Hot Springs Where You Can Shake Off Winter's Chill

Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Annie G./yelp

Nature's Hot Tubs

We humans have been using the earth’s thermal waters to relax and heal for millennia. Whether or not you believe in all the physically and spiritually restorative properties that different cultures credit them with, there’s no denying the appeal of soaking in naturally heated mineral waters, especially in a scenic outdoor setting. (Some are clothing-optional.) With the seasons now warming up, we’ve compiled this list of some of the best — and (mostly) cheapest — natural hot springs available for soaking around the world and in the U.S., which is lucky enough to be one of the world’s most thermally active nations. 

Note: Many locations still have pandemic precautions in place, please be sure to verify in advance if the location is accessible and what requirements might be in place before visiting.

Related: Incredible Hot Tubs Around the World

Arizona Hot Spring, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona
Stacy E./yelp

Arizona Hot Spring

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona
From the White Rock Canyon trailhead south of the Hoover Dam, a strenuous hike through dramatic slot canyons brings you to this collection of three hot springs along the Colorado River. The area is also accessible via kayak or raft, but visiting is not recommended during the sweltering summer months of May through September. Remember to socially distance from other visitors.

Deep Creek Hot Springs, Apple Valley, California
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Deep Creek Hot Springs

Apple Valley, California
California’s Sierra Nevada mountains are full of thermal pools, and these hot springs in San Bernardino National Forest offer some of the best soaking you can get without paying for full spa facilities. From the parking lot at Bowen Ranch, which charges a $10 fee, a 2.5-mile trail ends with a steep descent before crossing Deep Creek, where you’ll find about a half-dozen springs of varying temperatures to try out. But don't dunk your head: the waters contain a rare and sometimes fatal disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, and an increase in visitors has caused a jump in the fecal content in the water.

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Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Alaska

Chena Hot Springs

Fairbanks, Alaska

Sixty miles northeast of Alaska’s second-largest city, Chena Hot Springs offer the rare chance to view the Northern Lights from the comfort of a heated spring. The resort boasts a naturally heated interior pool and an outdoor lake, which is open only to guests 18 and older. Admission is $20 per adult and goes until nearly midnight, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the aurora borealis on clear nights.

Blue Lagoon in Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland

Blue Lagoon

Reykjanesskagi, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is Iceland's largest geothermal spa and one of its most-visited tourist spots. It's above a lava field and next to a geothermal power plant, and some think the minerals found in the 98- to 104-degree Fahrenheit water have healing properties. Admission starts at $62.

Related: Here's How to Visit Iceland Without Spending a Fortune

Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Nicknamed “The American Spa,” Hot Springs National Park encompasses 47 natural hot springs that have been frequented by vacationers since the late 18th century and revered by Native Americans for much longer. While you wouldn’t want to soak in the 143-degree springs themselves, visitors can appreciate the therapeutic mineral waters at Bathhouse Row’s seven traditional Gilded Age spas such as Buckstaff Baths.

Scenic Hot Springs | Skykomish, Washington
Scenic Hot Springs | Skykomish, Washington by Wilhelm Hester (None)

Scenic Hot Springs

Skykomish, Washington

Once an upscale lodge destination off the Great Northern Railway, these hot springs were closed to the public in 2001 but reopened under private ownership to host up to 10 visitors per day. After applying online for permission and paying a $10 fee, visitors get directions and face a steep ascent off Highway 2 to reach a trio of human made but naturally heated tubs surrounded by evergreen forest.

Aqua Dome Spa | Längenfeld, Austria
Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport, California
© TripAdvisor

Travertine Hot Springs

Bridgeport, California

An easy stop off Highway 395 near the California-Nevada border, Travertine Hot Springs offers a concrete-lined tub and several soaking areas with stunning views of the Sierras. Natural minerals make the waters and surrounding rock formations as vibrantly colorful as they are convenient to access. There is limited camping space on the dirt road leading to the springs and clothing is optional, so be prepared for nudity.

Burgdorf Hot Springs, McCall, Idaho
Matt R./yelp

Burgdorf Hot Springs

McCall, Idaho

Nestled in the mountains of central Idaho, Burgdorf Hot Springs provides rustic mountain lodging and a hot spring-fed swimming pool maintained at 100 degrees year-round — even when the resort itself can be reached only by snowmobile. There are also two natural springs around 113 degrees and a partitioned shallow area for children. Access to the pools is free for overnight guests, but due to the pandemic drop-in access is no longer allowed. 

