California Hot Springs Guide, Eastern Sierra, Hot Springs Camps Baja California MX
animals camping leisure the sky snow water wheels road trips cali maps


Activities | Leisure springs

Volcano Pool
CA hotsprings

California Hot Springs

You've heard of them - Deep Creek, Hot Creek, Sespe & Saline. Hot mineral waters flowing from the depths of the earth into handmade rock tubs, star filled skies overnight and completely surrounded by nothing but nature. Like a distant dream you imagine a dim, shimmering light, the lunar terrain, the long soak, the clouds, the stars, the sunrise, the breezes in the palms rustling above.

NATURAL HOT TUBS: California Hot Springs are located in rural areas, mostly on dirt roads, some inside or near National Forests. Most have camping nearby, but not adjacent the hot tubs. Most all of these are maintained by local volunteers. Vandalism also closes these special sites off from the public use, so use them wisely. Please respect the lands and the hot tub sites: pick up litter, do not use any soap and keep hot tubs clean. These hot spring tubs are usually built and cared for by locals, not the government agencies that manage our public lands.

Primitive Hot Springs in California

Most of these special places can be reached by one lane paved or dirt road. SUV /high clearance vehicle may be needed in some cases, but 4x4 is not necessary. Many are hike in only access. Few allow parking your car right next to the springs. Some tubs are so remote, the only way to reach them is by hiking several miles. Get maps and cross reference. Make an overnight backpacking trip for more secluded hot springs. Plan for a relaxing time and exciting adventure.

Hot springs are a naturally occurring phenomena. Neither improved nor maintained by the Forest Service. Most of the tubs in these locations are build by volunteer efforts. Please respect these unique locations & leave the place cleaner than when you found it.

hot springs tips

  • Footing around hot springs is often poor. Watch out for broken glass, towels, drinks, dogs, clothes and slippery moss. Use caution when going barefoot and don't go alone. At night bring flashlights.
  • Water temperatures vary by site, ranging from warm to very hot. Test the water first for temperature to avoid scalds and burns. Keep alcoholic beverages for afterward, or at least to a minimum.
  • Prolonged immersion may be hazardous to your health and result in hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke.
  • Elderly persons and those with a history of heart disease, diabetes, high or low blood pressure or who are pregnant should consult their physicians prior to use.
  • Respect private property rights. Do not trespass at private hot springs without the landowners permission.

hot springs etiquette

  • Rinse your feet prior to tub entry.
  • Please don't litter. Pick some up.
  • Don't drink the water.
  • Don't let your dog drink the water.
  • Don't let your dog soak.
  • Don't leave cigarettes/butts lying around.
Majority rules: clothing optional can be uncomfortable for some folks. Assess the situation before hand and bring some swimwear if you must. If there are a bunch of tourists and families, you will see more swimsuits. Young people, bikers, campers and hippies, it's gonna be the nudies ruling.
Wilderness hot tubs

 Baja Hot Springs

Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs

Palm Canyon Oasis Campground

Off road destination in Baja, East of Tecate & San Diego. SW of El Centro @ Mexicali

Big Bear Hot Springs

Deep Creek Hot Springs

San Bernardino National Forest
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Big Bear Mountains topo maps Big Bear

Big Sur Hot Springs

Esalen Institute
Esalen Hot Springs

open to general public by reservation only from 1am to 3am. $20 fee, payable by credit card only.
Reservations, 831-667-3047
Sykes Hot Springs
hike in only
Trail #3E06.2 via Rd.#20S05
E of Pfieffer Big Sur SP
located in a remote area of the
Los Padres National Forest

Tassajara Hot Springs
Tassajara Rd. Los Padres NF
San Francisco Zen Center
300 Page St, San Francisco

Eastern Sierra Hot Springs

Bishop -
Eastern Sierra Hot Springs

Keough Hot Springs

Keough Hot Ditch right off Hwy 395, dirt roads
8.5 mi. South of Bishop

keough hot tubs

Bridgeport Hot SpringsbridgeportmountainsCaliforniaEastern SierratoiyabeNational Forestslodging
Buckeye Hot Springs
Toiyabe National Forest
8 mile NW of Bridgeport NW of town, on Hwy 395 take forest service road 017 (dirt road) 6-7 miles
Toiyabe NF
old resort now in ruins
along Hwy 395 near the Sonora Jct Hwy 108; drive W from Bridgeport 13 miles. Property will be on your left and the runoff will be about a tenth of a mile on your right

Travertine Hot Springs

1 mile SE of Bridgeport; off of Hwy 395 via Jack Sawyer Rd.

Death Valley Hot Springs

Saline Valley Hot Springs

NORTH of CA Highway 190
North Death Valley National Park

Tecopa Hot Springs

EAST of CA Highway 127
South of Death Valley National Park

View Death Valley National Park in a larger map
Eastern Sierra Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs

California Mountains

Gaviota - Santa Barbara Hot Springs
back roadsfishingLos Padresgaviotasierra

near Gaviota State Park
Highway 101 @ PCH jct 1
   see also - Santa Barbara


Deep Creek Hot Springs
San Bernardino National Forest
Lake Arrowhead, CA

Kennedy Meadows

Jordan Hot Springs.
hike in only
West from Blackrock 5 miles is beautiful Beach Meadows. North 8 miles at the end of the road at Blackrock are trails into the Golden Trout Wilderness Area. 2 mile hike into Casa Vieja Meadows, & another 3 miles down to Jordan Hot Springs. 

Sequoia National Forest
Inyo National Forest


Kern River Hot Springs

Democrat Hot Springs
You've seen these signs along Hwy 178, but don't get too excited, these are all on private property - with no access to public
Miracle Hot Springs
Old Kern Canyon Road
near Hobo Campground

Remington Hot Springs
Old Kern Canyon Road
1-3 mi W from Hobo Campground; dirt parking lot near telephone poles; hike in access only

Lake Arrowhead Hot Springs

Deep Creek Hot Springs
San Bernardino National Forest
Lake Arrowhead, CA

Lakeshore - Sierra Hot Springs

Mono Hot Springs

Hwy. 168, Kaiser Pass
NE of Huntington Lake
located in Sierra NF

winter trip: Sno-Mo Sierras

hike in only
ferry from Florence Lake
Sierra National Forest

Mammoth Hot Springs

California Mountains

Ojai Hot Springs

Sespe Hot Springs

17 mi RT hike Los Padres NF
hike in only
Trail head @ end of
Forest Service Rd. #7N03 via
Johnson Ridge Trail #20W12
located in a remote area of the Los Padres NF
Willett Hot Springs
Los Padres National Forest

Santa Barbara Hot Springs

Both of these can be reached by driving Hwy. 154 N, then right on Forest Service Road #5N12 (E. Camino Cielo to Romero Canyon Rd #5N15 ) Follow signs.
Little Caliente
located @ end of
Forest Service Rd. #5N15
in Los Padres National Forest small campground nearby
Big Caliente Hot Springs
located @ end of
Forest Service Rd. #5N16
via #5N15 in Los Padres NF
small campground nearby
Matilija Canyon
hike in, north shore Matilija Creek
N on Hwy. 33 from Ojai
W on Matilija Road


Tahoe hot springs

Los Padres hot springs

Mammoth hot springs

Sierra hot springs Bridgeport hot springs

Total Escape California Camping


California Weekends

Total Escape has been an AmazonAssociate for 20 years!
Earnings from purchases keeps this site alive.

Copyright © 1996-2024 Total Escape, / All Rights Reserved.

classic | lodge | recreation | destinations | journey | ads | sitemap | outside | maps | gear | mobile