10 Best Hot Spring Destinations In The US

The natural mineral content of geothermal springs comes with calcium for the bones, magnesium that calms nerves, and lithium, known to stabilize mood. These ten best hot springs in the United States are located in some of the most beautiful natural settings in the nation, for one must involve all senses to attain true relaxation.

Black Rock Hot Springs, Nevada

A couple sits on the dock at the Black Rock Hot Springs in Gerlach, Nevada
A couple sits on the dock at the Black Rock Hot Springs in Gerlach, Nevada. Editorial credit: Sara Armas / Shutterstock.com

The first watering hole for emigrants across the vast Black Rock Desert, the isolated Black Rock Hot Springs are now all about soaking some santé in solitude. Part of Nevada's namesake desert, set along the Applegate Trail, it is among the most remote and desolate locations in the country. Overshadowed by the dominating Black Rock Point, the ruggedly-scenic hot springs comprise two co-joining pools. The scalding natural springs to the east are too hot to come up close but provide just the right temperature for the pool, with a safe wooden plank leading to its most common entry point. With the nearest hotels almost 80 miles away in the town of Fernley, one can make it in a day trip or utilize the several sites around the springs for camping.

Calistoga, California

Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga, Napa Valley, California. Editorial credit: Iv-olga / Shutterstock.com

The town of Calistoga was established around the region's abundant natural mineral hot springs that were first discovered some 8,000 years ago. Now boasting several luxurious resorts with mineral pool springs, the area is set in the picturesque surroundings of the beautiful Upper Napa Valley. It is the perfect couples retreat for soaking and sipping, as well as visiting vineyards in the vicinity. The Calistoga Spa Hot Springs offers four geothermal mineral pools with a hot whirlpool to get all of the tension out of the muscles and a warm lap pool for the younger visitors. For those seeking a luxurious stay during their wine-country trip, there's the Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection, and spa complex that includes a bathhouse with geothermal pools ranging in temperatures. The Calistoga Ranch is known for private soaking pools, mineral baths, and garden showers, while those who stay in its deluxe suite for couples are offered a "Sensuous Soak" massage treatment in a secluded, embraced-by-nature, mineral pool.

Castle Hot Springs, Arizona

Set about an hour northwest of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the springs are hidden within a scenic canyon in the Bradshaw Mountains for a truly spectacular setting. First discovered by Indigenous peoples a long time ago, Castle Hot Springs became a tourist destination in the late 1800s. Comprising a luxury health resort today, the springs are a perfect way to relieve sore muscles after an actively-spent day of hiking to explore the natural surroundings or utilizing the rock climbing course on-site. With the natural springs bubbling to 115°F, they cascade across three pools, varying in temperatures between 85 to 106°F. Open to guests only, with 24-hour access; the area is surrounded by towering Saguaro cacti, palms, and layers of weather-worn rock. The light plays with the purple and rusty red hues from the spring’s mineral content during the day, while the extensive, open locale offers unmatched stargazing at night.

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Hot springs at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Fairbanks, Alaska
Hot springs at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Fairbanks, Alaska. Editorial credit: joojoob27 / Shutterstock.com

Set in the colder state of Alaska, Chena Hot Springs is one of the most remote and beloved destinations year-round among those who are really looking to “get away.” Rather than coming solely for the pools, many visit the springs housed at the Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbanks as a bucket list item during their “great Alaskan escape.” The pools are a must-stop for relaxation within a scenic paradise, where one might even spot the northern lights while soaking late into the night. Surrounded by the region’s wild beauty, the natural hot springs lake is available for overnight guests and visitors during the day. The resort itself offers many interesting activities and outings throughout the year, such as the Aurora Ice Museum with year-round sleigh rides and ice skating during winter.

Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado

People bath at public hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs, Colorado
People bath at public hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Editorial credit: Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

The largest on Earth hot springs are located in Glenwood, ColoradoGlenwood Springs is among the top in the state and one of the best in the nation for the full-on wellness experience. It is the largest hot spring that maintains a constant temperature of 93 F year-round, perfect during summer, while those who like it hot can jump into the therapy pool of 104 F. Flowing from the abundant Yampah spring that attains over three million gallons of underground water at a scorching temperature of 122 F, it cools down upon reaching the resort. With enough room to fit a fleet, the pool comes with a diving board and a lap lane for additional fun and exercise, along with two water slides during summer. There are also shaded areas and a restaurant with a terrace for some "dry" R&R within views. The resort and its beautiful spa are set near Iron Mountain, with 16 more different natural pools that range from 99 and 108 degrees for some scenic soaking in serene nature.

