9 Dreamy Hot Springs in the US Made for Adventurous Souls

best hot springs in us

Picture this: you’re bathing in steamy mineral waters at some of the best hot springs in the US, looking out at the pristine wilderness, and feeling all your worries melting away.

It’s an absolute dream!

Venture to remote natural hot springs in a national park or relax at resorts complete with other spa services. Maybe embrace some clothing optional hot springs even!

And so many of the best hot springs in US territory are just a short trip away from Explorer Chick adventures! So gather a group of gals and soak it all up.

Get the map here.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Colorado

Lean back, close your eyes, and breathe it in. You’re in the Rockies, babe! Choose between the 16 (yes, 16!) mineral water soaking pools, jetted spa, and freshwater family pool at Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs. Totally worth making the 3 hour drive after hiking Moab all weekend!

 Plus, enjoy a brand new experience pool featuring unique mineral recipes inspired by other globally renowned hot springs, a bathhouse, and tons of fun activities around the Glenwood Springs area through every season (including the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool at Glenwood Hot Springs)!

Gorgeous views of the Colorado River enhance the tranquil vibes at Iron Mountain. You’ll love the thoughtful touches around the grounds, like heated walkways, tasty offerings at the Sporis Café, and wrought iron trees to hang your towels. The perfect meetup for Denver Explorer Chicks!

Though Iron Mountain Springs recently reduced capacity by 25%, it can still get busy during evenings and weekends, so aim for an A.M. slot if you’d like a quieter time. Still, sunset riverside soaks are gorgeous. Solution? Opt for a full-day pass to come and go as you please!

Homestead Crater Hot Springs, Utah

Forget concrete pools—Homestead Crater is the natural hot spring of your dreams. Nestled within beehive-shaped 55-foot limestone walls, these 10,000+ year old geothermal waters are pure magic. With balmy 90-96 degree temps and a natural skylight at the top of the dome, you’re guaranteed to feel like you’re in paradise.

utah crater
Photo by: Utah Crater 

But these thermal springs aren’t just for soaking. The Crater is vast enough for swimming, snorkeling, SUP (including paddle board yoga classes! Eek!), AND scuba diving. In fact, it’s the only place in the continental US to scuba dive in warm waters! Not certified yet? You can do that here too!

Entrances can be hectic here, so change into your swimsuit ahead of time to avoid changeroom chaos. And bring your own lock if you plan to use a small locker provided. Remember that you’ll need to wear a life jacket throughout your soak and swim as per Homestead Crater’s policy.

These unique mineral springs are just a short trip from either of our Utah trips and are the perfect way to rest after glamping through Zion or trekking Moab.

cta - zion bryce

Castle Hot Springs, Arizona

Stay and soak a while at one of the best hot springs in the US: Castle Hot Springs. You can arrive at this desert oasis resort just 4 hours after backpacking the Grand Canyon. So why not visit with some adventure pals from Phoenix?

 Serene outdoor hot springs fill from underground streams, and warm mineral water cascades down canyons between three pools of varying temperatures. If that’s not magical enough, the natural setting of these amazing hot springs will make your heart swell! Relax aside cacti, palm trees, and moss-covered rocks with stunning mountain views. Ahhh.

And don’t worry about crowds: the springs are only available to resort guests, and I promise you’ll wanna stay here. Guided or solo hiking, via ferrata courses, e-biking, and off-roading are just some of the daily adventures you can enjoy. Or, lay low with yoga, meditation, and lovely farm tours. It’s all up to you!

cta - grand canyon

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Okay, it may be a bit of a detour to make the 7-hour drive from Anchorage pre or post-EC Alaskan adventure tour to Chena Hot Springs in Fairbanks, but how often are you in Alaska? It’s well worth the trip!

chena hot springs alaska
Photo by: Alaska.org

 Even in winter, the Alaskan air feels perfectly refreshing after bathing in the steamy natural hot springs. Heated floors keep the chill off as you walk between the indoor and outdoor pools, all warmed to toasty temps.

Pro tip: these natural hot springs are sulfury, so you might wanna bring some shampoo. Don’t worry—they have hair dryers! Soap is provided in the showers, and take your pick of renting a towel for $5 or bringing your own. And why not make a whole trip out of it? If you stay at the resort, your hot springs retreat is free!

