When it comes to winter recreation you have your standard skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. But today, we’d like to add one more to the list: hot springs soaking.
You have a few options when it comes to enjoying these natural wonders: soak at the source or in a controlled spa. We’ve got a little bit of both here, guaranteed to warm your bones this winter. Pile into the car, pack your suit, and see how many you can find on your Two Lane road trip!
Soak Safely! Remember that the average temperature for home hot tubs is about 104° F. Natural hot springs temperatures are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Be sure to test the water with a thermometer before climbing in because some wild springs have been recorded at upwards of 150° F. (Skin is scalded within three seconds in 140° F!)
OK, let’s jump in! Cautiously of course…
Location: Dunton, Colorado
Getting There: Drive
Overnight Accommodations: Rent a room
About the Springs: During the late 1800s, Dunton was the place to be if you wanted to make some mining money, but when the industry died, so did the town. Years later, the mountainous landscape and natural springs (which date all the way back to the1500s) allowed Dunton to transition from a deserted town to a rustic resort for some peace and a steam. Today, folks travel from all over to experience the healing iron and magnesium-infused waters. We recommend exploring the Rockies on horseback, then taking a dip in the hot springs before retreating to your cabin. Soak in a restored 19th-century bathhouse, in one of six therapeutic pools, or out under the stars.
Spencer Hot Springs
Location: Austin, Nevada
Getting There: Hike
Overnight Accommodations: Pitch a tent
About the Springs: Nevada has more hot springs than any other state in America (300 and counting!). You’ll find a good cluster of these geothermal miracles tucked behind the sagebrushes in central Nevada’s Big Smoky Valley off of U.S. 50, “America’s Loneliest Road.” Because Spencer’s Springs are located on public land, folks have taken it upon themselves to make a few modifications for travelers to enjoy, like installing hot spring tubs crafted out of cattle troughs and concrete. Take a dip, then make camp right there. It’s free and nothing sets the tone for the day like a sunrise soak.
Location: Mammoth, California
Getting There: Hike or Drive
Overnight Accommodations: Pitch a tent or rent a room
About the Springs: About 760,000 years ago, a massive volcano exploded near Mammoth Lakes, creating a mess of springs, and it’s your moral imperative to explore as many of them you can. Breathe in the steam beneath the shade of a cottonwood at Benton Hot Springs, take in the rolling Sierra Nevadas at Travertine Hot Springs, or take a dip in the 27 mineral waters of Keough Hot Springs, which served as a medicinal health retreat way back in 1919. If you can’t handle the chilly weather for camping out here, there are rental cabin options nearby.
Location: Monroe, Utah
Getting There: Drive
Overnight Accommodations: Rent a Room
About the Springs: These springs have been flowing continuously for centuries, creating bright red and orange mineral mounds. The Ute, Shoshone, and Paiute Indians believed that the warm springs here had protective and healing powers. Might as well test that theory for yourself this winter.
Location: Umpqua National Forest in Oregon
Getting There: Hike
Overnight Accommodations: Pitch a tent
About the Springs: These bubbling beauties are available year-round inside the Umpqua National Forest in central Oregon. If you’re up for a two-mile hike through the snow, you’ll get your choice of three warm, cascading pools to dip into as you soak overlooking the North Umpqua River. Just look at the view! Worth it.
What’s been your experience with hot springs? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
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12 thoughts on “5 Natural Hot Springs To Visit Out West”
How lovely. How handy when you are hot. She looks very sexy but who cleans the Bath?
Hot Sulphur Springs off highway 34 between Grandby and Krimmlng Colorado, but mutch closer to Grandby is the Colorado and these hot springs empty into it.There is a small resort across the river with access to several springs and floaters have made dams of rocks along the river to pool other hot springs. Relaxing.
My wife of 56 years and I volunteered one summer with the Colorado Dept. Of Wildlife to be camp hosts for the National Forest Campgrounds along the river and took advantage of these springs often.
If you have not been there it is a beautiful drive to Steamboat Springs or train ride from Grandby to Glenwood Springs where there are more hot springs.
I recommend this area of Colorado for beautiful scenery and old barns left over from farmers long gone.
Next time you are out west and if you have time to drive 20 miles of unpaved road you should check out the Saline Valley in Ca, don’t need a bathing suit!
Back in the late 60’s we would go to these hot springs east of San Juan Capistrano off of Hwy 74,
You weren’t supposed to go there and you had to park on the highway and hike up. If you were lucky you got to soak in several man made pools. The first was the hottest and as the water overflowed and ran downhill it got cooler so you could always find one that was just right.
If you were not lucky a sheriff patrol came by and they hiked up the hill and arrested you.
I believe you may be talking about Carbon Canyon, just above Brea. We used to go to the “springs” in the 60’s and 70’s. There was a bar/restaurant there that we would haunt. They had a Halloween Party called the Freakers Ball every year! Bitchin’. Also, we would park in the oil fields out there for reasons kids do such things! LOL!
I live over by Carbon Canyon near Brea, and sadly the hot springs, restaurant, etc is all gone now.
I used to drive up to a spot near Oroville , CA (name escapes me ) where there was a hot springs in the most amazing setting . There was train tracks in the near distance that when a train rumbled by the engineer
would sound the horn which would echo in the mountains. I remember to get to the ‘ spot’ you had to go through
an old historic bar and take an oath to the owner that you would leave the area as you found it before he would allow you to pass . You would follow a muddy path to the cement tub , bubbling and covered in steam. The tub was big enough to hold several people , and I recall the men seemed to like to bathe in the buff . One time I took my mother with me and she didn’t know where to look ! The scenery was amazing , the water stunk of sulfur but
was very soothing and it made for a lovely day trip . The hot springs were the name of that little bar as memory serves me . Does anyone else remember this ?
This is fantastic!! Thank you for sharing! I just need to find a guy that like adventures and travel as much as I do. It’s on my bucket list to go to all the national parks. Going to the hot springs on the way would be an added special treat! Love the travel tips! Keep on pickin!!
I used to go out there in the late 60s.Park on the road go up and trip out looking at the stars in the hot tub’s.And run from the cops,There used to be wild boar up there we got chased one night by wild boar and the police at the same time .We got down the hill and our car was gone.We had to hitchhike to San Juan Capistrano to get our car out of inpoundin. We drove all the way up there from Huntington Beach California
One of the best hot springs in Colorado is Strawberry Park, near Steamboat. I haven’t been there in years, but it was real nice. There were three different large pools, each a different temperature – from hot to cool. We’d cycle between them.
Looks great I’ve been to Hot Springs in both Colorado (After Elk Hunting of all things) and right here in Florida actually has some too! But come on Mike and Frank!? You couldn’t get Dani to pose in ONE OF THOSE HOT SPRINGS! I know your PG (Couple shows pushed the envelope) but the AP fans have been dying to see all or most of Dani’s elaborate body art for years now!