The United States, with its diverse landscapes and geological wonders, is a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts seeking therapeutic relaxation. Scattered across the nation are some of the most enchanting natural hot springs, each offering a unique blend of minerals and picturesque surroundings. These geothermal wonders, carved by nature over millennia, not only provide a restorative soak but also a deep connection to the Earth’s primordial energy. Join us as we journey through the best natural hot springs across the US.
Castle Hot Springs, Arizona
An hour from Phoenix, Castle Hot Springs boasts a history of attracting visitors since the late 19th century. While Indigenous communities had long identified its therapeutic potential, today, the site thrives as an exclusive wellness resort. Patrons are drawn to its serene stargazing opportunities via the Ferrata route and continuous access to mineral-rich hot springs dispersed across three distinct pools. These springs, exclusive to resort guests, brim with calcium, magnesium, and lithium – the latter often dubbed the “joy-inducing mineral bath.
Terwilliger Hot Springs, Oregon
In the heart of Willamette National Forest, Oregon, lies the renowned Terwilliger Hot Springs, often referred to as Cougar Hot Springs. These famed geothermal pools cascade into Rider Creek, culminating in the picturesque Cougar Reservoir. Following a scenic drive marked by winding roads amidst an enchanting gorge, the springs emerge, open throughout the year. An interesting note for potential visitors: the springs adopt a “clothing-optional” policy.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Colorado
Nestled beside the Colorado River in the storied town of Glenwood Springs is the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. While Glenwood Hot Springs Resort has its charm, Iron Mountain offers an unparalleled, diversified soaking experience. Here, visitors can delve into one of the 16 unique geothermal mineral pools connected by warmth-radiating pathways. The standout pool, aptly named Mother Lode, reaches a sultry 108°F.
Chena Hot Springs, Alaska
In the frosty terrains of Alaska, the Chena Hot Springs, situated a mere 150 miles from the Arctic Circle near Fairbanks, stands as a warm refuge. The resort turns magical between late August and late April when visitors, submerged in the steaming waters, can often glimpse the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights overhead.
Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming: Nature’s Bounty Without a Price Tag
Thermopolis, Wyoming, houses a true gem – the Hot Springs State Park, where nature meets therapeutic relaxation without any cost. The Wyoming State Bath House stands unique, requiring no tickets or payments for entry. Here, mineral springs emerge naturally at a blistering 128°F, only to be tempered to a soothing 104°F for the ultimate visitor experience. While its location may be a bit off the beaten path in the state’s north-central domain, it’s undeniably worth the journey. Beyond the thermal allure, the park is a sanctuary for wildlife enthusiasts, boasting a managed bison herd readily observable by visitors.
Homestead Crater, Utah
Utah’s Homestead Crater, though not as toasty as its counterparts with its 96°F cap, undeniably offers one of the most diverse experiences among US hot springs. It’s not just about soaking in this distinctive beehive-shaped limestone dome. The crater welcomes scuba diving enthusiasts, snorkelers, and even those looking to practice SUP yoga. Beyond the adventurous activities, its waters enriched with calcium and sodium bicarbonate are believed to alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation.
Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs, Colorado
Positioned in Colorado’s picturesque Crystal River Valley, Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs promises an immersive experience. Whether visiting for the day or opting for a cabin stay, such as the quaint Chuck Wagon, guests are treated to three distinct hot spring pools. Each of these pools charmingly trickles down the mountainside, reminiscent of cascading waterfalls.
Deep Creek Hot Springs, California
Nestled amidst California’s breathtaking landscape, Deep Creek Hot Springs beckons nature lovers and wellness seekers alike. Recognized among the premier U.S. hot springs, its allure doesn’t just stop at the geothermal pools. Surrounding it are diverse habitats teeming with wildlife, making the journey to the springs a visual treat. Accessible through a 2.5-mile hike or, for the more adventurous, a 6-mile eastward trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, the springs reward visitors with a tranquil soak post-hike.
Burgdorf Hot Springs, Idaho
Burgdorf Hot Springs holds a distinguished spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Merging authentic western allure with wellness, it’s open to overnight cabin guests and day visitors who plan ahead. Encircled by the Salmon River Mountains with lodgepole pines, this site still has structures from the 1800s erected by miners. The hot springs gush at an impressive 130 gallons per minute, filling the warmest pools or “lobster pots.” Visitors often emerge from the 108°F pools with a flushed, lobster-like tint.
Josh is the owner and lead writer at Daily Wisely. His career has taken him from finance to blogging, and now shares his insights with readers of Daily Wisely.
Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh has over 15 years of experience on Wall Street, and currently shares his financial expertise in investing, wealth management, markets, taxes, real estate, and personal finance on his other website, Top Dollar Investor.
Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business.