The Best Hot Springs in California to Soak Your Bones

You may have heard of Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas or read about how Native Americans consider these natural resources sacred.

But did you know that California also has hot springs, as do most other states? These healing springs can rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.

If you venture to the West Coast, you’ll find dozens of spas in California that offer their guests access to mineral springs.

Let’s take a look at the 10 best hot springs in California so you can enjoy the relaxation and healing that comes from soaking in a mineral spa. Dive in!

What are hot springs?

First of all, there are natural “pristine” hot springs and filtered and commercialized springs. Both types use natural resources, but commercial establishments are required by law to monitor mineral springs to ensure sanitary conditions for the public.

A natural hot spring, or hydrothermal or geothermal spring, occurs when geothermally heated groundwater rises to the surface.

Because the water comes from deep in the earth’s crust, hot springs have high concentrations of minerals that may include silicon, calcium, iron, and lithium.

Native peoples have regarded hot springs as sacred, healing waters for thousands of years. Various cultures around the world have used geothermal springs for rehabilitation and therapy.

Even today, people with arthritis, skin conditions, muscle pain and other ailments claim hot springs make them feel better.

Are natural hot springs beneficial to health?

Natural hot springs are not filtered. For this reason, they may contain pathogens and disease-carrying bacteria.

Stagnant water is another problem. If the hot spring is not used very often, algae will begin to grow.

However, this is unlikely to be a serious problem in popular natural hot springs, especially in California.

How hot are hot springs?

Although temperatures can vary from place to place, hot springs generally reach a temperature of 90 degrees or more.

However, the boiling springs in Yellowstone National Park are not considered hot springs. These geyser pools have a temperature of over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Natural hot springs, where people have been bathing for thousands of years to enjoy the healing properties of the mineral water, usually have a temperature of 95 to 104 degrees.

The best hot springs spas in California

Not only can you enjoy 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.

These are the best hot springs spas in California that will help you rejuvenate your 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 services are reserved for registered Indian Springs Calistoga hotel guests.

Indian Springs Calistoga is unique in that it has four thermal geysers that donate a constant stream of mineral water to harness the land’s natural resources.

This water feeds the mineral pool, steam baths and Buddha pond. Guests of all ages can enjoy the 92 to 102 degree thermal waters of the Olympic mineral pool.

Because the site is crisscrossed with a large amount of pure volcanic ash, the water and ash together form the mud for the mud baths.

2. esalen

Address: 55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920

Price: Prices vary by program and workshop. Day passes are $357.

At the Esalen Institute, guests can relax, improve self-awareness and promote healing of body, mind and spirit. Here, you’ll have access to healing classes, workshops and activities at some of California’s best spas.

Services include astrological readings, energy work, chakra balancing, guided self-inquiry, herbal rituals, intuitive card readings and massage sessions.

Workshops and self-guided explorations are available for weekend or weeknight visits. A one-day visitor pass costs $357 for those not staying overnight.

3 Wilbur Hot Springs

Address: 3375 Wilbur Springs Road, Williams, CA 95987

Price: Prices start at $59.

There is no schedule for overnight guests at Wilbur Hot Springs. Relax in the beautiful scenery of the bathing areas or gaze into the starry night.

The bathing area is a private, no-clothing area where guests can enjoy peace and solitude. Due to capacity limitations, the use of the hot springs, pool, sauna and nature reserve is limited during the day.

Reservations can be made for $59 on weekdays and $65 on weekends. Overnight guests can also book campsites, cabins, private rooms and hotel rooms.

4th Benton Hot Springs

Address: 55137 Hwy 120, Benton, CA 93512

Price: Prices start at $75 per night.

At Benton Hot Springs in California, you can park your RV and take a dip in the mineral springs. The campground has 12 hot tub sites fed by natural hot spring water. Trees and privacy fences separate the sites of the baths, where clothing is free.

In addition, Benton Hot Springs is a short drive from Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, the Laws Museum, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake and Yosemite National Park.

