There is nothing like having a relaxing soak in mineral water while looking out over beautiful landscapes. For anyone living in the U.S. or planning a visit, consider adding a trip to one of these natural hot springs located in the western U.S. to your itinerary:
Travertine Hot Springs in California
At the edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range near Bridgeport, California lie the Travertine Hot Springs. The minerals from the spring water add layers of orange, green, and red deposits on the surrounding rocks, enhancing the stunning scenery for you to enjoy while you bathe. Each naturally formed pool is a different temperature, so you can find one that’s comfortable for you.
These springs can easily be reached by car by taking Route 395 south from Bridgeport. Turn left onto Jack Sawyer Road, and follow it down about a mile to arrive at the springs. If you like to camp out, camping is allowed along Jack Sawyer Road. For other things to do while in the area, consider visiting Mono Lake and Yosemite National Park.
Nestled in an ancient forest you’ll find the Bagby Hot Springs – a rustic bathhouse complex, with both private baths and communal baths. The bathtubs themselves are made of cedar logs that have been hollowed out. Private tubs are made using 10-foot long logs, while the public tubs are circular. The spring water is brought to the tubs via a system of pipes and wooden flumes, and has a temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit. If that’s too hot for your liking, buckets of cold water are also available to mix into the tub water to create the desired temperature or to cool off with after your bath.
The Bagby Springs are located about 45 minutes outside of Estacada, Oregon, off of Highway 224. To get to the bathhouse there is a 1.5-mile walk from the parking lot through the beautiful Mt. Hood National Forest. While in the area, make sure to visit Portland, which is known for its coffeehouses, beer microbreweries and restaurants, and has a lively music scene.
Conundrum Hot Springs in Colorado
If you like to hike, the Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen, Colorado are a great option for you. They are 8.5 miles out from the trailhead, making this a daylong round-trip hike for experienced hikers. However if you’d prefer to take your time, you can also walk out and camp nearby the hot springs for a more relaxed visit. After the hike you can soak your muscles in the hot water and enjoy the greenery and mountain views.
Aspen is a ski town, so for this hike the best time to visit the hot springs is after the snow has melted in late spring, or in summer or fall. While in the area, head down to the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where you can enjoy canoeing, fishing, bird watching, camping, and hiking on the Gunnison River.