Best Natural Hot Springs in the United States (Updated 2021)
The hot springs are for those who want to experience what it feels like to soak in calming and warm waters.
Scientifically, hot springs are made possible because of the warmth that is brought by the Earth’s crust, through the rising of geothermal heat. It is known to be enriched with a high amount of mineral content which is contributory to the health of those who soak in the said waters.
Aside from its mentioned health benefit, hot springs are found all over the country, making access to these water formations easy.
Below, we listed the best natural hot springs all over the United States that you can visit and enjoy its soothing waters.
Bagby Hot Springs is located in Clackamas County, Oregon in Mount Hood National Forest, and is named after American hunter Bill Bagby.
Bill Bagby discovered the natural hot spring in 1880. Compared to how Bagby found the hot spring 150 years ago, Bagby Hot Springs now is more comfortable for leisure activities.
If you are interested in visiting, there is a $5 soaking fee and a 1.4-mile hike will bring you to the bathhouses near the hot spring. You can choose whether to relax in 8 private log tubs or two 6 foot round tubs.
All the tubs and plumbing at Bagby Hot Springs are made from cedar, giving it that vintage and authentic forest feeling.
The main spring’s water is 138 degrees, however, cold water is readily available to help cool down the scorching water.
Do note that alcohol is not allowed on the premises and nudity is prohibited in public areas. Even though the hot spring is available all year round, it is better if you check the weather forecast ahead of time as snow makes traveling to the hot springs impossible.
2. Deep Creek Hot Springs
Deep Creek Hot Springs is located in the northern Mojave Desert of the San Bernardino National Forest. Aside from the hot spring itself, all the surrounding areas can be quite hot.
There is a difficult 2-mile hike to reach the springs so it is recommended to visit during the winter or early in the mornings. Temperatures in these areas can easily rise to 100 degrees so it is best to come prepared.
The road to the hot springs’ parking lot is rough, full of rocks and bumps and it is highly recommended to navigate using a 4-wheel drive. Visitors can park their cars at Bowen Ranch with a $5 parking fee.
If you are up for an adventure and are willing to go through the challenging hike, you will see the wonderful scenery of rugged desert mountains with large soaking hot springs, surrounded by huge rocks and a beautiful view. You can also bring your tubes to float in the waters.
Kids are welcomed in the hot springs, however, it is important to know that nudity is common and a large crowd that can get too disorderly might not be the best environment for the little ones.
3. Chena Hot Springs
In 1905, gold prospectors stumbled upon Chena Hot Springs in hopes to cure their work-induced health problems. Before soaking into the warm water, they also found evidence that native people also used the water before them.
In less than 10 years, Chena Hot Springs became a popular resort where visitors would travel for days just to reach the springs.
Chena Hot Springs’ popularity is still booming as ever and fortunately, it is now just a two-hour drive from Fairbanks. The hot springs are located at a resort, however, visitors don’t have to stay the night to access the springs.
In the resort, there’s a spring for 18 years olds and older and a hot spring pool for children. Day use is $15 for adults and $12 for youth while kids under 6 years old are free.
Aside from the hot springs, another feature that makes the resort so special is that the northern lights can be seen in the night sky. So if you are hoping to see the majestic aurora borealis, Chena Hot Springs is a must-visit
4. Trail Creek Hot Springs
Trail Creek Hot Springs is located in Idaho where there are tons of hot springs to choose from. Due to the area’s high number of hot springs, it is possible to arrive at Trail Creek and have the place to yourself.
The springs are a scorching 116 degrees but valves are available that allow cold river water to cool the pool down. For those who are looking for more than just a hot soak in the spring, there’s a camping ground nearby where you can pitch a tent and even take a night soak under a blanket of stars.
5. Hot Springs National Park
3,000 years ago, Native Americans discovered the now-named city of hot springs, an appropriate name for an area with 47 hot springs, the steam rising through the vents and fogging the town in a geothermal fog.
Hot Springs National Park is just within the city limits and all 47 springs can be found inside the park. The national park has the first-come, first-served Buckstaff bathhouse to the upscale spas of Quapaw Baths and Spas, and in between, hot springs for every budget.
It is highly recommended that if you were to come to visit, plan to stay for a while. All the soaking and relaxing time you’ll spend here is surely the best.
6. Ten Thousand Waves Hot Springs
Ten Thousand Waves Spa is an upscale Japanese-styled spa that is the perfect candidate for a major relaxing getaway. If you are looking for authentic Japanese onsen while you are in the United States, this spa house will be the closest you can get to.
If you visit, be prepared to enjoy a grand bath and majestic landscape that can be accessed even without a reservation at $24.30/person, and children are allowed.
If you want to take relaxation to another level, you can also book a massage or other spa treatments offered at the spa.
7. Dunton Hot Springs
In the 1800s, Dunton Hot Springs was located in a ghost town located in an amazing alpine valley. Miners, native Americans, and even those before them are proven to have frequented these hot springs.
Now, it has turned into a small and exclusive Colorado resort with 5-star accommodations, cream of the crop spa, and fine dining. Do note though, it’s not exactly the best place to relax if you are on a tight budget.
However, if you’re not and you’re looking for the perfect hot spring to splurge money on, definitely try Dunton Hot Springs. The hot springs can be accessed six ways, from pool to baths, and temperature can range from 85 to 106 degrees. There’s also a challenging hike trail that will lead you to jaw-dropping views and state-of-the-art spa treatments. With that, it’s definitely worth the difficult hike.
Cell phones don’t work at Dunton Hot Springs, so if you want to leave the world behind, no phone calls, no text messages, no emails, there’s no better place than to stay at Dunton Hot Springs.