Plan your next road trip around these beautiful hot springs.
What better way to transition into the winter months than by bathing in a serene, sapphire, steaming body of water while immersed in breathtaking views of nature's finest landscapes? Ammiright?
Here are the most resplendent swimming holes to bask in that are bound to make a feature on your Insta feed.
Travertine Hot Springs(Courtesy of Ro Cocquyt)
Travertine Hot Spring
This is a natural infinity pool in the wilderness, just south of Bridgeport on highway 395 (east of Stanislaus National Forest). You'll need to trek down a rough unpaved road to access the hot springs, but once you're there, it will be worth it for some post-hike pampering. The hottest water flows from the sulfur-hued steps; and a brief hike with a mild incline will lead you to the larger pools for a soak in the Sierras. There are also bathrooms if you need to change. Note: Clothing is optional, so be ready to potentially see some bathing in the buff. // Jack Sawyer Rd (Bridgeport)
Where to stay: There are a few quaint hotels in the area. Virginia Creek Settlement has rooms, separate cabins, and covered wagons you can rent, as well as a campfire ring. There are also Airbnbs, like this colorful Baja Camper with impeccable lake and mountain views.
Wild Willy's Hot Spring
At Wild Willy's, about 20 minutes from Mammoth Lakes, you can take a dip in two pools: Goldilocks (temperate) and the heart-shaped (extra hot), which would make for wonderful winter basking when there's snow outside. Drive for roughly a mile and a half down a dirt road and it's at the second gate. Take the wooden pathway down to the hot springs. Enjoy the view of grazing prairie cows and the infinite mountain range, potentially snow-capped depending on when you go. Also nearby is Hilltop Hot Spring, another local favorite. // Hwy 395 Benton Crossing Rd. (Mammoth Lakes)Where to stay: If you don't feel like shacking up in a tent (right at the end of the parking lot, you can legally camp), there are endless lodging options. Stay in a resort with a pool at The Westin Monache Resort or Juniper Springs Resort, rent your own chalet, or get an Airbnb.
Umpqua Hot Springs(Courtesy of The Modern Day Explorer)
Umpqua Hot Spring
Head to lush, green Oregon to enjoy this spring. After a bumpy drive (look out for potholes) into the forest and about a 10 minute hike (option of a paved trail or steep cliff, your choice), you'll find warm, cascading pools surrounded by redwoods. You can also cool off in the river afterwards. The vibe here is chill-communal with a diverse range of people—hippies, nomad groups living in school buses, rastas, and locals. The rule of thumb is to start from the bottom and work your way up as the temperature heats up. // $5 per vehicle for the day day or Northwest Forest Pass, Basket Butte Rd., Idleyld Park (Oregon)