8 Natural Hot Springs to Visit This Summer

Hot springs feel extra rewarding when there’s a killer view you had to work to find. 

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Photo By: Courtesy of Mono County Tourism

The Boiling River, Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its gurgling hot springs and geysers, but those teal pools you’ve seen in photos are much too hot to touch. Instead, take a dip in the Boiling River, where a hot spring mixes with the cool waters of the Gardner River. 

Conundrum Hot Springs, Aspen

Conundrum Hot Springs may be the worst-kept secret in Aspen, Colorado; you’ll be hard-pressed to find solitude here, even 9 miles from the trailhead. But it’s worth braving the crowds for the natural pools tucked into this high alpine valley in the Maroon Bells Wilderness. The view from the campground at 11,200 feet of elevation is stellar, and so is the stargazing.

Travertine Hot Spring, Eastern California

Enjoy mountain views of the Sierra Nevadas and rock formations made from mineral deposits at Travertine Hot Spring in Bridgeport, California. The various pools here are all different temperatures, so you can play Goldilocks till you find the one that’s just right.

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

It didn’t take long for industrious Americans to build health spas at Hot Springs National Park once the area was turned over to the U.S. with the Louisiana purchase. Nearly 200 years ago, cabins were built around the geothermal waters and people came to bathe in them hoping to cure their ailments. You can’t soak in the natural pools in the park today, but there are still bathhouses in the park where you can go for a dip.  

Kirkham Hot Springs, Idaho

It’s not just the pools at Kirkham Hot Springs that are hot; the waterfalls are steamy, too. So steamy, in fact, that you can see them from the road before you arrive. Plan ahead if you want to camp nearby when you visit, as this is popular western Idaho spot fills up quickly in the summer months. 

Umpqua, Oregon

As long as there’s no snow, the hike to this 108-degree spring in southwestern Oregon is steep but short, just over a quarter mile. The "tub," carved out of travertine deposits in the rock, is about 2.5 feet deep. Beware: It’s a fan favorite of Oregonian nudists, and it gets busy quickly in the summer months. 

Meadow Hot Spring, Utah

Meadow Hot Spring is on private land in central Utah, but the owners leave the pools open for people to visit. Bring goggles or a snorkel if you want to explore the depths of these crystal-clear springs.

Buckeye Hot Spring, Eastern California

Head to Bridgeport, California for Buckeye Hot Spring, which has multiple pools scattered along the steep trail. Hike down the switchbacks to Buckeye Creek to see the hot spring cascade over a cave, but don’t miss this upper pool, which has the best views even though it’s shallow. Visit in late summer or early fall for the hottest soaking.

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