When temperatures are down, a steamy hot spring in the middle of nowhere is one of mother nature’s greatest gifts. Whether you need to unwind from a busy week or you’re on a mission to be one with nature, the American West has no shortage of hot sulphuric pools, perfect for soaking – no matter the occasion! So, grab your bathing suit (or don’t… many folks prefer to soak in the nude) and a sense of adventure, here are 5 hot springs in the West you must cross off your bucket list!
Photo by Sandy Lam
Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, these highly sought after hot springs are usually booked up weeks in advance. In order to keep Goldmeyer Hot Springs in pristine condition, they charge $15 for adults and limit capacity to 20 visitors per day. Visitors should also expect to drive on a rough, unpaved road and to hike approximately 10 miles round trip. To reserve your soaking session with Goldmyer, you should visit their website and calendar to check their availability. Then you’ll need to call Goldmyer and leave a message with your contact information as well as your prefered date(s). A Goldmyer team member will call you back (first come, first service) to let you know if your reservation is booked and to receive payment over the phone.
Pro tip: Last minute requests may not receive a call back. It’s recommended that you call to book at least two weeks in advance for your planned visit!
Photo by Megan Taylor Creative
Nestled in the heart of the Umpqua National Forest, it is easy to see why these hot springs are so popular. It’s only $5 (which you pay for at the trailhead/parking lot) and a short, steep hike to these secluded steamy pools. Being surrounded by Evergreens and the sound of the North Umpqua River below add to the relaxing nature of these hot springs.
Photo by Andida Wohlgemut
Hot springs are plentiful in the Mammoth area. Wild Willy’s is one of the many that is surrounded by glorious mountain-scapes. A short and pleasant walk on a boardwalk leads you right to the pools where you’ll be tempted to spend all day soaking in the hot spring and soaking up the views!
Pro tip: You may want to stay for sunset, as the light against the mountains is quite spectacular!
Photo by Manny
If you’re looking for a more unique experience, Mystic Hot Springs will likely be up your alley! Not only does this magical place have 8 bathtubs and 3 pools for soaking, but they also have cabins, renovated buses, and campsites for overnight accommodations. Just $15 buys you relaxation in these rad pools.
Photo by Eva Vaughn
This geothermal gem is situated in Idaho’s high desert backcountry. This hike starts out on private land and then the trail leads you to National Forest Land. A challenging 2 mile hike rewards you at the end of the trail with 6 natural pools and stunning hillside views.
Megan is a photographer and graphic designer based in Seattle, WA. She loves hiking and camping with her dog, traveling to new lands, brunching with friends and snuggling up to watch a good horror film. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @megantaylor.creative.