There are few things in the world better than relaxing in a
nice hot spring.
Long Valley Caldera, just southeast of Mammoth Lakes.
This area is Hot Springs Central, with a dozen or so in a few square miles.
The best known is Big Hot Creek, which has truly amazing flows of
boiling-hot water; but it's fairly developed and crowded, and you're not
allowed to strip down.
For a mellower time, check a guidebook
or just drive around the dirt roads looking for wisps of steam.
This one is on the shoreline in Marin Country, north of San Francisco.
It's actually below sea level, and can only be used during a minus tide.
This is nice for two reasons: it automatically cleans out the gunk
often found in other hot springs, and it keeps people too dumb to read a
tide table from visiting.
Even so, it gets pretty crowded on weekends, so I'm not going to give
I found it based on a description similar to the above in an old book
on Marin history, so if you're sufficiently motivated you can too.
East Fork Carson.
Also described in the
The springs are on a ledge above the river,
near the campsite in the middle of a 2-day float trip.
You can allegedly hike or mountain bike in too.
On the south edge of the Black Rock Desert playa next to the
Western Pacific railroad tracks.
There's a very hot source pool which feeds a hundred-yard creek
deep enough for swimming.
Away from the source, the temperatore is just right for hot desert days.
Some have reported irritating red mites or nasty sulphur stinks,
but I didn't run into those problems.
Like all hot springs in the Black Rock area, Trego is closed during
Burning Man to avoid massive overuse by thousands of smelly technohippies.
An excellent little book on the subject is "Hot Springs of the Eastern Sierra"
by George Williams III.
Since he concentrates on such a small region with so many great hot
springs, you can visit a whole bunch in a single trip.
Originally published in 1987, revised in 1997, ISBN 0-935174-34-6.
Order it from
Another good guide is "Touring California and Nevada Hot Springs",
by Matt C. Bischoff.
There's one chapter with good coverage of the Eastern Sierra area.
Published in 1997, ISBN 1-56044-578-5.
Order it from
Steve's hot springs page.
Yahoo's hot springs page.
Northwest hot springs page.
Jef's page /