Table of Contents Show
- What Are Hot Springs?
- What State Has the Best Springs?
- Which State Has the Most Natural Hot Springs?
- The Best Hot Springs in The US
- Are You Ready to Soak in the Best Springs in the US?
A relaxing getaway is not complete without a stress-reducing soak in a hot spring. If you’re traveling in the west, you will have no problem discovering some of the best hot springs in the United States. The waters are comforting, and the locations have spectacular scenery. We gathered a list of unique destinations to help you plan a regenerative escape on your next trip.
Let’s get started!
What Are Hot Springs?
A hot spring usually comes from water escaping the earth’s crust, where geothermal heat from the mantle warms the liquid. Hot springs occur in areas of volcanic activity, as magma heats groundwater, which escapes the earth through cracks and fissures as steam and hot water. It is not unusual for hot springs to be vivid and colorful. That is due to the bacteria that flourish in the heated waters, creating red, orange, and yellow hues.
When a spring is under pressure, it may escape as a geyser, like Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Some thermal water may be so hot that it melts surrounding rocks into liquid clay. You can see this bubbling at the Paint Pots, also in Yellowstone.
What State Has the Best Springs?
When comparing hot springs by state, our vote goes to Colorado for having the most diverse and unique options. From the largest pool in the nation at Glenwood Springs, where guests can enjoy relaxing in a vapor cave, to springs accessible by kayak like Radium Hot Springs, the state offers a selection of healing waters. A visit to Pagosa Springs can give you 25 options for bathing in therapeutic pools. You can also climb to a mountain creek and find remote springs near Buena Vista. With 93 hot springs in Colorado, it’s clear that the state’s location over many fault lines has given them the best springs in the country.
Which State Has the Most Natural Hot Springs?
Nevada has more naturally-occurring hot springs than any other state, with over 300 total. Many are in the northern part of the state, and most are remote. You’ll find springs near Winnemucca, Wells, Ely, Lovelock, and the Black Desert. But beware; some may be too hot to soak safely, so test them first!
The Best Hot Springs in The US
Only locations with geothermal activity have hot springs, so many of the best offerings are in the western states. We found ten destinations with scenic backgrounds and some with optional lodgings. Find your favorite here:
Burgdorf Springs in Idaho
Address: 404 French Creek (USFS #246), McCall, Idaho 83638
Price: $20 per adult, $15 for seniors and children
Sitting 30 minutes from McCall, Idaho, the Burgdorf Hot Springs has three historic log-lined pools where you can soak up the scenery. There is a separate shallow pool for parental-supervised children with changing rooms nearby. A two-hour soak is just what you need while visiting Burgdorf.
Allegheny Springs in Virginia
Address: 7697 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, Virginia 24445
Price: $75 day pass or $200+ for other spa services that include a day pass
Part of the Omni Resort at The Homestead, Allegheny Springs has pools, water slides, and spa services. The 250-year-old hotel is a national historic landmark, offering 487 luxury rooms starting at $300 per night.
Keep in Mind: While you’re visiting Virginia, you need to check out these Top Places to see in Virginia
Mystic Hot Springs in Utah
Address: 475 E. 100 North, Monroe, Utah 84754
Price: $25 for a 2-hour soaking pass
With two concrete pools and six vintage cast-iron bathtubs, Mystic Hot Springs is in the high desert. The calcium carbonate in the springs forms travertine mounds around the pools, and visitors can enjoy a soak while listening to musical performances on the stage steps away from the water.
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Address: 17600 Chena Hot Springs Road, Fairbanks, AK 99712
Price: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $12 for children
Chena Resort is off the beaten path, a float plane trip away from Fairbanks. It’s open year-round, and it includes an outdoor lake, indoor pools, and hot tubs in both locations. If you’d like a package, $140 will consist of the flight to and from Fairbanks, and the resort has lodging and a restaurant for an all-inclusive experience.
Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming
Address: 220 Park Street, Thermopolis, Wyoming 82443
Price: $7 per vehicle for Wyoming residents, $12 for non-residents
Eight thousand gallons of mineral water flow over travertine terraces into a bathhouse at this state park. This day-use park also provides seven miles of hiking trails along the Thermopolis River, where visitors can fish and boat.
Mono Hot Springs in California
Address: 7200 Highway 168, Mono Hot Springs, California 93634
Price: $20 for adults, $10 for children
Halfway between Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks, Mono Hot Springs has mineral springs in a spa that pipes the water into tubs and showers. With cabins and a campground on-site, many spend a leisurely weekend hiking and soaking in the refreshing waters.
Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado
Address: 50014 Road 38, Dolores, Colorado 81323
Price: Ranging from $895 per night to $3,165 per night, depending upon cabin or glamping tent and season
Dunton Hot Springs is an all-inclusive resort with 13 luxury cabins. Residing guests can access indoor and outdoor pools and a fitness center. This rustic Old West town is now an exclusive getaway camp. They include all meals, spa treatments, and activities in the pricing.
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Weir Creek Hot Springs in Idaho
Address: Highway 12, Kooskia, Idaho 83539
Two pools with a rock barrier lie deep in the Idaho forest, waiting for hikers to come and relax. The Weir Creek springs are popular with college students, but you can still find some seclusion. Each pool can handle up to ten people, and the region around it is dog friendly, although dogs can’t swim in the pools. The springs are available in the winter, but be prepared to hike in the snow!
Goldmyer Hot Springs in Washington
Address: Dingford Trailhead, North Bend, Washington 98045
Price: $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and children are free
Goldmyer Hot Springs lies 25 miles east of North Bend, Washington, at the base of the Cascade Mountains. You can access it via a 10-mile round trip hike along the banks of the Snoqualmie River. Prospective visitors must enter a lottery to receive access. If you win the lottery, you need a forest service pass. There’s also an entry fee. This spring is “clothing optional.”
Travertine Hot Springs in California
Address: Jack Sawyer Road, Bridgeport, California 93517
The Travertine Hot Springs are on Bureau of Land Management land about 90 miles north of Bishop, California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are three tubs, including a cement one, all between 98 to 120 degrees. Because it’s very accessible, the springs are usually pretty busy.
Are You Ready to Soak in the Best Springs in the US?
There are many places to enjoy thermal waters, especially when traveling to western states. Why not plan your next trip with stops at some of the best hot springs in the US? If you indulge in a luxurious soak on the way, you’ll find the experience will add some tranquility and enjoyment to the rest of your travels.
Which of these springs will you visit?