Wild to Tame: An Assortment of U.S. Hot Springs

Woman soaking in hot springs

Wild to Tame: An Assortment of U.S. Hot Springs

At these U. S. hot springs soaking spots, the same geothermal hot water serves nature and art.

Enjoy a relaxing soak and spectacular view at Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Enjoy nature and a soothing soak at the same time at Iron Mountain Hot Springs

If you want both the back-to-nature feel of rustic soaking in natural tubs and the comforts of modern conveniences—even luxuries—these places have you covered on both sides. As for Iron Mountain Hot Springs, proximity to the Colorado River and soaring mountain views keep visitors close to nature while the enjoy a soothing hot springs soak.

The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va., has maintained the “Jefferson Pools” as they were when Thomas Jefferson visited in 1818. The resort also has the Gentlemen’s Pool House built in 1761, and a luxurious spa garden. The water is provided by two springs from the Alleghany Mountains.



Chena Hot Springs in Fairbanks, Alaska, has the natural Rock Lake, for adults only, with views of the Northern Lights in winter. It also has indoor and outdoor pools, Jacuzzis, and an indoor swimming pool using the sulfur-enhanced water from a 40-square-mile geothermal area.

Breitenbush Hot Springs in the Willamette National Forest near Detroit, Ore., has clothing-optional natural stone pools with rustic cabins available for staying over. The meadow has three rock-lined natural pools of different temperatures, including one where talking is forbidden to ensure quiet contemplation while you soak.

Mono County in California’s Eastern Sierra is dotted with hot springs both natural and developed. Travertine, Wild Willie’s and Buckeye are wild springs, although camping is available near Travertine and Buckeye, where you can also soak in hot mineral water in a cave. wild willy’s, buckeye. Old Benton and Hilltop hot springs have manmade tubs where you can soak, although they’re not too far removed from the rustic feel.

Chinati Hot Springs near Ruidosa, Tex., is a bumpy two-and-a-half-hour ride with a hot pool for soaking at night and a cool pool for hot days. The primary pool is a natural tub, and water is diverted to the other pools that are manmade. Cabins are available to rent for an extended stay.

Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona, California, at the base of the Santa Ana Mountain Range, has 19 pools and whirlpools, including a half-dozen historic natural tubs that date as far back as 1860. The luxury spa also offers skincare treatments, massage, body rituals, fitness classes, and food.

Learn more about U.S. hot springs soaking and plan your next visit to Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.

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