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The 10 Best Campgrounds at Yosemite Park

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A mountain surrounded by trees under a cloudy sky.

Great and mighty Yosemite, called Ahwahnee by the indigenous Miwok people who once inhabited the land, is a titan among national parks and one of the most famous backpacking, rock climbing, and sightseeing destinations for backcountry camping trips in the world. Nestled in the High Sierra, or the Sierra Mountain Range, Yosemite National Park holds more natural landmarks than any other national park in California. World-famous Yosemite Valley, a 7-square mile area in the center of Rhode-Island-sized Yosemite, contains the highest concentration of major landmarks such as Tunnel View, El Capitan, and Half Dome. North of Yosemite Valley, in the High Country of Yosemite National Park, can be found gorgeous areas such as Tuolumne Meadows and the Cathedral Range, which contain Mount Lyell, the highest point in Yosemite National Park. 

There are 7,000 plant species in California and 50% of those are found in the Sierra Nevada; 20% of those are found within Yosemite. The Tuolumne and Merced River systems flow through Yosemite and have created majestic river canyons. At several points, the water systems in Yosemite become breathtaking waterfalls, of which Yosemite Falls and Ribbon Fall are the most well-known. With all of these attractions drawing rock climbers and backpacking enthusiasts year-round, Yosemite has to be well outfitted with campsites, and sure enough, Yosemite camping does not disappoint the campers who journey there. Yosemite repeatedly makes lists of the best hiking trails in California, best hiking vacations, and the best hiking trails in America, so bring your hiking boots on your Yosemite camping trip. 

Yosemite also regularly makes lists of best places to camp in California, so make sure to bring a sturdy camping tent along on your Yosemite camping adventure. We’ve compiled all the information we could find on Yosemite camping and compiled this guide for the best Yosemite campgrounds so future campers can get informed about this world-class national park before departure. 

 

Ribbon Falls in Yosemite National Park.

Ribbon Falls in Yosemite National Park flows off the side of El Capitan in the spring and is the tallest continuous waterfall in North America.

 

Campgrounds located south of Yosemite Valley

 

1. Bridalveil Creek Campground

Located on Glacier Point Road about 45 minutes south of Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Creek Campground is set in a scenic forest and offers amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, food storage lockers, and drinking water, although the running water has been turned off for most of the 2019 calendar year. Normally, every campsite is near a restroom with running water, which means drinking water and flush toilets. The water in Bridalveil Creek can be treated and converted into drinking water just fine in any case. The campsite features an RV park with no hookups and no dump station. In the summertime, dump stations can be found nearby east of the Wawona store and in Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. 

Showers can be found at nearby Curry Village and the Housekeeping Camp. No reservations are available except for the group campsites; the rest of the campsites are walk-in campsites. For groups, recreation.gov is the site where groups of campers can make reservations with the NPS up to 5 months in advance. The campsite is not open year-round, but is usually open from July to early September. Bridalveil Creek Campground is a straightforward campground that suits backpacking campers who are planning on rock climbing or hiking in the high country of Yosemite for the majority of their stay and don’t need many extra features out of their campsite. 

 

Pros:

  • Picnic tables and fire rings
  • Bridalveil Creek for drinking water
  • Running water and flush toilets (normally)
  • RV park
  • Showers nearby

 

Cons:

  • No running water in 2019
  • No hookups nor dump station in RV park campsites
  • Not year-round

 

2. Wawona Campground

Wawona Campground is one mile north of Wawona, a very small town (population 169) about 18 miles east of Mariposa. Featuring serene riverside campsites with fire rings, picnic tables, and a restroom with flush toilets and drinking water, Wawona Campground is partitioned into 3 loop campsites for small groups of campers. Larger group campsites and horse campsites are also available, along with an RV park. Its situation on the South Fork Merced River gives a lovely tranquility to this campsite, and an opportunity to treat the river water for drinking water if campers so desire. 

The A loop of walk-in tent sites is normally open year-round, while the other tent sites are open from April to September. Reservations can be made with the NPS at recreation.gov if future campers wish to be more prepared in their Yosemite camping trip planning. There are no hookups for running water or electricity in the RV park, and a dumpsite is located on Forest Drive east of the Wawona store in summer only. Like Bridalveil Creek, Wawona Campground is great for campers in search of a straightforward no-frills campground and who plan to spend time hiking El Capitan and not hanging around their campsite for a long time during their camping trip in Yosemite. 