Fairmont Banff Springs | Banff, Canada

Fairmont Banff Springs

Banff, Canada

Some hot tubs overlook oceans or mountains. But few are burrowed between the stone walls of a castle — or the "Castle of the Rockies," as the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is known. The hotel is in Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has been hosting guests for more than 125 years.

Related: Incredible Photos of Ancient Ruins Across North America

Granite Hot Springs, Jackson, Wyoming
© TripAdvisor

Granite Hot Springs

Jackson, Wyoming

In the Gros Ventre Mountains south of Wyoming’s ritziest tourist town, Granite Hot Springs offers low-key access to the area’s healing geothermal waters, with both a natural spring bath and manmade pool. Daily admittance costs $8 per adult or $5 per child, and the Granite Creek Campground nearby has 51 sites charging $15 for an overnight stay. In winter, the facilities remain open but are accessible only via snowmobile, dog sled, or cross-country skis.

Esalen Hot Springs, Big Sur, California
© TripAdvisor

Esalen Hot Springs

Big Sur, California

Used for ritual and healing purposes for more than 6,000 years, these hot springs are now a part of Big Sur’s Esalen retreat center, whose guests get exclusive access to the clothing-optional hot tubs most times of the day. Their advance booking requirement made for a high bar for access as far as hot springs go, but the rewarded is a near-unparalleled place of tranquillity punctuated by the roar of the Pacific waves.

Jemez Hot Springs, Jemez Springs, New Mexico
© TripAdvisor

Jemez Hot Springs

Jemez Springs, New Mexico

At Jemez Hot Springs, wildflower landscaping and terracotta banks enclose four pools fed by ancient, mineralized sea water from deep within the Valles Caldera volcanic preserve. Open only to those over 14 years old (though not clothing optional), the therapeutic waters range from 98 to 105 degrees and feature built-in seating or floating chairs to really settle in. Costs to soak start at $25 per person for an hour or $50 for two hours.

Sierra Hot Springs, Sierraville, California
Shalom O./yelp

Sierra Hot Springs

Sierraville, California

Once a sacred healing place for Native Americans, Sierra Hot Springs is now an 800-acre nonprofit resort and retreat center, but its main attraction is still the naturally heated spring waters. Their clothing-optional soaking facilities include the 105- to 110‑degree Hot Pool, enclosed in a stained-glass geodesic dome, the 98- to 100‑degree Warm Pool, neighboring a large sundeck and sauna (temporarily closed), and the 98- to 100‑degree meditation pool, a faux-natural pool with a sandy bottom and rocky borders. For day visits, at least one in your party must hold a current membership, which costs just $5 a month; from there, it’s $30 per person., reservations required.

Spencer Hot Springs, Austin, Nevada
Katie W./yelp

Spencer Hot Springs

Austin, Nevada

Located in the expansive Big Smoky Valley along Route 50, known as America’s loneliest road, Spencer Hot Springs is still worth the journey in spite of — or perhaps because of — its remoteness. It has three geothermal water sources, one natural and mud-bottomed and two piped into metal cattle troughs, called "cowboy tubs," which give visitors the ability to control the temperature of their soak.

Angsana Tengchong Resort in Yunnan, China

Banyan Tree Tengchong Resort

Yunnan, China

Looking for a "geothermal experience out of the ordinary"? That's exactly what's offered at Banyan Tree Tengchong Resort, which features 43 indoor and outdoor mineral-rich hot tubs in a variety of themes. What's more, the resort's location in southwestern China is known for its many public outdoor hot springs that visitors can also check out.

