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15 Best Northern California Hot Springs You Can’t Miss

Northern California, or NorCal as it’s affectionately known, is full of attractions as well as natural splendours that attract hordes of visitors yearly. This includes the majestic Yosemite National Park, scenic mountains, magnificent beaches, and rejuvenating hot springs.

There are free natural hot springs scattered throughout NorCal, as well as others found in wellness retreats. The hot springs boast mineral-rich waters, which are said to have healing and calming properties.

This is why it’s important to choose only the best hot springs, and I’ve made that choice easier for you. These are the best  Northern California hot springs you must visit to get rejuvenated to the max.

hot springs

15 Best Northern California Hot Springs

1. Vichy Springs Resort, Ukiah

Vichy Springs Resort in Ukiah is a landmark hot spring resort in NorCal, stretching its roots back to the 1800s. It’s dotted with mineral pools and baths that guests can soak in for a relaxing time.

The resort boasts naturally warm waters, which are North America’s only carbonated springs. This means there will be thousands of tiny bubbles crawling across the skin, giving a champagne-like sensation. Plus, the springs have carbon dioxide, the same beneficial mineral as the famous water of its namesake Vichy of France.

vichy hot springs
vichy hot springs

 Apparently, the water has mystical powers that realign our natural magnetic fields. They help induce a pleasantly relaxing state that gives us a feeling of warmth and serenity.

Day users of the springs will pay a minimum of $35 or $50 for a two or three-hour dip, respectively. I’d recommend an overnight stay to give yourself ample time at the springs, plus you will also get to hike scenic trails,  go mountain biking and more on the 700-acre property.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

vichy hot springs
vichy hot springs

2. Wilbur Hot Springs, Williams

Tranquil Wilbur Hot Springs is located on a magnificent nature reserve and provides an excellent opportunity to escape frantic city life. It’s an off-the-grid health sanctuary featuring waters that have been used by Native Americans for their healing properties for thousands of years.

wilbur hot springs
wilbur hot springs

The springs boast a Japanese-style system that pumps water continuously through three flumes, ranging between 98° F and 109° F. Unlike most resorts here, it’s clothing optional and operates around the clock.

Excluding the hot springs, there are tons of things to do in the nature-surrounded resort. Enjoy a massage and other healing treatments like yoga and more. Expect to pay $59 for day use of the hot springs, with the spa and healing treatments bearing an additional cost.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

wilbur hot springs
wilbur hot springs

Looking to experience some of the best nature experiences in the United States? Check out my posts on the 15 Best Northern California Hot Springs, 13 Best Pumpkin Patches in Arizona, 9 Best Hot Springs in Washington State, 11 Best Pumpkin Patches in Las Vegas, 13 Spectacular Sunflower Fields in Long Island, 13 Sunflower Fields in Illinois, 15 Stunning Sunflower fields in New Jersey, 15 Best Places for Cherry Picking in Michigan, 21 Sunflower Fields in Ohio, 7 Stunning Sunflower fields in Minnesota and 11 Terrific Texas Sunflower Fields.

3. Orr Hot Springs, Ukiah

Orr Hot Springs, situated near Ukiah, is a small, rustic clothing-optional retreat located on 27 acres of land. It’s surrounded by a magnificent landscape and features several hot springs which feature healing mineral waters. Devoid of internet access and cell service, the retreat is great for escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life.

orr hot springs

It features an enclosed hot tub as well as an outdoor one, with temperatures between 104° F and 108° F. Both are communal spring tubs and are only available for day rental at $100 per adult. There are other facilities on offer, including a cold pool to plunge into and four tubs filled with mineral water.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

orr northern california hot springs
orr hot springs

4. Harbin Hot Springs, Middletown

Back in 2015, this non-profit wellness retreat was devastated by fires that affected the entire area. However, Harbin Hot Springs has sprung back into its former greatness after being rebuilt and is now one of NorCal’s best hot spring resorts. It’s surrounded by nature and now features several springs and pools that guests can enjoy when they visit.

harbin hot springs
harbin hot springs

The mineral springs all offer different temperatures to choose from, including absurdly hot to warm conditions. It’s a clothing-optional resort, albeit just for their pool area. Apart from the spring, visitors can enjoy using a dry sauna, try several hiking trails, get a massage or join a yoga class.