 

Pros:

  • Fire rings and picnic tables
  • Restroom with flush toilets and drinking water
  • RV park
  • Year-round tent sites available

 

Cons:

  • No hookups or dumpsite in RV park campsites

 

Campgrounds located north of Yosemite Valley 

 

3. Tuolumne Meadows Campground

One of the largest Yosemite camping sites, Tuolumne Meadows Campground is also one of the most famous, most likely due to the fact that its namesake is the famous Tuolomne Meadows, one of the highest-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada through which the Tuolomne River flows for about 3 miles before continuing on to eventually become drinking water for San Francisco. The Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located about 1.5 hours northeast of Yosemite Valley and its tent sites and RV park are open from July to September. Reservations with NPS are available for half of the tent sites at recreation.gov, while the other half of the tent sites are walk-in campsites. 

Each campsite contains a fire ring and picnic table and is near a bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets. The RV park campsites do not have hookups for running water or electricity, but there is a dumpsite very near just to the west of the Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Showers can be found in Yosemite Valley at the Curry Village and the Housekeeping Camp. Tuolumne Meadows Campground’s location near its namesake along Tioga Pass Road, or Highway 120, makes it ideal for campers who are looking for a beautiful location outside the heavily trafficked Yosemite Valley but close enough to get there if desired. 

 

Pros:

  • Proximity to Tuolumne Meadows
  • RV park
  • Ample tent sites
  • Reservations available
  • Fire ring and picnic tables
  • Bathrooms with drinking water and flush toilets

 

Cons:

  • Seasonal availability only
  • No hookups in RV park campsites

 

A girl by a lake in Yosemite.

Yosemite’s Tenaya Lake is easily accessible by Tioga Pass Road, called highway 120 outside the park.

 

4. Hodgdon Meadow Campground

This campsite’s location off the Big Oak Flat Road (yet another name for Highway 120), about 45 minutes northwest of Yosemite Valley and adjacent to the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station to Yosemite, makes Hodgdon Meadow Campground one of the most sought-after campsites in Yosemite National Park. All of its tent sites and the campsites in the RV park are open year-round for campers looking for the right place to enjoy Yosemite in the wintertime. From about mid-April until mid-October, reservations are required online with the NPS at recreation.gov. From mid-October until mid-April, all the campsites are walk-in campsites. 

Picnic tables, fire rings, and a bathroom with drinking water and a flush toilet can be found near all the campsites in Hodgdon Meadow Campground. There are no hookups for running water or electricity in the RV park. A dump station is available in the summertime in the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. Showers are also available in Yosemite Valley at the Housekeeping Camp and in Curry Village. Hodgdon Meadow Campground is a solid choice for campers who are interested in backpacking, hiking, or rock climbing in the high country of the High Sierra on their Yosemite camping trip.

 

Pros:

  • Open year-round
  • Picnic tables and fire rings available
  • Bathroom with drinking water and a flush toilet
  • Dump station available
  • Showers available in Yosemite Valley

 

Cons:

  • Reservation sometimes required
  • No hookups in RV park campsites
  • Seasonal dump site

 

5. White Wolf Campground

Off the Tioga Road (Highway 120) about one hour north of Yosemite Valley, White Wolf Campground is a seasonal campground open between early July and early September that cannot be reserved with NPS. All the tent sites and RV park campsites are walk-in (or drive-in) campsites. Every campsite has picnic tables, fire rings, and a nearby bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets available for campers’ use. There are no hookups for electricity or running water at the RV park campsites. There are two dumpsites available, one in the summertime only near Tuolumne Meadows Campground and the other one open year-round in Yosemite Valley at the Upper Pines Campground. 

White Wolf Campground is in close proximity to hiking trails that lead to Yosemite Valley and Half Dome for campers who wish to add hiking, backpacking and rock climbing to their Yosemite camping trip. Rock formations offer the opportunity for kid-aged rock climbers to scramble a little at the campsite. Wildlife darts in and out of the surrounding forest, so campers are likely to see animals such as deer and smaller woodland animals. White Wolf Campground is pared-down but it has all the basic amenities campers will need to get the most out of an action-packed, adventure-filled Yosemite camping trip. 