Conundrum Hot Springs

Conundrum Hot Springs

Crested Butte, Colorado

At the end of an 8.5-mile uphill hike, Conundrum Hot Springs makes for a rejuvenating destination that visitors should stay in the backcountry overnight to appreciate. Considered one of the country’s best hot springs, the main pool, which fits more than a dozen people at a time, sits on a solitary high meadow at an elevation of 11,200 feet surrounded by even higher peaks, plus a smaller, cooler pool for some contrast in temperature. Staying at the primitive campsite nearby requires a backcountry permit and reservation through

Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, Mammoth Lakes, California
© TripAdvisor

Wild Willy’s Hot Springs

Mammoth Lakes, California

More peaceful than the water park-esque name might suggest, Wild Willy’s Hot Springs are a pair of shallow thermal pools — one heart-shaped for extra charm — set amid grassy plains and snow-capped Sierras. Since they’re only 0.02 miles along an elevated path from the roadway, they can get crowded on weekends. The springs are off Benton Crossing Road after a series of cattle gates (which may be closed in the winter, adding an extra 1.5 miles to the trek) and surrounded by free camping areas on Bureau of Land Management property.

Awanoyu | Shirahone Onsen, Gifu Prefecture, Japan


Shirahone Onsen, Japan

Shirahone Onsen — which means "white bone hot spring" — is famous for its many natural springs, the waters of which appear milky white (as the name suggests) because of heavy magnesium and calcium sediments. Awanoyu, one of the most popular springs, costs 1,000 yen (about $9) for a dip.

Valley View Hot Springs, Moffat, Colorado
Stacie K./yelp

Valley View Hot Springs

Moffat, Colorado

Valley View Hot Springs is a secluded wilderness resort in the San Luis Valley with plenty of gorgeous alpine areas for clothing-optional soaking. As well as a geothermally heated pool and hydroelectric sauna, a short but steep dirt path links access to more than a half-dozen unique natural pools with warm water bubbling through the gravel floor — and, in one case, cascading from above — ranging from 93 to 107 degrees in temperature. A day visit costs $15 to $17 depending on the season, while rates for accommodation, which include cabins and private rooms as well as car and tent sites, start at $10 per night.

Kirkham Hot Springs, Lowman, Idaho
Sarah Jane W./yelp

Kirkham Hot Springs

Lowman, Idaho

Undeveloped but easily accessible, Kirkham Hot Springs consists of 10 riverside rock pools fed by steaming hot waterfalls, just beside a National Forest campground off the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway. They’re free to visit except for a $5 parking fee and can get crowded during the summer months.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Annie G./yelp

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

After a winter’s day on Steamboat’s slopes, there’s no better way to relax and restore the muscles than a 104‑degree soak at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. The more than 20 expansive riverside pools feature amenities such as water slides and lounge areas surrounded by alpine scenery and evocative Western touches including a teepee and covered wagons. Adults not booked at the resort pay $20 to access the springs, which are clothing optional and 18 and older-only after dark.

Therme Bad Aibling Spa | Bad Aibling, Germany

Therme Bad Aibling Spa

Bad Aibling, Germany

This luxurious German spa doesn't just have hot tubs — it offers a "thermal landscape," complete with more than 18,000 square feet of water and a variety of covered and uncovered thermal pools.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Carly W./Yelp

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

The Yampah Spring produces more than 3.5 million gallons of hot water per day, which leaves plenty to fill Glenwood Hot Springs’ 100-by-40-foot mineral therapy pool — the largest in the world. While prices vary, non-resort guests typically pay around $29 for all-day access to the 104‑degree pool, and the “Spa of the Rockies” has many other treatment offerings to entice those looking to relax and treat themselves.

Gold Strike Hot Springs, Boulder City, Nevada
© TripAdvisor

Gold Strike Hot Springs

Boulder City, Nevada

An hour’s drive and a world away from the Las Vegas Strip, the hike to Gold Strike Hot Springs makes you work for your relaxation. Though only about 2 miles one way, the trail descends 600 feet through red rock canyons using a series of eight 20-foot rope climbs that tend to make visiting an all-day event. You’re rewarded with a variety of soaking options including grottos, a steam cave, and a hot spring waterfall, plus an unfettered view of the Hoover Dam and cliff-jumping opportunities into the Colorado River. Due to dangerously high temperatures, the springs are closed from May through September.

Related: Free and Cheap Things to Do in Las Vegas

Olympic Hot Springs, Elwha, Washington
© TripAdvisor

Olympic Hot Springs

Elwha, Washington

For a more rustic soaking experience within the sprawling Olympic National Park, there are 21 unmaintained shallow hot springs, or “seeps,” located off the 2.5-mile Appleton Pass Trail and surrounded by beautiful native forest. While winter road closings can add up to 4 miles to the hike, it’s better to visit not during the summer high season, when the pools can become crowded and have a higher risk of bacteria.

