounded by the beauty of the Golden State. We’ve researched and curated a list of the best hot springs in California that you absolutely must explore.

Let’s embark on a journey to discover some of California’s finest hot springs. Each of these springs offers a unique experience, with varying temperatures, settings, and activities to enjoy. Let’s dive in:

1. Deep Creek Hot Springs

Deep Creek Hot Spring California
Photo Courtesy: @hellocalifornia

Deep Creek Hot Springs, located in the San Bernardino National Forest, offers a picturesque escape. Nestled along the Pacific Crest Trail, the springs are a series of natural pools overlooking the Mojave Desert. With temperatures ranging from 100 to 105°F, this hot spring is ideal for relaxation and stunning views.

  • Location: San Bernardino National Forest, California
  • Temperature: 100-105°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy the natural pools, hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, and soak in breathtaking desert landscapes.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but early mornings and weekdays are less crowded.
  • Cost: A small access fee required.

2. Travertine Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy:

Travertine Hot Springs in the Eastern Sierra region offer a rustic and rejuvenating experience. These springs are renowned for their beautifully constructed rock tubs, providing a unique blend of comfort and natural beauty. With temperatures around 100-105°F, you can unwind while gazing at the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

  • Location: Bridgeport, California
  • Temperature: 100-105°F
  • Things to do: Relax in the rock tubs, take in scenic mountain views, and stargaze in the clear Eastern Sierra skies.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: Free

3. Mono Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @coco5_O

Nestled in the Sierra National Forest, Mono Hot Springs is a remote gem with a range of natural spring pools. The varying temperatures of these pools make them perfect for everyone, from those seeking relaxation to those wanting a warmer soak. Surrounded by lush forests and the South Fork of the San Joaquin River, it’s a tranquil haven.

  • Location: Sierra National Forest, California
  • Temperature: Varies (ranging from hot to cooler pools)
  • Things to do: Soak in the pools, hike the nearby trails, and enjoy the serene mountain environment.
  • Best time to visit: Summer and early fall
  • Cost: A resort fee applies for pool access.

4. Willett Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @lahikes

Willett Hot Springs offers a backcountry adventure in the Los Padres National Forest. Accessible via a hike along the Sespe Creek Trail, these springs are a hidden treasure in Southern California. The temperature of the main pool hovers around 100-105°F, providing a serene and remote escape.

  • Location: Los Padres National Forest, California
  • Temperature: 100-105°F
  • Things to do: Hike along Sespe Creek Trail, enjoy a secluded soak, and relish the wilderness.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but be prepared for a challenging hike.
  • Cost: Free

5. Harbin Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @visitlakecountyca

Harbin Hot Springs, nestled in the Napa Valley, offers a serene and unique retreat. Known for its clothing-optional policy, these springs have a range of pools and tubs with temperatures between 95-110°F. The tranquil surroundings add to the overall relaxation experience.

  • Location: Middletown, California
  • Temperature: 95-110°F
  • Things to do: Explore the beautifully landscaped pools, take yoga classes, and unwind in a clothing-optional environment.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but check for seasonal availability.
  • Cost: A day-use fee is required.

6. Orr Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @avalancheranch

Orr Hot Springs is a peaceful and rustic destination located in the rolling hills of Mendocino County. These springs feature temperature-regulated soaking tubs ranging from 105-107°F. The tranquil environment and beautiful gardens make it an ideal spot for relaxation.

  • Location: Ukiah, California
  • Temperature: 105-107°F
  • Things to do: Relax in temperature-controlled soaking tubs, explore the beautiful gardens, and enjoy a calming escape.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round
  • Cost: By reservation only.

7. Glen Ivy Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @glenivy_spa

Glen Ivy Hot Springs, situated in the Temescal Valley, provides a luxurious and therapeutic hot spring experience. With various pools, including a red clay mud bath, saline pool, and hot and cold plunges, you can enjoy temperatures ranging from 92-104°F.

  • Location: Temescal Valley, California
  • Temperature: 92-104°F
  • Things to do: Experience a variety of pools, mud baths, spa treatments, and relaxation in a beautifully landscaped setting.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but reservations are recommended for weekends.
  • Cost: Day passes and spa services available for a fee.

