Looking for a way to relax and rejuvenate your tired and aching muscles? We’ve found five hot springs in Southern California that can help you do just that.
Whether you’re looking to spend a weekend at a luxurious resort or want to hike, we have options to consider. Grab your slippers and softest bathrobe as we look at a handful of the best hot springs Southern California offers.
What Is a Hot Spring?
A hot spring is a geothermally heated body of water that gathers on the earth’s surface. The water heats from magma or by passing through faults in the Earth’s crust.
Temperatures in these hot springs can vary and possibly reach dangerous levels for humans. So before you go jumping in, make sure you know it’s safe to do.
Are There Natural Hot Springs in Southern California?
Southern California is home to both resort-style and natural hot springs. You can find a host of options to soak in all over this section of the state.
Some of the springs will be clothing-optional. If you’re uncomfortable with this, confirm the clothing requirements for any spring you visit.
Traveler’s Tip: Comfortable in your birthday suit? Check out Orr Hot Springs in northern California.
Do You Have to Pay to Go to Hot Springs in Southern California?
Costs will vary from one hot spring to the next. You may need to pay an entrance fee, purchase a wilderness permit, or book a stay at one of the resorts. Depending on the hot springs, it could cost anywhere from $0 to several hundred dollars for a stay at the most luxurious resorts.
The cost will greatly depend on what type of experience you hope to enjoy. Whether you’re on a budget or have unlimited funds, you can find unbelievable hot springs in Southern California.
Soak in These 5 Hot Springs in Southern California
We’ve found some of the best hot springs in Southern California. No matter what type of experience you want, here are five great options to consider. Let’s jump into these hot springs.
1. Deep Creek Hot Springs
Location: Pacific Crest Trail, Apple Valley, CA 92308
About: Visiting Deep Creek Hot Springs requires you to pay $5 to park at Bowen Ranch and then a nearly 5-mile round trip hike. However, once you arrive at the springs, you’ll find seven geothermal pools to enjoy.
Temperatures here range from 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and the uppermost pool is typically the warmest and can fit one or two soakers. The largest hot springs here have space for more than a dozen bathers to soak comfortably.
There are some important things to note about this spring. First, clothing is optional around the springs, but you must wear clothes on the trail. The springs close at sunset and open at sunrise, so plan accordingly.
This spring gets very crowded during the warmer months, especially on the weekends. You could visit and have the entire place to yourself during the winter.
2. Franklin Hot Springs
Location: 3015 Creston Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446
About: The springs at Franklin Hot Springs, near Paso Robles, sit at 100.1 Fahrenheit. The high mineral content of these springs just might have restorative powers for many with health ailments. People with arteriosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, burns, arthritis, poor circulation, and other disorders may experience relief.
Entrance fees to Franklin Hot Springs are based on the honor system and cost $7 per person and $5 for guests under 14. Guests can enjoy boating, fishing, and the mineral hot spring.
The springs are open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Like most springs, they’re typically busiest on the weekends. However, you’ll likely have plenty of room if you visit during the week or the morning on the weekends.
3. Remington Hot Springs
Location: Remington Hot Springs, California 93518
About: Remington Hot Springs is free and open year-round with a water temperature of 103 Fahrenheit. A group of locals maintains these man-made tubs that sit along the Kern River near Lake Isabella. The easy access to these pools makes them a popular spot no matter the time of day.
There are a few important things to know about these springs before visiting. Many of the bathers here choose to soak nude. However, rangers frequent the area and issue citations and warnings to nude bathers because it sits on Forest Service land.
Due to the high sulfur in the water, you’ll likely leave the springs smelling a bit sulfurous. Accessing the springs requires a short quarter-mile hike. However, the stars look incredible once the sun goes down, and the bats put on quite an aerial display.
4. Sespe Hot Springs
Location: Rose Valley Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
About: Sespe Hot Springs is in the Los Padres National Forest. You can have a great experience visiting in the winter and spring.
However, Grade Valley Road does experience closures during the winter. Summer temperatures can climb well over 100 degrees and make it difficult to relax in already hot water.
You’ll need to purchase a $5 adventure pass to park at the Piedra Blanca Trailhead. You can get your pass at the visitor center. If you want to visit the springs frequently, you can purchase a $25 annual pass to the forest.
You’ll need to hike to the springs, which requires either a 16.8-mile, 7.5-mile, or 9.5-mile hike each way. These hikes are rather difficult, so this spring isn’t for everyone.
5. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
Location: 1215 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
About: Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort is a first-class resort with plenty of options for relaxing. You’ll find everything from hot tubs, spa treatments, and fine dining options.
You can sit and enjoy the hot tubs near the beautiful sycamore trees in a private setting. Due to the increased privacy, bathing suits are optional in their pools.
Visiting in the winter gives you fewer crowds, and you’ll feel like you have the resort to yourself. However, reserve your hot tub in advance, especially if you plan to visit on the weekends.
Room reservations can cost $259 to $459 per night, depending on your room selection. Spa services include various massages and facials.
Soak Away in These Southern California Hot Springs
Getting to soak in one of these Southern California hot springs may be just what you need. Spending some time outdoors in warm mineral-filled water may help rejuvenate your tired muscles and joints.
If your adventures take you to Southern California, we highly recommend taking a dip in one of these hot springs. Your body will thank you if you do. Take a long hike or book a stay at a spa. Either way, you can find a great natural pool to relax in.
On a scale of one to 10, how bad does your body need to soak in a hot spring?