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6 of the Best Natural Hot Springs in the US | Info + Reviews

6 of the Best Natural Hot Springs in the US: popularity, ratings, how to reach them and where to sleep.

  • Mammoth Lakes: Wild Willy’s Hot Spring
  • Northern Idaho: Goldbug Hot Springs
  • Southern Idaho: Pine Flats Hot Springs 
  • Arizona Hot Springs at Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  • Northern Utah: Homestead Crater
  • Southern Utah: Mystic Hot Springs

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Mammoth Lakes: Wild Willy’s Hot Spring

mammoth lakes hot springs

The access to these natural hot springs is free, looking at the beauty of these pools and the landscape, you will almost feel in a luxurious resort.

From the parking spot, you will see a wooden walkway that cuts through low bushes. Follow it through a quick and easy hike. You will arrive at the two warm pools, two blue tears in the barren, desert-like landscape. 

The second pool (and the farthest) is the deepest and the hottest. The highest water temperature is 38° Celsius, 100° Fahrenheit. 

There aren’t any facilities, so make sure to carry everything with you. Camping is also allowed but, once again, there aren’t any amenities.

This is a popular spot and it can get crowded, so you might want to visit in the morning. You are surrounded by the mountains of California. They frame the Long Valley Caldera south of Mammoth Lakes, where Wild Willy’s hot spring is located. A California dream. 

Ratings: this destination gains 4.5 stars thanks to the view. Check the reviews on TripAdvisor.

Check our Detailed Article about Mammoth Lakes Hot Springs

Northern Idaho: Goldbug Hot Springs

Goldbug Hot Springs

To reach this relaxing and sweaty destination, you first have to sweat on the hiking trail. 

The trail is a little over 4 km (2 miles) and it’s uphill, so wear comfortable shoes for it. And don’t give up because it is worth it. 

The hot springs are surrounded by cliffs, waterfalls, and creeks. There are two pools and the pool on top is the coolest. You are surrounded by the forest, so you will get a boost of oxygen. Keep in mind that camping is not allowed within 500 feet of the hot springs, although there are a few fire rings for marshmallows. 

Fall is the best time to visit Goldbug hot springs because the trail will be dry, which makes for an easier hike. Summer might be hot, so if you plan on visiting, bring enough water. There aren’t any facilities, so hike prepared in winter too. Make sure you pack a towel to dry yourself before getting back on the trail. 

Where: Goldbug hot springs is located by the town of Salmon, on Highway 93. 

Ratings: these hot springs in northern Idaho have gained 4.6 stars, thanks to their lush landscape and the opportunity to camp in the area. Check the reviews on TripAdvisor.

Check our Detailed Article about Northern and Southern Idaho Hot Springs

Southern Idaho: Pine Flats Hot Springs 

Just picture this: a waterfall above a hot spring, by a river and surrounded by lush woods. You have just pictured Pine Flats hot springs. It’s not a joke either. The hike is only 1 km long and it is easy, suitable for all ages. The surrounding forest is a destination for hikers, nature lovers, and birdwatchers. The river is the Payette and the trees are Idaho’s very own Ponderosa pines, a sight to behold. 

Once you spot the Payette River, you have reached Pine Flats and their steamy magic. They are located in a campground, so in summer they might get busy. But they are crowded for a reason. Since you are by a river and that the rocks might be slippery, wear comfortable attire. 

The area is also a popular destination for water sports such as kayaking and canoes, so you can row your boat and when you are tired enough, soak in the hot springs. 

Where: these hot springs are located by the town of Lowman, by the Banks-Lowman Highway. 

Ratings: with 4.2 stars, Pine Flats is a destination you can’t miss in southern Idaho. 

Check our Detailed Article about Northern and Southern Idaho Hot Springs

Arizona Hot Springs at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

arizona hot springs

Among all the other hot springs on this list, this one is the most popular in Arizona. The fortress of relaxation can be accessed via three hikes that are way more beautiful than the destination. 

You can either hike for 3 miles from the White Rock Canyon Trailhead, or you can also boat down from the Hover Dam. Besides, you can also choose to go from Willow beach, in which you have to paddle 8 miles upriver. The cool thing about the third way is that you can enjoy the scenic beauty on the way.

After reaching your destination, your tiredness will be extracted by various pools formed by the spring around 1000 feet from the river. Moreover, the temperature at the Arizona Hot Springs varies between 85 to 120°F that will perfectly soothe your body after a tiring week. You can also rest in the on-site campground after soaking yourself in warm water.

The White Rock Canyon is an eye-pleasing area with various desert plants like rush-milkweed, cheese bush, Mormon tea, rabbitbrush, desert fir, globemallow, and more.

Facilities: Paid parking, Campground, Hot Spring pools

Address: Arizona 86445 ( If you want to go there, from Lake Mead Visitor Center, follow U.S. Hwy 93 east for 8 miles and post this trace the signs of Arizona Hot Spring trailhead.

Ratings: 4.5/5

Check our Detailed Article about the Best Hot Springs in Arizona

Northern Utah: Homestead Crater

Barely one hour from Salt Lake City, you can find the only geothermal hot spring in Utah: Homestead Crater. As the snow melted over 10,000 years ago, it penetrated deep in the earth and then shot upward, due to the heat of the earth’s interior. The water kept moving, picking up minerals until it created the limestone bed of this crater. 

The waters’ temperature is between 90 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit (32-35.5 Celsius) and a breath of fresh air comes from the open top of the dome. The Crater’s size is 65 feet deep and 400 feet wide (respectively 20 meters and 122) and it is easy to access thanks to a tunnel. 

The hot springs aren’t the only fun activities to do at Homestead, which is fun for the whole family. 

Where: the Crater is in the Heber Valley, the Visitors Center is at 475 North Main

Heber City, Utah 84032, Phone +1 435-654-3666, online contact form.

Ratings: the hot springs scored 4.1 stars out of 5. 

Check our Detailed Article about Northern and Southern Utah Hot Springs

Southern Utah: Mystic Hot Springs

mystic hot spring

These are natural hot springs, but they are not free. While they are not in a resort, there is an entrance fee, the Soaking Passes ($25 for adults and $12,50 for kids of 12 and under). Visitors of Mystic don’t just soak in its water, but there is also a waterfall to enjoy. With temperatures of up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius), these pools are both relaxing and healthy, thanks to their minerals. 

While this isn’t a resort, this is a private area with a campground and a few cabins for visitors. The rules to access this park are strict, so make sure to follow them. First, you need to make a reservation to enter and note that the passes are good for a two-hour slot and only groups of up to four people can go.

Where: the hot springs are in the town of Monroe and you can contact them at +1 435 527 3286 or at [email protected].

Ratings: visitors gave 4.4 stars to this hot spring thanks to its location and the unique, calm experience. 

Check our Detailed Article about Northern and Southern Utah Hot Springs

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