 

Pros:

  • Close to Yosemite Valley
  • No reservation at tent sites or RV park campsites
  • Picnic tables and fire rings available
  • Bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets
  • Two dump sites available
  • Hiking trails

 

Cons:

  • Seasonal campsites only
  • No RV park campsite hookups

 

6. Yosemite Creek Campground

Yosemite Creek Campground is on Tioga Road (Highway 120) about one hour north of Yosemite Valley. Like White Wolf Campground, Yosemite Creek Campground is seasonal, operating from July to early September. Reservations through the NPS are not offered; all the tent sites and RV park campsites are walk-in campsites that operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Each campsite does feature a fire ring, picnic tables, and is near a vault toilet, which is another term for an outhouse, meaning there is no running water at this campground. There is no potable water available at Yosemite Creek Campground, so the creek water must be treated to be consumed as drinking water. 

The RV park campsites do not have any hookups for running water or electricity, but dump sites are available year-round in Yosemite Valley in Upper Pines Campground and in the summertime only near Tuolumne Meadows Campground. The biggest draw to camping at Yosemite Creek Campground is that it is less populated than other Yosemite campgrounds and therefore quieter. Campers who wish to stay at a tent site surrounded by fewer other backpackers and campers will be happily serene on a camping trip to Yosemite Creek Campground. 

 

Pros:

  • Fire rings and picnic tables available
  • Vault toilets available
  • Dump sites available
  • Less populated

 

Cons:

  • Seasonal campsites only
  • No running water
  • No hookups at RV park campsites

 

People on a mountain in Yosemite.

Lembert Dome rises over 800 feet above Tuolumne Meadows and the Tuolomne River 8 miles west of the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite.

 

Campgrounds in Yosemite Valley

 

7. Camp 4 Campground

The imaginatively named Camp 4 Campground is right where all the action is in Yosemite Valley. Camp 4 is open year-round but in the high season between late May and Early September, spots at the various tent sites are given out by the NPS via a lottery at recreation.gov for campers who want to have a chance to camp right in Yosemite Valley when it’s at its most beautiful. For the rest of the year, from mid-September to mid-May, Camp 4 Campground’s tent sites are walk-in campsites and reservations are not available. The location of Camp 4 is so central that it is unlikely campers will get a campsite without showing up earlier in the day. There are no RV park campsites at Camp 4.

Sleeping in vehicles is not allowed at Camp 4 but there is a parking lot nearby. There is a dump station nearby at Upper Pines Campground. Showers are also quite close at Curry Village and Housekeeping Camp. Every campsite is near an available fire pit with a fire ring, a picnic table, and a bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets. For campers who wish to spend up to a week (in peak season) right in the middle of Yosemite Valley hiking the various trails or rock climbing around Half Dome or El Capitan, Camp 4 Campground is an excellent choice.

 

Pros:

  • Central location in Yosemite Valley
  • Dump station nearby
  • Showers nearby
  • Parking lot available
  • Fire rings and picnic tables
  • Bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets

 

Cons:

  • Popular in high season
  • No RV park campsites

 

8. North Pines Campground / Upper Pines Campground / Lower Pines Campground

All three of these campgrounds come together to form what is called The Pines Campground. They are essentially one large campground, but there are some differences. The Upper Pines Campground is open year-round, while the Lower Pines Campground is open from April to October and the North Pines Campground is open from March to October. All three Pines Campgrounds require a reservation with the NPS via recreation.gov, which makes good sense given the staggering number of campers looking to secure a spot at one of these Yosemite Valley campgrounds. The Pines Campgrounds all have walk-in tent sites as well as RV park campsites. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table and is near a bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets.

There are no hookups at the RV park campsites but the dump station is at the entrance to the Upper Pines Campground. Showers are available at Housekeeping Camp and Curry Village. The Pines Campgrounds are all very near to the Mirror Lake Trailhead, one of the nicest moderately-rated year-round hiking trails in Yosemite Valley. Campers who wish to add hiking or perhaps even a bit of rock climbing to their Yosemite camping trip can take the Mirror Lake Trail to get phenomenal up-close views of Half Dome from its base. 

 

Pros:

  • Excellent location in Yosemite Valley
  • Upper Pines open year-round
  • Fire rings and picnic tables available
  • Bathroom with drinking water and flush toilets
  • Proximity to hiking trails
  • Dump station at Upper Pines

 

Cons:

  • Reservation required
  • No hookups in RV park campsites

 

Rental Cabins and Rooms

 

9. Housekeeping Camp

Housekeeping Camp is for campers who want to experience Yosemite National Park in complete comfort and aren’t concerned with roughing it in the backcountry. This campground is right next to the Merced River in the middle of Yosemite Valley, offering unmatched views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome. A fire ring with a grill is available for hassle-free cooking and power outlets are offered at each bed. Campers can rent blankets, sheets, and pillows. Each campsite is a three-sided concrete structure with canvas roofs and privacy curtains. Common amenities campers look for are replaced by household alternatives. Hookups are replaced by power outlets, and the picnic tables are larger and round at Housekeeping Camp. 