5th Vichy Springs

Address: 2605 Vichy Springs Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Price: Prices for bathing range from $35 to $75.

This 700-acre private reserve includes a country inn and thermal baths. Included in the overnight stay is full use of the naturally carbonated “Vichy” mineral baths, hot plunge pool, and Olympic-size pool.

Non-overnight guests can also purchase tickets starting at $35 for two hours and up to $75 for all-day use.

You can also take many walking tours and learn about the history of these ancient springs.

Do not forget: If you’re in California, be sure to stop by Glass Beach! Here’s what you need to know about Glass Beach in California before you visit.

6th River Oaks Hot Springs Spa

Address: 800 Clubhouse Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Price: Packages for wellness and baths are available from $28 per person.

Guests can choose from massages, facials, skin treatments, waxing, artesian mineral baths 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 bath, relax in the tub with a series of five two-ounce wine tastings for $65 per person.

7th Glen Ivy Hot Springs

Address: 25000 Glen Ivy Road, Temescal Valley, CA 92883

Price: Prices and treatments start at $85.

For daily access to the pools and grounds at Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California, guests pay $85 for a day pass. Additional services include massages, facials, juice cleanses and more.

You can enjoy several 104-degree mineral baths, a lounge pool, a brine bath, hot and cold plunge pools, a lap pool, Roman baths, and more.

8. the spring resort & spa

Address: 12699 Reposo Way, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

Price: Prices for these hot springs in California start at $125.

At Spring Resort & Spa, guests have access to three mineral springs with naturally heated water.

These springs are among the hottest in the region, reaching a temperature of 170 degrees. It is then cooled and piped into the pools, where the minerals can be easily absorbed by the skin.

With a spa service of 50 minutes or more, guests also receive two hours of access to the mineral pools and saunas.

The Spring Resort & Thermal Spas in California.

9. harbin hot springs

Address: 18424 Harbin Springs Road, Middletown, CA 95461

Price: A 6-hour day visit costs $33 to $45 for adults.

A visit to Harbin Hot Springs in California means you can relax in nature any way you want.

Guests can take a dip in the spring-fed pools, sunbathe on the patio, or explore the garden, creek, or hiking trails.

There is also an on-site cafe, yoga classes and a spa where you can book massages. You can also book caravans, cabins and domes for overnight stays.

Remember: California has more national parks than any other state. But are they really worth visiting?

10. dr. wilkinson’s backyard resort & mineral springs

Address: 1507 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515

Price: The mineral baths cost between $169 and $309.

Dr. Wilkinson’s Bakyard Resort has been providing wellness and relaxation since 1952 with mineral baths, massages, overnight accommodations and a delicious restaurant.

Spas and baths range from mud baths to couples mineral baths to beer brew mineral baths. These California hot springs can rejuvenate your body and mind.

View of Dr. Wilkinson's Backyard Resort and Mineral Springs hot spring in California.

The best remote hot springs in California: Wild Willy’s

Unlike the filtered commercial hot springs mentioned above, Wild Willy’s is a beautiful remote hot spring in California. Although it is located in the remote Mammoth Lakes region, it is easily accessible by car.

The bumpy gravel road leads you to a small parking area where you will find a boardwalk. After about a ten-minute walk along the boardwalk, you will reach the first hot springs. The best time to visit is from May to October, when the outside temperatures are still pleasant.

Since the area is undeveloped public land, access is free. Remember, however, that there are no facilities, restrooms or trash cans there. If you have trash, please take it back outside.

Should you visit these hot springs in California to take a dip?

If you’re looking for a relaxing, romantic getaway, don’t miss these hot springs in California. You can add a couples massage or mud bath to your weekend as you pamper each other and enjoy each other’s company.

If you feel exhausted and drained and need a pick-me-up, book a night or two at one of these resorts to enjoy the amenities of mineral baths and other services. You can leave feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Is there a particular hot springs resort in California that you’d like to try?

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