You may have heard of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas or read about how Native Americans hold these natural resources sacred.
But did you know that California also has hot springs, like most states in the country? These healing waters can rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.
If you go to the west coast, California has dozens of resorts that provide guests with access to mineral springs.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the best hot springs in California so you can enjoy the relaxation and healing of soaking in a mineral pool. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
What are Hot Springs?
First of all, there are “pristine” natural hot springs and filtered and commercialized sources. Both species use natural resources, but commercial complexes must legally monitor mineral resources to provide sanitary conditions for the public.
A natural hot spring, either hydrothermal or geothermal, occurs when geothermally heated groundwater rises to the surface.
Because the water comes from deep within the crust, hot springs have high concentrations of minerals, including silicon dioxide, calcium, iron, and lithium, among others.
Indigenous people have considered hot springs sacred and healing for thousands of years. Different cultures around the world have used geothermal resources for rehabilitation and therapy.
Even today, people with arthritis, skin conditions, muscle pain, and other ailments claim that the hot springs make them feel better.
Are natural hot springs hygienic?
Natural hot springs are not filtered. This allows them to have pathogens and disease-causing bacteria.
Standing water is another problem. If the hot spring is not used frequently, algae will start to grow.
But these are unlikely to be serious concerns about the popular natural hot springs, especially in California.
How hot are the hot springs?
While temperatures can vary from location to location, the hot springs typically reach 90 degrees or higher.
However, the boiling water springs in Yellowstone National Park are not considered hot springs. These geyser basins exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The natural hot springs, where people have soaked for thousands of years to receive the healing touch of this mineral water, are typically kept between 95 and 104 degrees.
California’s Best Hot Springs Resorts
Not only can you take in the breathtaking beauty of the California landscape while soaking in one of these hot springs, but you can also enjoy other amenities and services like mud baths, saunas, on-site restaurants, and more.
Here are the best 10 hot spring resorts in California that will help rejuvenate your body and soul.
1. Indian Springs
ADDRESS: 1712 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515
Price: Pool passes are $50 for day spa guests who book a 50-minute spa service. Otherwise, pools and amenities are reserved for Indian Springs Registered Calistoga Hotel Guests.
Indian Springs Calistoga is uniquely designed to take advantage of the country’s natural resources and has four on-site hot springs that provide a constant flow of mineral water.
This water ends up in the mineral bath, the steam baths, and the Buddha pond. Guests of all ages can enjoy the 92 to 102-degree healing waters of the Olympic-sized mineral pool.
Since a significant deposit of pure volcanic ash flows through the property, the water and ash combine to form mud for mud baths.
ADDRESS: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920
Price: Prices vary according to the programs and workshops. Day passes are $357.
Esalen Bee Institute , guests can relax, increase self-awareness, and facilitate the healing of mind, body, and soul. Here you can access healing classes, workshops, and activities in one of the best hot springs in California.
Services include astrological readings, energy work, chakra balancing, guided self-reflective inquiry, herbal rituals, intuitive card readings, and massage sessions.
Workshops and self-guided explorations are available for weekend or week-long visits. A one-day visitor pass is $357 for those not staying overnight.
3. Wilbur Hot Springs
ADDRESS: Williams, CA 95987
Price: Prices start at $59.
There are no hours for overnight guests. Wilbur Hot Springs . Relax in the beautiful scenery of the bathing areas or gaze at the starry sky.
The bathing area is private and clothing optional, where guests can enjoy peace and solitude. Due to capacity restrictions, use of the hot springs, pool, sauna, and nature reserve is limited during the day.
You can book for $59 on weekdays and $65 on weekends. Overnight guests can also reserve campgrounds, cabins, private rooms, and hotel rooms.
4. Benton Hot Springs
ADDRESS: 55137 Highway 120, Benton, CA 93512
Price: Prices start at $75 per night.
Benton Hot Springs in California , you can park your vehicle and enjoy a bath in the hot springs. It has 12 Jacuzzi locations fed with natural thermal water. Trees and privacy fences separate the clothing-optional restroom locations.
Additionally, Benton Hot Springs is just a short drive from the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Law Museum, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, and Yosemite National Park.
5. Vichy Resources
ADDRESS: 2605 Vichy Springs Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Price: Fees for the baths range from $35 to $75.
This 700-acre private reserve features an inn and a hot springs spa. Included in the overnight stay is full use of the naturally carbonated Vichy mineral baths, Jacuzzi, and Olympic-size pool.
Non-overnight guests can also purchase passes starting at $35 for two hours and up to $75 for all-day use.
You can also hike many trails and learn the history of these ancient springs.
6. River Oaks Hot Springs
ADDRESS: 800 Casa Club Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Price: Spa and soak packages start at $28 per person.
Guests can choose from massage therapy, facial and skin therapy, waxing, artesian mineral spas, and special packages for an afternoon at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa .
A one-hour private mineral spa costs $28 per person. If you want a wine tasting with your soak, relax in the tub with a flight of five 2-ounce tastings for $65 per person.
7. Glen Ivy Hot Springs
ADDRESS: 25000 Glen Ivy Road, Temescal Valley, CA 92883
Price: Fees and treatments start at $85.
For daily access to the pools and gardens at Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California, guests can pay $85 for a day pass. Add-ons include massages, facials, juice cleanses, and more.
You can enjoy several 104-degree mineral pools, a lounge pool, a salt pool, hot and cold water pools, a competition pool, Roman baths, and more.
8. Spring Resort and Spa
ADDRESS: 12699 Reposo Way, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Price: Rates at these California hot springs start at $125.
At the Primavera Resort & Spa guests have access to three mineral springs with naturally heated water.
These waters are among the hottest in the region, with a maximum of 170 degrees. They are then cooled and placed in pools where the skin can easily absorb the minerals.
With a spa service of 50 minutes or more, guests also get access to the mineral pools and saunas for two hours.
9. Harbin Hot Springs
ADDRESS: 18424 Harbin Springs Road, Middletown, CA 95461
Price: A daily 6-hour visit costs between $33 and $45 for adults.
A visit to Harbin Hot Springs in California means time away from your devices and relaxing in nature however you choose.
Guests can plunge into the spring-water pools clothing-optional, sunbathe on the terrace or in the garden, and explore the stream or the hiking trails.
It also has an on-site cafeteria, yoga classes, and a spa where you can schedule massages. You can also reserve caravans, cabins, and domes for overnight stays.
Please note: California has the most national parks of any state. But is it really worth visiting?
10. Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs
ADDRESS: 1507 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515
Price: Mineral bath treatments range from $169 to $309.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort has been offering wellness and relaxation since 1952 with mineral baths, massages, accommodations, and a delicious restaurant.
The spa and baths range from mud baths or mineral baths for couples to mineral baths for brewing. These hot springs in California can rejuvenate your mind and body.
Best Remote Hot Springs in California: Wild Willy’s
Unlike the previously mentioned leaked commercial hot springs, Wild Willy’s is a beautiful remote California hot spring. Although it is in the remote Mammoth Lakes region, you can easily drive there.
The bumpy dirt road leads you to a small parking lot, where you will find a boardwalk. After walking along the boardwalk for about ten minutes, you will arrive at the first hot springs. The best time to visit is from May to October when outside temperatures are still pleasant.
Since the area is undeveloped public land, admission is free. But remember that it does not have amenities, bathrooms, or garbage cans. If you have trash, be sure to take it outside.