Eastern Sierra Hot Springs

The Eastern Sierra is a geothermally active area, and there are numerous hot springs.  Many of these locations are protected for their natural value, located on private property, or may be very hot and unstable, and thus are unsuitable for swimming or bathing.  A number of  locations are available. however, where the waters may be enjoyed by swimmers and  hot-pool soaking enthusiasts for their healing and therapeutic qualities, in the grandeur of our high mountain environment.  Here's a synopsis of some of the locations of hot springs and fumaroles in the area.


Hot Creek


Mammoth/ Long Valley Area;

Casa Diablo Hot Springs:  Located just east of US 395 at the Mammoth Lakes Exit, Casa Diablo Hot Springs once upon a time, featured a store and souvenir shop, and a geyser that erupted regularly every few minutes.  Today it is the site of a Geothermal Electric Generation Facility.  No body of hot water is available, but the Southern Mono Historical Society maintains an interpretive historical facility on the grounds nearby.      (map)

 

Hot Creek Geological Site:  Although in the past many people entered into this sierra stream which is heated by the geothermal activity, the fumaroles and small geysers in this area are unpredictable, in some areas the ground may become unstable, and the US Forest Service has disallowed swimming or bathing at this site.  Nonetheless it is a very interesting geological feature to visit, with a number of scalding hot pools and ponds in the canyon and the creek passing through. Stay on the trail   To visit Hot Creek take the Mammoth Airport road and proceed for a couple of miles beyond the Fish Hatchery.      (map)

 

Whitmore Hot Springs:  Whitmore is the location of a Public Swimming Pool which is open during the summer months.  It was originally developed by the City of Los Angeles in conjunction with the Crowley Lake section of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system, and today it is maintained and operated  by the Town of Mammoth Lakes as part of a surrounding recreation facility.  Whitmore hot springs is accessed via the Benton Crossing Road, which embarks eastward from US 395 just south of the Mammoth Airport.     (map)

 

Long Valley Hot Springs and Tubs:  Nearby  to  Hot Creek and Whitmore are a number of smaller hot springs on public land:    these are available for soaking and several locations have been user-improved with the addition of rock or concrete tubs and small pools.  These hot springs are accessed via the Benton Crossing Road and the Owens River Road, to the east and north beyond the Whitmore Pool, and they carry affectionate nicknames such as "Wild Willie's," "Shepard's Tub," "The Hilltop," "Siphon Tub," and "Crab Cooker."     (map)

 


Benton:

Benton Hot Springs:  The community of Benton dates back to the mining days of the mid-19th century.  It was the intended eastern terminus of the Bodie and Benton Railway.  There are relics of the old buildings and cabins, but it's not quite a ghost town  At this historic hot springs hamlet on State Route 120 near the junction of US 6, there is a B&B style Inn and also a Campground, with well-maintained private outdoor hot soaking pools and tubs to enjoy during your stay.  A quality hot springs experience, steeped in California history.     (map)

 


Mono Basin:

Mono Lake and Paoha Island:  There are several hot springs around the shores of Mono Lake, as well as on Paoha Island.  Notably, one of these may be visited during your walking tour of the South Tufa area on the Mono Basin State Reserve.  The hot springs of Mono Lake are either protected for natural value, or exist upon private property, and are not available for soaking or bathing.     (map)

 


Bridgeport Valley:

Buckeye Hot Springs:  On the western edge of the Bridgeport Valley not far from Twin Lakes, hot water cascades down from the banks of Buckeye Creek,  just a short distance downstream from the Campground.  There is a primitive rock-lined shallow pool at the edge of the creek that may be entered to enjoy a hot soak.  Parking is at the canyon rim and you must walk a short distance down a steep hill to access the creek.     (map)

 

Fales Hot Springs:  This is the site of a historic stage stop near Devil's Gate Summit on US 395 north of Bridgeport, where a fine resort and spa once stood.  The current owners of this private property do not allow access to the springs area.  The resulting warm stream of water may be observed downstream where it crosses under the highway nearby.      (map)

 

Travertine Hot Springs:  Travertine Hot Springs is a prime location for Hot Springs soaking aficionados.  There are several, soaking tubs, as the hot water bubbles out of the ground creating interesting travertine stone formations.  This is a designated ACEC site of the US Bureau of Land Management and there is a pit toilet available, but no overnight camping is allowed.  Just south of the town of Bridgeport, take Jack Sawyer Road to the east of US 395.     (map)

 


Owens Valley:

Keoughs Hot Springs:  This is a commercially operated public swimming pool and hot soak location.  Keough's is about 8 miles south of Bishop, just east of US 395.  An outstanding experience for the whole family.  Keoughs is another historic location and a delight which has been frequented by locals and travelers alike for over a century.  (Downstream from the source and pool there is a primitive creek area known as the "Hot Ditch," which is on public land and can be entered and enjoyed at no charge.)     (map)