Homestead Crater, Utah 

Set within an hour southeast of Salt Lake City International Airport, the Homestead Crater Mineral Dome is perfect for summer soaks, with temperatures reaching a maximum of 96 F. Many favors it for the largest amount of diverse experiences on-site than any other hot springs, such as scuba diving and snorkeling in the geothermal waters. For the ultimate relaxation, one must try SUP yoga in the otherworldly, beehive-shaped dome, inclusive of natural limestone walls. The impressive interior expanse comes with a crater at the top that lets-in fresh air and sunshine for the best atmosphere and photo ops in the spectacular setting.

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

The entrance to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs in New Mexico is marked by a sandstone fountain
The entrance to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs in New Mexico is marked by a sandstone fountain. 

Known specifically for their healing and rejuvenation powers, the Ojo Caliente hot springs are one of the nation's oldest natural health resorts in the country. Every day, Mother Nature gifts the public springs and pools at the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa with over 100,000 gallons of geothermal water. The single hot springs in the world feature four different types of mineral water, all with unique health benefits. There are also three secluded private outdoor pools that are perfect for couples and small gatherings, each inclusive with a wood-burning fireplace. Open to guests and visitors, those who opt to stay the night in a Posi Suite get early access to the springs, private patios, pools, and hammocks with the surrounding sights of cliffs.

Spencer Hot Springs, Nevada

Spencer Hot Springs in central Nevada

Spencer Hot Springs Main Pool.

Spencer Hot Springs in Nevada draws many for its unique, edge-of-the-world setting, with incredibly-dark night skies that promote stargazing while soaking in the natural hot springs. The gem is set obscurely in the Big Smoky Valley, some 20 miles southeast of Austin in Central Nevada. Hidden within the sagebrush-covered landscape, the incredible pools literally blend into the terrain and are visited only by those who know. Despite the remote location on public land, the geothermal hotspot is a must-reach locale, especially with the recent significant improvements to the area. Although behind-the-scenes, the unique bathing holes are created with cattle troughs and come inclusive with props that filter water inside the pool, offering a naturally-clean experience for all guests.

Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs, Colorado

Strawberry Park Hot Springs in winter
Strawberry Park Hot Springs in winter. 

One of the most popular hot springs in the state, set in Strawberry Park comes with multiple natural geothermal pools of varying temperatures. The closest pools to the springs are the hottest and perfect for wintertime soaking, while the least warm is great for those whose health does not allow high heat, kids, as well as for summertime soaks. Separated by rocks, all pools feature sand-bed floors that offer a natural, soothing foot massage while moving around. Open 24 hours a day, one has a wide range of choice for overnight accommodations in the vicinity, from the nature-surrounded riverside campsites to rustic cabins, and even a train caboose with a covered wagon. Inclusive with a frisky perk of being open only to adults after sunset for a reason, the Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs is especially popular among nudists. 

Travertine Hot Springs, California

Travertine Hot Springs, California
Travertine Hot Springs, California. 

Set south of Bridgeport, Travertine Hot Springs is known to comply perfectly with the taste of "low effort nature lovers," set proximately to the east entrance of Yosemite National Park. Although the remote-wilderness locale is easily accessible from the road with nearby parking, it lacks changing rooms, snack bars, and any kind of facility. The springs' clothing mandate is also "optional" for an all-around natural experience. Separated by rocks, the spring-fed pools offer perfectly-warmed temperatures to 103 degrees. The glance of the Sierra Mountain Range aids relaxation for absolutely magical time-spent and endless photo ops. After attaining the ultimate natural treatment, one can camp and hike around or spend the night at the Virginia Creek Settlement for a repeat-again the next day. The rustic creek-side accommodations in the Eastern Sierras offer more views, along with a base to explore Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, and other natural wonders of the region. 

These scenically-set geothermal wonders of the nation offer relaxation to beat stress and prophylactic properties for year-round up-keep of health. The bicarbonates in the waters will help get rid of a sore back from the time-spent sitting at work back home and lactic acid from the muscles after explorative hikes around the area. 

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