Gold Fork Hot Springs, Donnelly, Idaho
Allison B./yelp

Gold Fork Hot Springs

Donnelly, Idaho

Effectively splitting the difference between natural and humanmade facilities, Gold Fork Hot Springs consists of six minimally developed pools flowing together through natural rock formations, with alkaline water temperatures ranging from 85 to 110 degrees. All-day admission costs $10 per person and includes access to heated changing rooms, free storage lockers, a sandy kid’s pool, and geothermally heated sidewalks. Proof of vaccination is required.

Boquillas Hot Springs, Big Bend National Park, Texas
© TripAdvisor

Boquillas Hot Springs

Big Bend National Park, Texas

A two-hour drive into one of the nation’s largest, most remote, and least visited national parks, Boquillas Hot Springs is a great place to soak in solitude. Also called Langford Hot Springs after the owner of a turn-of-the-century bathhouse whose remnants are still strewn about the area, the rock-enclosed spring sits where Tornillo Creek enters the Rio Grande, about a half-mile’s hike from the parking area. The mineral-laden waters stay a constant 105 degrees year-round and are free to visit after paying the park’s $30 vehicle admittance fee.

Related: Don't Miss These Most Underrated National Parks

Manby Hot Springs, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico
© TripAdvisor

Manby Hot Springs

Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico

You’ll feel like a real Westerner reaching Manby Hot Springs, a pair of sandy-bottomed pools neighboring an old stagecoach stop on the east bank of the Rio Grande. With water temperatures averaging 97 degrees, they’re reached by a remote drive along County Road B007 off Highway 522, followed by a 15- to 20‑minute downhill walk. The last stretch of road to reach the parking lot is best navigated slowly with a high-clearance vehicle.

Trail Creek Hot Springs, Valley County, Idaho
Chris O./yelp

Trail Creek Hot Springs

Valley County, Idaho
Trail Creek Hot Springs consists of two outdoor walled pools of 116‑degree spring water with valves to let in some cold river water. Just 0.1 miles from the parking area off Highway 55, the pools are spacious but usually full of people during the warmer months, making winter perhaps the best — and certainly most scenic — time to visit Trail Creek.

The Terraces of Pamukkale in Turkey
Ten Thousand Waves Hot Springs, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ten Thousand Waves/yelp

Ten Thousand Waves Hot Springs

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Modeled after Japan’s traditional ryokan inns, Ten Thousand Waves is a hot springs resort like no other in North America. Using water drawn and purified from a 900-foot deep well, it offers communal or private outdoor hot tubs, which are maintained at 104 to 106 degrees and surrounded by meticulous natural landscaping.

Bagby Hot Springs
Bagby Hot Springs by David Silverman (CC BY)

Bagby Hot Springs

Bagby, Oregon

Fire damage to access roads have closed this site temporarily, but usually it takes just $5 and an easy 1.4-mile trek from Bagby Trailhead to visit Bagby Hot Springs — three rustic, clothing-optional bathhouses containing 14 cedar tubs in the verdant backcountry of Mount Hood National Forest. The water naturally occurs at a scorching 138 degrees, so there are buckets of cold water onsite to moderate the temperature to your liking. Be prepared for a wait time on summer weekends and holidays when it reopens this year.

Riverbend Hot Spring, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
A K./yelp

Truth or Consequences Hot Springs

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Long known as simply “Hot Springs,” this small town two hours north of Albuquerque has a long history as a spa destination thanks to the hot thermal waters rising from a rift off the Rio Grande. While there are 10 commercial bathhouses, Riverbend Hot Springs provides the only open-air soaking option, offering four private and eight communal pools with temperatures ranging from 95 to 108 degrees right on the riverbanks. Access costs $25 to $35 for one hour or comes free with an overnight stay.

Boiling River, Mammoth, Wyoming
© TripAdvisor

Boiling River

Mammoth, Wyoming

Boiling River is one of two legal swimming areas in Yellowstone National Park, and the only one with waters warmed by the area’s volcanic activity. Wading in at the confluence of the Gardner River and Boiling River hot spring, visitors can find their own spot where the hot and cold flows mix just right. Be forewarned, though: flooding rerouted the river in 2022, so it's still closed and there's less of convergence of hot and cold when it does reopen. 

