The five best natural hot springs in Southern California

Southern California has much to offer in the way natural wonders and ways to relax. And when the two come together? You’re in for a real treat! One of the best ways to enjoy a little bit of California nature while de-stressing is via the multitude of natural hot springs in the area. Warm, mineral-rich, healing waters that leave you rejuvenated and refreshed? Sign us up! With so many to choose from, it pays to know which ones will leave you sighing in contentment.

From high end luxury to rustic, family fun and hidden gems right in the heart of Los Angeles, we’re offering up the top hot springs that will suit a range of tastes and budgets. Read on for our picks for the best hot springs that southern California has to offer. “But I live in Northern California?” We’ve got you covered.

Natural hot springs below

Two Bunch Palms

Desert Hot Springs, CA

Photo: Two Bunch Palms

The Two Bunch Palms is the oldest hot mineral springs resort in the entire country, but it is one that is utilizing the most innovative techniques. In fact, it is the first carbon neutral resort in the US and is a leader in sustainability within the hospitality industry. Two Bunch Palms includes a beautiful grotto that features two different streams of water — one at 104 degrees and another at 99 — rich in minerals, but lacking the “rotten egg” stench of more sulphurous hot springs.

This solar-powered resort offers an array of options when it comes to relaxation, with the natural hot springs at the top of the list. In addition to their farm-to-table restaurant, you can unwind at a multi-service day spa or attend a variety of classes or workshops like yoga, drumming and more. Costs are on the higher end, but for what you gain access to, it’s more than worth it.

Sycamore Hot Springs

San Luis Obispo, CA

Photo: Sycamore Springs

The Avila Beach Resort in San Luis Obispo is home to the Sycamore Hot Springs, naturally heated spring water that is sourced from over a 100 acres of underground resources. One of the perks of this resort is the myriad of ways you can experience the hot springs. There are 23 open-air, mineral-spring fueled hot tubs that are open to the public. You do not necessarily need to stay at the resort to have access, making this a perfect stop for road trips. The rates are incredibly reasonable at $15/person per hour during the week and $20 on the weekend. The healing, mineral-rich waters of Sycamore’s Oasis Waterfall Lagoon are also available to the general public. There is incentive to book a stay here, however. You can soak in the privacy of your own room where the tubs are filled with water straight from the hot springs, providing you with your own personal slice of heaven.

Beverly Hot Springs

Koreatown, LA

Photo: Beverly Hot Springs

Who would have thought that there would be a natural hot springs right near downtown Los Angeles? The Beverly Hot Springs in Koreatown might just be the best kept secret in the city. The only 100% natural hot springs in LA, Beverly Hot Springs has a rich history with its healing waters. They source their hot mineral water from an artesian well that was dug back around 1900 by folks drilling for oil. There are a variety of options, including hot and cold pools, steam and dry herbal saunas and more. You can access the pools and saunas for $30 during the week and $40 on the weekend, or for free if you purchase a spa treatment such as body treatments and massages.

Keough Hot Springs

Bishop, CA

Photo: Outdoor Project

Looking for something more rustic and family friendly? Keough Hot Springs in Bishop might just be the perfect fit. Bring the family for a camping adventure and stick around for the healing, natural hot springs. For those who aren’t experienced campers or who want to try something different, they now offer some “glamping” style accommodations, with furnished canvas tents. Unlike most hot spring resorts, there’s a lot more to do then just lounge by the pool. Keough’s offers up water aerobics classes, lap lanes, open swim areas for families. You can even rent space for birthday parties! The free flowing pools are drained and cleaned every week, so while you might feel like you’re at the resort from Dirty Dancing, you can be rest assured that everything at this place is incredibly clean. Prices are reasonable and if you live nearby you can score a monthly pass for $75, or for travelers, you can get an adult day pass for $12.

Deep Creek Hot Springs

San Bernardino, CA

natural hot springs
Photo: Woods at Night

Are you willing to work for your relaxation? Deep Creek Hot Springs is a bit of an adventure to get to, but it is worth it. It’s about a two mile hike to get to the hot springs from Bowen Ranch, where you’ll pay anywhere from $5-$10 to access the trail to the springs. While it’s a bit of a trek, you’ll understand why it’s a hidden gem once you’re there. The springs are at the bottom of a remote desert canyon and feed four different mineral-rich, hot pools. Because this isn’t an official resort, you won’t know what the crowd will be like. Visitors have suggested that it’s less crowded during the week. You might also want to keep in mind tha it’s also a clothing-optional hot springs, before you hike two miles only to be greeted by a bathers in the buff. Due to the nudity and occasional partying that occurs, Deep Creek may not be the most family-friendly but it is definitely a good time.

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Author: Avital Norma Nathman

Avital Norman Nathman is a freelance writer and editor who writes about everything from parenting to pot and pop culture. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, VICE, Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, and more. She writes a weekly cannabis advice column for Snoop Dogg's site, MerryJane, and a weekly Feminism 101 column for Mayim Bialik's site, Grok Nation. Find her tweeting at @TheMamafesto.

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