8. Esalen Hot Springs

Photo Courtesy: @mariejoelleparent

Esalen Hot Springs, located on the scenic Big Sur coast, is known for its stunning oceanfront pools. With temperatures around 100-104°F, these springs offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Access to the hot springs is primarily through workshops, overnight stays, or limited day-use reservations.

  • Location: Big Sur, California
  • Temperature: 100-104°F
  • Things to do: Soak in the oceanfront pools, participate in workshops, and enjoy the serene coastal environment.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation or workshop attendance.
  • Cost: Fees vary based on reservations and workshops.

9. Saline Valley Warm Springs

Photo Courtesy: @campoutwest

Saline Valley Warm Springs, located in Death Valley National Park, offers a remote and unique experience. The hot springs are in the high desert, with temperatures around 100-105°F. The springs provide stunning stargazing opportunities due to their isolated location.

  • Location: Death Valley National Park, California
  • Temperature: 100-105°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy the natural pools, experience excellent stargazing, and explore the surrounding desert landscape.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but be prepared for the remote location.
  • Cost: Free

10. Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center
Photo Courtesy: @littlemissychronicles

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, in the Los Padres National Forest, is known for its Zen Buddhism and natural hot springs. The springs feature temperature-controlled tubs with temperatures around 108-112°F. This location offers a peaceful and meditative environment.

  • Location: Los Padres National Forest, California
  • Temperature: 108-112°F
  • Things to do: Soak in the temperature-controlled tubs, experience Zen meditation, and enjoy the tranquility of the center.
  • Best time to visit: By reservation during their open season (usually spring to fall).
  • Cost: Costs vary, and reservations are typically required.

11. Warner Springs Ranch

Warner Springs Ranch
Photo Courtesy: @warnerspringsranch

Warner Springs Ranch, located in San Diego County, is known for its rich history and revitalizing mineral waters. The resort offers several pools and tubs with temperatures ranging from 98-104°F, surrounded by scenic landscapes.

  • Location: San Diego County, California
  • Temperature: 98-104°F
  • Things to do: Relax in the pools and tubs, explore the resort’s amenities, and enjoy the historical setting.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but check for resort availability and hours.
  • Cost: Costs vary based on amenities and services. Day use fees may apply.

12. Agua Caliente County Park

Photo Courtesy: @aguacalienteindians

Agua Caliente County Park, situated in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, offers hot springs in a family-friendly setting. The pools maintain temperatures around 102-105°F, making it an excellent destination for a day trip or camping.

  • Location: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
  • Temperature: 102-105°F
  • Things to do: Enjoy the hot spring pools, explore the state park, and camp in the desert environment.
  • Best time to visit: Year-round, but be prepared for desert conditions.
  • Cost: Day use fees apply, and additional camping fees may apply for overnight stays.

California’s hot springs offer a diverse range of experiences, from backcountry adventures to luxurious escapes. These geothermal wonders provide relaxation, healing, and a connection with nature. Before you visit, be sure to consider factors like temperature, health concerns, and reservation requirements to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. California’s hot springs promise a holistic approach to well-being, surrounded by the state’s stunning landscapes and serene environments. Whether you’re seeking relief for aching muscles, skin treatments, or simply a tranquil escape, California’s hot springs have something to offer every traveler. Enjoy your journey through the diverse geothermal treasures of the Golden State.