Before visiting this resort, make sure you pick up your membership as you’ll need it for admission. Either get a $10 one month trial membership, $30 annual membership or a lifetime membership for $300. A 6-hour visit will cost $30 per person, and anything over six hours will cost $45 per person.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

harbin hot springs sauna
harbin hot springs sauna

5. Sykes Hot Springs, Big Sur

Sykes Hot Springs is a free remote soaking spot located near Big Sur. It can only be reached after a 10-mile long hike from the trailhead at Big Sur Station. So if that doesn’t sound terrifying, go for it – after all, the walk is worth the reward.

sykes hot springs in northern california
sykes hot springs

Despite the challenge of getting there, it’s a very popular spot that sees hundreds of visitors flock there in the summer. The springs feature three pools, one on an upper level and the others right below. However, you might have a hard time spotting them because the signage is constantly removed by locals who want to keep the springs a secret – seriously.

They’re an absolute must-visit for people who love springs located deep in the wilderness.

sykes hot springs
sykes hot springs

6. Feather River Hot Springs, Twain

Feather Creek Hot Springs in Twain are a rustic retreat surrounded by Mother Nature’s beautiful flora and one of her rivers. The natural hot springs at this retreat average temperatures varying between 99° F and 104° F. There are tubs and pools dotted around the property, offering magnificent views of the river and trees.

feather river hot springs
feather river hot springs

To get to the springs, you need to navigate a rocky footpath with some breathtaking views on offer. Soak in one of the makeshift pools or enjoy a sensational California sunset from the tub. I’d recommend dipping into the cold river to cool off and extend your rejuvenating experience.

A two-hour soak will cost $20 per person unless you’re a member of the Friends of Feather River Hot Springs, in which case you’ll pay $10 per person. All visits are by reservation only, and walk-ins aren’t allowed.

feather river hot springs
feather river hot springs

7. Esalen Institute, Big Sur

Esalen Institute is one of California’s best and most popular wellness retreats and is found in Big Sur. It’s nestled between the ocean and a mountain with hot mineral springs placed on a seaside cliff.

Their hot springs are clothing optional and are nestled in a particularly secluded area. The waterfront tubs spoil guests with picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean.

esalen institute
esalen institute

Unfortunately, the hot springs are only available to Esalen guests who participate in their workshops. I recommend the workshop if you’re interested in a journey of self-discovery and transformation courtesy of a group of experienced instructors.

If that doesn’t sound very appealing, public spots can be reserved between 1 a.m and 3 a.m. It may seem crazy, but can you really turn down a relaxing time listening to nothing but the sound of waves crashing? I think not.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

Esalen hot springs
Esalen hot springs

8. Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Calistoga

Another one of NorCal’s landmark resorts is Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, found in the renowned Calistoga region. They’ve been operating since the early 1900s and feature several hot springs, as well as other rejuvenating facilities like their spa.

calistoga hot springs
calistoga hot springs

In total, it boasts four hot springs of varying styles and temperatures, ranging from 80° F to 104° F. There’s a serene whirlpool, a soaking pool, a multi-lane lap pool and even a pool for young kids. To make your adventures even more relaxing, take part in their signature mud bath treatment.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

calistoga-spa-hot-springs-pool-california
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs

9. Dr Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort, Calistoga

If the name doesn’t give it away, this is another wellness retreat that allows you to drift into a more peaceful state. Dr Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort has several geothermal hot springs as well as mineral-rich pools on offer. The resort’s water carries a healing property that makes for a refreshing visit.

Dr_Wilkinsons hot springs
Dr_Wilkinsons hot springs

Access to these springs is by way of reservation into one of their rooms or booking a spa treatment. And given how much it costs (a night’s stay typically starts from around $200), I’d recommend making use of all the other services on offer. Go for a mud bath, get a deep tissue massage, and enjoy their delectable food and drinks.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

dr wilkinsons hot springs resort
dr wilkinsons hot springs resort

10. Stewart Mineral Hot Springs Retreat, Weed

Near the quaint small town of Weed is Stewart Mineral Hot Springs Retreat. It’s located at the foot of Mt. Shasta, which is considered one of the world’s major sacred energy vortices. Plus, the getaway retreat is surrounded by a forest on all corners.

steward mineral springs
steward mineral springs

 This rustic retreat features several hot springs with sacred mineral waters and is a great way to escape frantic city life. Soak in the hot springs for just 5 minutes, and you’ll already start feeling the results.

