After having such a great time visiting our very first natural hot springs here in Vegas, we had to see what else is around us or is an easy road trip away.
We put together a bucket list of hot springs and a map to help us navigate through another cross country road trip. Some of these require a hike, and some of them have become resorts after being discovered, but all the water comes naturally from the earth.
This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.
Last Updated: September 1, 2022
25 Amazing Hot Springs in the US You Must Soak In
1. Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Alaska
Soak in the toasty waters and gaze and at the spectacular views around you, but the highlight is getting a glimpse of the aurora borealis, or northern lights, dance across the sky as you soak. The best times to see the northern lights are from September to March. Find hotels nearby.
3. Conundrum Hot Springs, Aspen, Colorado
This 17 mile hike round trip takes you through beautiful woods and meadows. At the end of the trail, there is a cabin and thermal springs where you can soak and take in all that surrounds you. Find hotels in Aspen.
photo: Jonas Tufvesson / Shutterstock
4. Umpqua Hot Springs, Glide, Oregon
The geothermal spring on the North Umpqua River is a great place to soak and relax. It is a “clothing optional” hot spring so be prepared to make friends with under-clothed strangers. It’s highly popular among Instagrammers. Book your hotel now.
5. Weir Creek Hot Springs, Idaho
Clearwater National Forest, ID 83539
This hot spring can be a bit tricky to get to but is worth the trek. There is a dedicated following and the pool fits about 7-10 people.
An hour drive outside of Jackson, there are two natural pools that you can soak in for free, but we found it a little challenging to wade across Granite Creek. I’m sure the flow varies throughout the year, but it helps to bring a hiking pole to keep yourself from falling since the water moves quick.
There is also an established pool, which has a small fee ($8 adults, $5 children) and onsite bathrooms.
The road getting here is rough, so take it slow or bring a high clearance vehicle.
8. McCredie Hot Springs, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
This series of pools make its home beside a river in the Willamette National Forest. The further you go down, the cooler the water gets, so you can pick the one that is just right for you.
13. Calistoga Hot Springs, Calistoga, California
This is more the luxury retreat where you can have a glass of Napa Valley wine and enjoy a dip in the geothermal pools and volcanic ash mud pits. It’s perfect for a couples getaway if you’re looking to relax. Find a place to stay here.
This hike takes you through a canyon wash, over boulders, and down ropes to find a couple natural hot spring pools to enjoy. You can also reach the Colorado River at the end of the hike before you turn back to your car.
19. Rainbow Hot Springs, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
These secluded hot springs takes you 9 miles in-and-out. Enjoy the fresh air, trees all around, and if you dare, take a dip in the cold river too.
20. Glenwood Springs, Colorado
If the resort is more your speed, go to Glenwood Springs Resort and soak in the world’s largest hot springs pool. Or head to the underdeveloped pools of South Canyon Hot Springs that reward you with a great view if you’re willing to find them.
21. Valley View Hot Springs, Villa Grove, Colorado
This clothing-optional retreat takes you to a simpler time. Focused on enjoying the springs and less on amenities, the springs are surrounded with Colorado’s beauty.
It’s also known as Langford Hot Springs or Big Bend Hot Springs and is a must on our visit to Big Bend National Park. A short 0.5-mile round trip hike takes you to a historic hot spring located at the Rio Grande.
The road gets narrow and rough, so bring your 4 wheel drive and high clearance vehicle.
25. San Antonio Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, New Mexico
Several pools are at the end of this 5-mile hike through the Santa Fe National Forest. While soaking, you can gaze upon the surrounding valley, creek, and forest.
Map of Best Hot Springs in the US
More Notable Hot Springs
If you can’t get enough of hot springs, and you’ve been to them all, here are a few more to check out.
- Arizona Hot Springs (Lake Mead NV, map)
- Boiling River ( Yellowstone National Park WY, map)
- Breitenbush Hot Springs (Detroit OR, map)
- Burgdorf Hot Springs (McCall ID, map)
- Carson Hot Springs Resort (Carson WA, map)
- Esalen Hot Springs (Big Sur CA, map)
- Fifth Water Hot Springs, also called Diamond Fork (Spanish Fork UT, map)
- Gila Hot Springs (NM, map) – recommended by Matt, one of our readers.
- Gold Fork Hot Springs (Donnelly ID, map)
- Homestead Crater Hot Springs (Midway UT, map)
- Hot Springs State Park (Thermapolis WY, map)
- Kirkham Hot Springs (Lowman ID, map)
- Mono Hot Springs Resort (Lakeshore CA, map)
- Mount Princeton Hot Springs (Nathrop CO, map)
- Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs (Ojo Caliente NM, map)
- Quapaw Baths & Spa (Hot Springs AR, map)
- Riverbend Hot Springs (Truth of Consequences NM, map)
- Sierra Hot Springs (Sierraville CA, map)
- Strawberry Park Hot Springs (Steamboat Springs CO, map)
- Ten Thousand Waves Spa (Santa Fe NM, map)
- Trail Creek Hot Springs (Boise National Forest ID, map)
- Wild Willy’s Hot Springs (Mammoth CA map)
- Don’t forget to follow the leave no trace principles. Or better yet, leave it better than you found it and pick up any litter you see.
- Some hot springs are clothing optional. If this is a problem for you, remember to look up details for each spot before you go.
- Test the water before jumping in. Some hot springs are scalding hot while others are lukewarm.
- Depending on how hot the water is, it’s not good for you to soak for more than 10-15 minutes at a time or it can cause severe heat-related illnesses. Take lots of breaks and make sure you’re drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
- Some hot springs may have brain-eating bacteria. They enter through the nose, so we make sure we keep our heads above water.
- Come at sunrise or sunset for the best light for photographs and fewer crowds.
What to Pack
- Swimsuit – This reversible one is my current fave since I’m always trying to maximize my options while still packing light.
- Towels – I always travel with these travel towels. Sometimes they have limited editions and I have the Yosemite one.
- Water Shoes especially if you’re stepping into a pool with a rocky bottom.
- Flip Flops – These are my go-to flip flops good for hanging out near water and they’re very lightweight.
- Water Bottle – we use these bottles to keep our water cold.
- Appropriate layers for the season and weather. This fleece jacket is one of our go-to layers (outer if it’s cool, and a mid-layer if it’s cold)
- If Hiking – Hiking Shoes, Hiking Poles, Headlamp
Have you been to any of these? Any others that shouldn’t be missed – US or Worldwide?
Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later
SEE MORE CITY BUCKET LISTS
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.