Hot Spring Etiquette: Tips for a Respectful Soak

Visiting hot springs can be a deeply relaxing and rejuvenating experience, but it’s important to do so with respect for the environment, other visitors, and the cultural significance of these natural wonders. To ensure a harmonious and enjoyable hot spring experience, here are some essential hot spring etiquette guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Respect the Rules: Each hot spring location may have specific rules and regulations. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these rules and adhere to them. Rules may include clothing-optional policies, quiet hours, and bans on alcohol or glass containers.
  1. Leave No Trace: The beauty of hot springs often lies in their pristine natural settings. Do not bring or use soap, shampoos, or any other chemicals in the water, as these can harm the environment. Follow designated paths, stay on established trails, and avoid trampling on sensitive vegetation.
  1. Quiet Enjoyment: Hot springs are places of relaxation and serenity. Keep noise levels to a minimum to ensure that other visitors can enjoy the tranquility. Avoid loud music, conversations, or other disturbances.
  1. Clothing Etiquette: Some hot springs have clothing-optional policies, while others require swimsuits. Always respect the designated dress code of the particular hot spring you are visiting. If it’s a clothing-optional location, be comfortable with the choice that others may make regarding clothing.
  1. Alcohol and Drugs: Many hot springs prohibit alcohol or drugs. Consumption of these substances can be dangerous when combined with the hot water, and they may lead to disruptive behavior. Respect the rules and refrain from using such substances during your visit.
  1. Water Conservation: In areas where water is limited, be mindful of excessive water usage. Do not waste or contaminate the hot spring water. Remember that these waters are valuable natural resources.
  1. Health and Hygiene: Ensure you are in good health and not experiencing any contagious conditions before visiting a hot spring. This helps protect other visitors from potential illness. It’s also a good idea to shower before entering the hot spring.
  1. Limit Your Stay: To allow others the opportunity to enjoy the hot spring, be mindful of how long you soak. Extended stays can prevent other visitors from experiencing the hot spring. If the hot spring is crowded, consider limiting your soak to a reasonable duration.
  1. Crowded Times: If you prefer a more private soak, consider visiting during off-peak times. Early mornings and weekdays are typically less busy than weekends and evenings. Be respectful of the space and privacy of others.
  1. Photography and Technology: Refrain from taking photos or using electronic devices in and around the hot spring. These actions can disturb the natural ambiance and the privacy of other visitors.
  1. Local Communities: When visiting hot springs in or near local communities, be mindful of the local culture and respect private property. Follow parking and access guidelines to avoid inconveniencing residents.
  2. Safety First: Be cautious when entering hot springs, as water temperatures can vary. Test the water with your hand or foot before fully immersing yourself. Avoid submerging your head for extended periods, as water temperatures can fluctuate and pose risks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Exploring Hot Springs in California

Hot springs in California offer a unique and rejuvenating experience, but it’s common to have questions before your visit. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions about enjoying these natural wonders:

Are hot springs open year-round?

Most hot springs in California are open year-round. However, accessibility may be affected by weather conditions, and some may have seasonal variations in water levels.

Can I bring my children to hot springs?

It depends on the specific hot spring. Some hot springs are family-friendly and suitable for children, while others may have age restrictions. Always check the rules of the hot spring you plan to visit.

Do hot springs have changing facilities and restrooms?

Facilities vary by location. Some hot springs have changing rooms and restrooms, while others may be more rustic with minimal amenities. Be prepared by checking in advance.

What should I wear when visiting hot springs?

The dress code can vary. Some hot springs require swimsuits, while others have clothing-optional policies. Research the specific hot spring’s policy and adhere to it.

Are pets allowed at hot springs?

Pets are generally not allowed at hot springs due to hygiene and environmental considerations. Check the rules of the hot spring for any exceptions.

Can I camp near hot springs?

Some hot springs have nearby campgrounds, while others prohibit camping in the immediate vicinity. Research camping options and whether permits are required.

Is alcohol allowed at hot springs?

Many hot springs have policies against alcohol to ensure safety and a peaceful atmosphere. Always respect the rules and regulations of the hot spring.

Are hot springs safe for people with health conditions?

Hot springs can affect individuals with certain health conditions. People with heart problems, respiratory issues, skin sensitivities, or pregnant individuals should consult with a medical professional before visiting. Always listen to your body and avoid overheating.

Are there natural hazards to be aware of at hot springs?

While hot springs are generally safe, natural hazards like uneven terrain, slippery rocks, and changing water temperatures can pose risks. Use caution when entering and exiting the springs.

How crowded are hot springs, and when is the best time to visit?

Crowds can vary greatly depending on the hot spring and the time of day or year. To avoid crowds, consider visiting during off-peak times, such as early mornings or weekdays.

Are there hot springs that require reservations or have admission fees?

Some hot springs, especially those associated with resorts or privately managed locations, may require reservations and charge admission fees. Always check in advance.

How can I contribute to preserving hot springs and their surroundings?

Contribute to the preservation of hot springs by adhering to Leave No Trace principles, respecting local communities, and following all rules and regulations.

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