Jordan Hot Springs, Gila Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico
© TripAdvisor

Jordan Hot Springs

Gila Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico

If you’re visiting the Native American cliff dwellings near Silver City and up for a long yet rewarding hike, a 7-mile walk from the TJ Corral trailhead will bring you to Jordan Hot Springs, a 3-foot deep pool heated to an agreeable 90 degrees. Even more accessible in the area is Light Feather Hot Springs, but the 130‑degree temperatures require rerouting some cold water from the adjacent river to make it comfortable. The NPS advises against submerging your head here, too, for bacterial health reasons.

Fifth Water Hot Springs, Springville, Utah
© TripAdvisor

Fifth Water Hot Springs

Springville, Utah

From the Three Forks Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon, many people hike the 4.5 miles out and back to experience the scenic and popular Fifth Water Hot Springs. Next to a waterfall are multiple pools to sit and soak in, with variable temperatures depending on where you sit and how you direct the water flows. Be prepared for crowds on warm weekends and icy conditions in winter, potentially warranting snowshoes or crampons.

Homestead Crater Hot Springs, Midway, Utah
Emily T./yelp

Homestead Crater Hot Springs

Midway, Utah

Crystal clear mineral waters from miles below the earth’s surface fill Homestead Crater, a 55-foot-tall, beehive-shaped limestone cave. Owned by the Homestead Resort, the surreal and serene natural sight is outfitted with an access tunnel and custom-built decks to reach the 96-degree spring. A 40-minute soak costs $15 to $18 depending on the day of the week, while they also offer snorkeling and scuba diving sessions for just a bit more, making Homestead the continental U.S.’ only destination to scuba in warm water.

Mount Baker Hot Springs, Concrete, Washington
Ken Dinsmore/youtube

Mount Baker Hot Springs

Concrete, Washington

Surrounded by lush forest and stumps to sit on, these picturesque hot springs fill with mineralized water bubbling up from beneath volcanically active Mount Baker in the North Cascades. It’s reached via a quarter-mile walking trail, although the access road often closes in winter, with only a spray-painted rock that says “hot springs” to point the way. There are two clothing-optional pools that vary in temperature from warm to extremely hot.

Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming
Jacob Boomsma/istockphoto

Hot Springs State Park

Thermopolis, Wyoming

A couple hours from Yellowstone, this day-use park along the Bighorn River features similarly colorful terraces, over which more than 8,000 gallons of 128‑degree mineral water flow each day. A free bathhouse on Tepee Street maintains an indoor and outdoor pool cooled to 104 degrees for visitors to enjoy and soothe their muscles between hikes.

Goldmyer Hot Springs, North Bend, Washington
© TripAdvisor

Goldmyer Hot Springs

North Bend, Washington

Goldmyer Hot Springs consist of four outdoor pools in the Cascadian foothills outside Seattle, requiring a 4.5-mile hike and reservations to visit after the 20-visitors-a-day limit is reached. But you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with privacy and comfortable backcountry amenities, including an open-air cabana, picnic tables, and well-equipped campsites. There are four clothing-optional geothermal pools, one cold and three naturally heated, surrounded by old-growth forest in a 20-acre wilderness preserve.

Blancaneaux Lodge | Near San Ignacio, Belize

Blancaneaux Lodge

Near San Ignacio, Belize

The 11,000-gallon hot pool at Belize's Blancaneaux Lodge, formerly the family retreat of director Francis Ford Coppola, was designed by Oscar-winning production designer Dean Tavoularis and constructed out of thousands of pieces of local granite. It's powered by excess electricity from a nearby hydroelectric plant, and is open to visitors through the lodge's Waterfall Spa.

Sol Duc Hot Springs, Ovington, Washington
© TripAdvisor

Sol Duc Hot Springs

Ovington, Washington

In a lush rainforest valley, Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers three hot mineral pools, filled with runoff from rain and snowmelt that’s heated by volcanic gasses rising from the earth. The soaking areas are humanmade but enclosed by natural scenery. For accommodations, the resort has cabin rentals are open from March to October.

Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa | Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

You might say this resort rests atop a giant hot tub, considering it was built above a natural geothermal spring with waters that reach up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. The spring's "pure, untreated" waters are used to fill the hot tubs and pools.

Related: Coolest Themed Hotel Rooms Around the World