Apart from the hot springs, enjoy a relaxing time in the woodstove fired sauna or plunge into the cold creek to cool off.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

stewart mineral springs
stewart mineral springs

11. Surprise Valley Hot Springs, Cedarville

Tucked away a few miles east of Cedarville is Surprise Valley Hot Springs, a secluded and remote resort. It doesn’t have internet activity and is for adults 21 years and older, perfect as a weekend getaway from the fast-paced California life. The retreat is pet friendly, so you can bring your furry friends to join you on your relaxing adventure.

surprise valley hot springs
surprise valley hot springs

The resort offers 15 outdoor and four indoor rooms, with outdoor and indoor soaking tubs to match. Expect to pay a minimum of $90 per night, with a two-night minimum on all reservations. The resort offers many outdoor activities, but I’d recommend going on a drive to observe the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

surprise valley hot springs
surprise valley hot springs

⇒ Interested in heading to California? Check out my posts on Unique Restaurants in San Francisco, Things to do in Calistoga review of the great Solage Spa, 19 awesome places to watch San Diego Sunsets, visiting Yosemite in One Day, 15 Best Northern California Hot Springs, 15 Best Places to Watch San Francisco Sunsets, 10 Stunning Sunsets in California and in Yosemite in October and my guide to a Livermore Wine Tasting.

12. Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport

Travertine Hot Springs is an assortment of several free natural hot springs with varying temperatures. All are filled with mineral-rich waters, as well as sulfuric mud, which is great for the skin.

travertine hot springs
travertine hot springs

The tubs are surrounded by interesting rocks that have been partially formed thanks to the springs’ water. Travertine is a popular attraction because it’s clothing optional and pet-friendly, although your furry baby must be on a leash. It also offers visitors a scenic view of the mountains in the distance.

Make sure you bring a trash bag to put your trash in because there are no trash cans in the area.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

travertine hot springs
travertine hot springs

13. Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, Mammoth Lakes

Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, also known as Crowley Hot Springs, is an excellent free getaway featuring a pair of pools. One is large enough to fit over ten people, and the other is a cute, small heart-shaped pool. It’s also the hotter of the two springs found in Mammoth Lakes.

wild willy's hot springs
wild willy’s hot springs

The springs offer panoramic views of the mountains and vast surrounding area. It’s a popular spot that attracts many visitors, so expect to find company. This is why I’d recommend a morning visit if the aim is to have a serene experience.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

wild willy's hot springs mammoth
wild willy’s hot springs

⇒ Looking for some travel inspiration? Check out my posts on the 25 North America Landmarks, Top 15 Famous Landmarks in the US, 25 Beautiful Canada Landmarks, 16 Most Beautiful Cities in Canada, 15 Most Beautiful States in the US, American Bridges you Must Cross, Most Beautiful Lakes in Canada and the 20 Most Beautiful Cities in United States.

14. Buckeye Hot Springs, Bridgeport

Another free natural hot spring in NorCal is Buckeye Hot Springs. It’s situated in Bridgeport close to Buckeye Creek, and boasts a pair of springs with varying temperatures. They are surrounded by Mother Nature’s beautiful lush greenery and rock formations.

buckeye-hot-spring
Buckeye Hot Spring

The first spring can be found near the parking area and offers breathtaking views of the distant mountains. The second spring is nestled near a rock formation by the river and is the hotter of the two. Access here is a little tricky as it demands navigation of a rocky footpath so bring suitable footwear. These trail running shoes for men and for women are a worthy investment for taking on this terrain.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

buckeye-hot-spring california
Buckeye Hot Spring

⇒ If you’re enjoying this article you’ll love my articles on 15 North America Landmarks, the 10 Most Famous Landmarks in the US, 7 Most Beautiful Bridges American Bridges, 60 Most Famous Landmarks in the World, 9 Gorgeous Lakes Canada has on offer, 15 Most Beautiful States in the US, 16 Most Beautiful Cities in Canada, 11 Beautiful Canada Landmarks and the 20 Most Beautiful Cities in the United States.

15. Sierra Hot Springs Resort, Sierraville

Sierra Hot Springs Resort is a large clothing-optional retreat featuring public and private pools with temperatures between 85° F and 110° F. The water is mineral-rich and is said to have extraordinary healing powers and induce a relaxed state. This non-profit retreat has three different areas to enjoy the benefits of the hot springs.

sierra hot springs in winter
sierra hot springs in winter

Their impressive Temple Dome is the main pool area and features a Hot Pool inside a geodesic dome as well as two cold plunges. Outside is the Warm Pool as well as the tranquil sand-bottom Meditation Pool which is perfect for gazing at the sky.

Apart from soaking in the springs, there are massage treatments, hikes, mountain biking and more on offer.

⇒ Read more reviews on TripAdvisor.

sierra hot springs
sierra hot springs

Which Hot Spring Are You Planning to Visit?

It’s clear that Northern California is full of magnificent hot springs to soak in. Whether you’re looking for free natural springs, springs within resorts or springs hidden deep in the wild, there are hot springs for anyone. Equipped with the information above, you can now make an informed choice on where to best experience these mineral waters.

Which one are you planning to visit? Have you already been to one or you feel I missed any? Let me know in the comments section below.

hot springs
hot springs

I covered all of the costs associated with writing this article. However, this Northern California hot springs post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.

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