Campers here even get to sleep in a bunk bed and don’t need to worry about tents or any sort of camping gear. The restroom has drinking water and flush toilets and the shower is on site. Campers at Housekeeping Camp will have to walk a short distance to the bathroom, but compared to the other Yosemite Campgrounds, a camping trip at Housekeeping Camp is a luxurious cakewalk in close proximity to the most famous Yosemite Valley landmarks.

 

Pros:

  • Location in Yosemite Valley near Half Rock and Yosemite Falls
  • Fire ring with grill
  • Picnic tables
  • Bunk Beds
  • Drinking water and flush toilets

 

Cons:

  • Short walk to the restroom
  • Reservation required

 

Lake in the middle of a snow covered forest.

Yosemite National Park has some of the best campgrounds in the U.S.A. and many of them stay open year-round.

 

10. Curry Village

Curry Village is among the nicest campsites anywhere in Yosemite National Park. Positioned just beneath the famous Glacier Point, Curry Village campers can choose how luxurious they want their stay in Yosemite to be. There are canvas tent cabins, wood cabins, and outright hotel rooms. Maybe some camping enthusiasts will insist that staying in Curry Village barely qualifies as camping at all, but there are some campers who enjoy the outdoors without the tents and equipment, more in a glamping style than in rugged backcountry camping trips. That being said, Curry Village does offer a housekeeping service and full linens.

There are picnic tables and also real tables. Bathrooms with drinking water become separate bathrooms in the hotel. The canvas tent cabins are spacious and the bed inside is comfortable, and campers can even rent one with heating for the wintertime. Curry Village is the location for showers offered for lots of other Yosemite campgrounds so there may be a crowd here. If luxury is your style and isolation is not appealing to you, then Curry Village might be the right fit for your Yosemite Valley camping trip. 

 

Pros:

  • Modern amenities
  • Beds
  • Linens
  • Drinking water
  • Location near Glacier Point

 

Cons:

  • Reservation required
  • Possible crowds

 

Final Verdict:

Yosemite National Park holds such natural wonders that it had to be outfitted with tons of different campgrounds. Tent sites and RV park campsites are in high demand in the warm months all over the park, but especially in Yosemite Valley, where world-famous landmarks like Half Dome and Yosemite Falls await the eager eye of campers, hikers, rock climbers, and backpacking enthusiasts from all over the United States and the rest of the world. 

Overall if you plan enough and make a reservation where possible, finding a campsite at one of the Yosemite Campgrounds on this list is well worth it. You’ll come away with camping memories to last a lifetime. In fact, Yosemite has such a draw that campers who visit once are likely to return and may wind up staying at many of the Yosemite campsites in this guide. Perhaps as time goes on, campers who first saw Yosemite from way out in Yosemite Creek Campground will evolve into Camp 4 residents. After a long enough time perhaps they’ll wind up staying in comparative luxury at Curry Village. 

The most important takeaway for campers who have read this guide on the best Yosemite campgrounds is that the campsites in Yosemite are designed for you to rest there and take a rest. Surrounded by as much natural beauty as campers are in Yosemite, the main draw will be the wonderful landmarks that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Hopefully, you’re prepared to start making preparations for a Yosemite camping trip now that you’ve finished this guide to the best Yosemite campgrounds. 

 

Bonus Tip: If you’re eager to get a glimpse of the landmarks on view in Yosemite National Park, check out this cool video!

 

 

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13 Best Hot Springs in Utah

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Hot-Water-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

Mystic-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

Homestead-Resort-Utah
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

Inlet-Park-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

Crystal-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

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

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

Meadow-Hot-Springs
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

Baker-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

Belmont-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

Ogden-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

Red-Hill-Hot-Springs-Utah
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

Horseshoe-Warm-Springs-Utah
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.

Conclusion

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.

FAQs

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

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Hot-Water-Springs-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

Arizona-Ringbolt-Hot-Spring
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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-mineral-hot-spring

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

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.

Conclusion

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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12 Best Hot Springs in California

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Hot-Water-Spring-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

Travertine-Hot-Springs
Photo Courtesy: @globe.trotter.travel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Conclusion
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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