We recently ventured to northern California and the scenic Highway 395. One of the best short road trips in the United States. It has it all for the outdoors adventurer. Beautiful snow capped mountains, hiking to challenge the most veteran hiker, stunning lakes and rivers. But one of the best things it has are hot springs! In some states you will find that hot springs means murky water or a distinct sulfur smell. The hot springs along this stretch of road are crystal clear and the perfect temperature.
The Best Hot Springs in California
This has turned into one of our most favorite things to seek out while on vacation. Finding the perfect hot springs and finding them at the right time. Heading to them first thing in the morning, you will find that you have them to yourself. As the day moves on and mid to late morning it they become much more popular. Apres ski, is very popular time and early afternoon in the summer or at dusk.
Wild Willy’s Hot Springs
This hot springs is hands down our favorite we have been to. In any state. With a boardwalk to get you there it is an easy walk. Then there are multiple pools to choose from with views of snow capped mountains. You can also dry camp nearby. There are no services at these hot springs so please practice Leave No Trace.
Travertine Hot Springs
Travertine Hot Springs was the most unique and beautiful. These were individual pools fed by water down individual spines from the rock, which created the unique colors. At the time that we were there they were luke warm, but on a hot day that would be amazing. There is also camping close by and again no services so please practice Leave No Trace. You wonder why I mention this a lot and it’s because you would be surprised how many people disrespect these places. Either by complete disregard or laziness.
Buckeye Hot Springs
This incredible hot springs had a short hike down to find them. Sitting right along the river, you will understand why that is the most amazing thing about these hot springs. Other than the view, you will need to cool off. These hot springs are a bit hotter than the comfortable 100 degrees. Jump into the cool river and then head back in. Even in 45 degree weather, I was able to overheat quickly. If you feel a bit off, then get out. You are at elevation, which also plays into how your body with react to the hot water. There is camping right near the parking lot to this hot springs which as in line with the above does not have services. LEAVE NO TRACE.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. Let us know some of your favorite hot springs. Anywhere!
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