10 Best Hot Springs Destinations in the United States

The natural mineral content of geothermal springs includes bone-building calcium, nerve-calming magnesium, and lithium, which is 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 country, because you have to engage all the senses to achieve true relaxation.

Black Rock Hot Springs, Nevada

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

First watering hole for emigrants across the vast Black Rock Desert, the secluded Black Rock Hot Springs are now meant to soak health in loneliness. Part of Nevada’s namesake desert, located along the Applegate Trail, it’s one of the most remote and desolate places in the country. Dwarfed by the towering Black Rock Point, the ruggedly landscaped hot springs feature two pools that meet. The scorching natural springs to the east are too hot to approach 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 nearly 80 miles away in the town of Fernley, one can take a day trip or use the various sites around the springs for camping.

Calistoga, California

Old Faithful Geyser at 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 area’s abundant natural mineral hot springs which were first discovered approximately 8,000 years ago. Now boasting several luxury resorts with mineral springs, the area is located in the scenic surroundings of the beautiful Upper Napa Valley. It’s the perfect retreat for couples to dip and sip, as well as visit nearby wineries. The Calistoga Spa Hot Springs offers four geothermal mineral pools with a hot whirlpool to release all muscle tension and a hot lap pool for younger visitors. For those looking for a luxurious stay on their trip to wine country, there is the Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection, and a spa complex that includes a public bath with geothermal pools that vary in temperature. The Calistoga Ranch is known for its private pools, mineral baths and garden showers, while those who stay in its luxury couple’s suite are offered a “Sensual Soak” massage treatment in a secluded, nature-kissed mineral pool.

Castle Hot Springs, Arizona

Located about an hour northwest of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the springs are hidden in a scenic canyon in the Bradshaw Mountains for a truly spectacular setting. First discovered by indigenous peoples long ago, Castle Hot Springs became a tourist destination in the late 1800s. Now comprising a luxury spa resort, the springs are a perfect way to soothe sore muscles. after an active day of hiking to explore the natural surroundings or use the on-site climbing course. With the natural springs bubbling at 115°F, they cascade through three pools, whose temperatures range between 85 and 106°F. Open to guests only, with 24-hour access; the area is surrounded by towering saguaro cacti, palm trees, and layers of weather-worn rock. The light plays with the purple and rusty red hues of the spring’s mineral content during the day, while the vast open venue offers unparalleled star gazing 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

Located in Alaska’s coldest state, Chena Hot Springs is one of the most remote and beloved year-round destinations among those truly looking to “get away from it all.” Rather than coming just for the pools, many visit the springs housed at Chena Spa in Fairbanks as a bucket list item on their “Great Alaskan Escape.” The pools are a must-stop for relaxing in a scenic paradise, where you can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while taking a late-night swim. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of the area, the natural hot springs lake is available for overnight guests and daytime visitors. The resort itself offers many interesting activities and outings throughout the year, such as the Aurora Ice Museum with sleigh rides all year round and ice skating in the winter.

Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado

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

The largest hot springs on the planet are found in Glenwood, Colorado. Glenwood Springs is among the best in the state and one of the best in the country for a complete wellness experience. It’s the largest hot spring that maintains a constant temperature of 93 F year-round, perfect during the summer, while those who like it hot can jump into the 104 F therapy pool. Yampah spring which reaches over three million gallons of groundwater at a scorching 122 F, it cools upon reaching the station. With enough space to accommodate a float, the pool is equipped with a diving board and lap lane for added fun and exercise, as well as two waterslides in the summer. There are also shaded areas and a restaurant with a terrace to relax “dry” with a view. The resort and its beautiful spa are located near Iron Mountain, with another 16 different natural pools ranging from 99 to 108 degrees for a scenic soak in serene nature.

Homestead Crater, Utah

Located less than an hour southeast of Salt Lake City International Airport, the Homestead Crater Mineral Dome is perfect for summer bathing, with temperatures reaching a high of 96 F. Many prefer it for greater amount of diverse experiences on-site than any other hot springs, such as scuba diving and snorkeling in geothermal waters. For ultimate relaxation, try SUP yoga in the otherworldly beehive-shaped dome, featuring natural limestone walls. The impressive interior expanse features a summit crater that lets in fresh air and sunshine for the best atmosphere and photo ops in a 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 rejuvenating powers, Ojo Caliente Hot Springs is one of the oldest natural spas in the country. Every day, Mother Nature provides the public with springs and pools at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa with over 100,000 gallons of geothermal water. The only hot springs in the world contain 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 with a wood-burning fireplace. Open to guests and visitors, those who choose to stay the night in a Posi Suite enjoy early access to the springs, private patios, pools, and hammocks with surrounding cliff views.

Spencer Hot Springs, Nevada

Spencer Hot Springs in central Nevada

Spencer Hot Springs Main Pool.

Spencer Hot Springs, Nevada attracts many people for its unique setting at the edge of the world, with incredibly dark night skies that encourage stargazing while bathing in the natural hot springs. The gem is obscurely located in the Big Smoky Valley, about 20 miles southeast of Austin in central Nevada. Hidden in the sagebrush-covered landscape, the incredible pools literally blend into the terrain and are only visited by those in the know. Despite the remote location on public land, the geothermal hotspot is a must-see, especially with recent major upgrades to the area. Although behind the scenes, the unique swimming holes are created with troughs for livestock and come complete with accessories that filter the water inside the pool, providing 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 state’s most popular hot springs, located in Strawberry Park, features several natural geothermal pools with varying temperatures. The pools closest to the springs are the warmest and perfect for winter soaking, while the cooler ones are ideal for those whose health does not permit high heat, children, as well as for summer soaks. Separated by rocks, all pools feature sand floors that provide a natural, soothing foot massage while moving. Open 24 hours a day, there’s a wide selection of overnight accommodations nearby, from riverside campsites in the wilderness to rustic cabins, and even a train van with a covered wagon. Included with the dashing perk of being open to adults only after sunset for a reason, Strawberry Park’s natural hot springs are especially popular among nudists.

Travertine Hot Springs, California

Travertine Hot Springs, California
Travertine Hot Springs, California.

Located south of Bridgeport, Travertine Hot Springs is known to perfectly conform to the “low-effort nature lover’s” taste, located near the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Although the remote wilderness location is easily accessible from the road with nearby parking, it lacks changing rooms, snack bars, and any type of facility. The springs clothing mandate is also “optional” for a full natural experience. Separated by rocks, the spring-fed pools offer perfectly heated temperatures at 103 degrees. The gaze of the Sierra mountain range helps relax for absolutely magical and endless photo ops. After reaching the ultimate natural treatment, one can camp and hike or spend the night at the Virginia Creek Colony for a rehearsal the next day. Rustic creekside accommodations in the Eastern Sierras offer more views, as well as a base for exploring Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, and other natural wonders of the area.

These scenic geothermal wonders of the nation offer relaxation to beat stress and prophylactic properties for year-round health maintenance. The bicarbonates in the waters will help get rid of back pain from time spent sitting at work at home and lactic acid in the muscles after exploratory hikes in the area.