Do you know there are a lot of hot springs in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range that you can enjoy with a view? Of course, most of them are wild and hard to get a spot, mostly because they are free. Not only that, but California also has a lot of hot springs with a view. This blog post only summarizes a few of them.
Travertine hot spring
This hot spring is one of the most popular hot springs I have ever been to. Located near the town of Bridgeport on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada this hot spring is easily accessible and free of charge. That is why it’s really hard to get a good spot here. ‘Travertine’ is named after limestone. Here at these hot springs, groundwater that is heated geothermally comes up to the surface, release Carbon dioxide, and deposit Calcium Carbonate. With time, the mineral deposits evaporating the water. Over time, this disposition has created long linear mounds of limestone rocks and hot springs that originate from the top of these formations.
Wild willy’s hot springs
Wild Willy’s Hot Springs also known as Crowley Hot Springs is located in the Long Valley Caldera South of Mammoth Lakes. There are two hot spring pools surrounded by mountains everywhere. This is the most scenic hot spring I have ever seen. The water temperature varies between 95 and 105 degrees. Among the two pools, the larger one is the deeper and can hold several people comfortably whereas the smaller pool is shallower and warmer and cannot hold more than two people. From the parking area, if you take the broad walk, it will take you to the hot springs. Please stay on the boardwalk to protect the fragile vegetation.
Crab Cooker Hot Spring
Crab Cooker Hot spring is located near little Alkali Lake off Benton Crossing Road from Highway 395 near Mammoth Lakes Airport. A lot of other hot springs are also located in this area. The water to the hot spring is fed by pipes from the source, which allows the mineral water to cool down a bit and the temperature remains around 100 degrees. The tub of this hot spring can hold no more than four persons.
Benton Hot springs
This hot spring is located about 45 minutes drive from Mammoth Lakes or Bishop. The campground here is quite amazing with private hot tubs at each campsite and honestly, this is one of a kind. There are only 11 campsites and each of the campsites has some spectacular mountain view. Though the spring water is really hot (around 140 degrees F), the tubs are well-engineered to adjust the temperature. Each campsite includes picnic tables, chairs, fire pits, barbeque grill, etc. Can you imagine any campsite with the spring mineral water hot tub that is also private! This is an amazing one.
Buckeye hot springs
Buckeye hot spring is located near the banks of Buckeye Creek and a steep sidewall, and it has three pools fed by the constant hot water flow that pours down from the spring above. The constant flow is like a warm waterfall and the environment, sound everything makes it a soothing experience. While soaking in the hot spring, the scene of the calm creek will relax your mind. It is like a total mind-body experience. If you feel the heat of the water becomes too much, go over the rock walls and cool off into the Buckeye Creek. In this way, you may prepare yourselves for another round in the warm pool. To reach this hot spring, you have to go through a steep trail. So, wear sturdy water shoes or sandals with good grip.
West Valley Hot Spring
Located at the east bank of the West Valley Reservoir, this hot spring is accessible by a rough but navigable 3-mile dirt road. Beware of the sandy sections though. In the end, you will be able to soak in a square concrete waist-deep tub along with a wooden A-frame shack that contains two benches. In the shack, there are hooks where you can hang your clothing and towels and get shelter from the wind. From the source, the water flows slightly uphill in the marshy hillside and the flow is diverted into the soaking pool while the temperature of the water is about 108 degrees. Due to the good flow through the tub, the water is clean and there is a plug at the bottom of the tub that can be opened to drain and remove the algae. The view from the tub is quite spectacular especially during the sunset/
There are a lot of other hot springs in California. Some of them require hiking. If you are visiting a hot spring, please maintain proper etiquette. In some of the hot springs, nudity is allowed. Please refrain from invading other people’s privacy, respect them and enjoy nature. Also, please pack your trash and follow all the ‘leave no trace' principles. Let’s help each other to protect the environment and enjoy nature together.
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