Plan a starry-night soak to fully experience Chena as some of the best hot springs in the US. Prime northern lights spotting is 10 pm-3 am, so stay late, look up, and admire that gorgeous aurora!

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Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming

With a name like Hot Springs State Park, it’s a no-brainer that this Wyoming destination hosts some of the best hot springs in the United States! If you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park on our freakin’ awesome hiking and horseback adventure, Hot Springs State Park is just 5 hours away.

Over 8,000 gallons of steamy, 128°F mineral rich waters constantly flow through the park alongside the BigHorn River. These incredible hot springs are incredibly hot! But don’t worry—the actual thermal pools clock in at a much more reasonable (and therapeutic) 104°F.

And you can access the hot water springs at no cost! This state park offers a free bathhouse for 20 minute soaks every 2 hours. But if you want to make a day of it, two pools are nearby with paid admission for an excellent day of hot spring plunges.

Oh, and did I mention the bison herd? Keep an eye out at viewing points or on hiking trails. You’re bound to spot these magnificent creatures!

yellowstone cta

Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport, California

Become one with nature in the immersive geothermal pools of Travertine Hot Springs. Formed in sedimentary rock with jaw-dropping views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, these free, Northern California located waters are a unique and peaceful stop.

travertine hot springs bridgeport california
Photo by: Brigitte Werner (werner22brigitte), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Speaking of views, check out all the unique rock formations in the area, magically colored by the water’s mineral content. Take your time exploring the area! Then pull a Goldilocks as you explore the multiple natural hot tubs until you find your perfect temperature.

Since the springs are easily accessible by road (and are free), it can get busy here. Plan to come early! And BTW: Travertine is totally road-trippable from Yosemite, so hit them up after summiting Mount Conness with us. And bring the LA gals!

mt conness trip cta

Granite Falls Hot Springs, Jackson, Wyoming

Tack on some extra time after your Yellowstone National Park adventure. You don’t wanna sleep on Granite Falls! Just an hour outside Jackson, Wyoming, these amazing hot springs offer some truly breathtaking views.

granite falls hot springs jackson wyoming
Photo by: Rodd Halstead – Flickr

These off-the-beaten-path hot springs are a hidden gem. Tucked into the Gros Ventre Mountains, you’ll sit back and feel your stress melt away into the warm, mineral waters. Take your pick of the human-made pool or the natural hot springs, then retreat to the campground and stay a while!

On your way up, you’ll pass a dreamy waterfall that’s even more stunning in winter. And yes! You can access the hot spring through the frozen months too. So snowmobile, dog sled, or cross country ski your way there!

Goldmyer Hot Springs, Washington

Surrounded by old growth forests, nestled into the brilliant backcountry near North Bend, Washington, you’ll find one of the best hot springs in the US: Goldmyer Hot springs. After a nearly 5 mile hike from Middle Fork trailhead into the Cascade Mountains, you’ll hit these simply gorgeous pools.

goldmyer hot springs washington
Photo by: Zaranth at Washington Trails Association 

Geothermal mineral waters spill from an ethereal cave, cooling as it trickles down the rocks into other pools. Temperatures range from a comfortable 104ºF at the lowest bath to a steamy 125ºF at the springs’ source.

Fully embrace this wilderness preserve’s beauty as you go totally off-grid. There’s no cell reception here! So make sure you book your reservation well in advance to guarantee your spot. You can even reserve the springs for private use! Maybe gather some Explorer Chicks of Seattle or bring the gals from your San Juan retreat and make a road trip out of it?

sea kayaking in san juan islands

Umpqua Hot Springs, Glide, Oregon

Oregon’s remote Umpqua Hot Springs are easily some of the best hot springs in US parks. And while they’re a popular visitor spot, they’re SO worth the visit. You might’ve even seen them on your Insta feed before! They’re totally photo-worthy.

A collection of stunning natural pools sits in the national forest above the North Umpqua River. You’ll have to make a steep hike to the waters, but it’s well worth the trek. And I mean, hey, there’s a steamy hot spring on a cliff waiting for you at the end. That’s a pretty good deal.

There’s nothing artificial about the vibes here, especially since it’s a clothing optional retreat! So bring your swimsuit (or not) and breathe in that dreamy PNW beauty at these hot springs.

It’s a decent drive from our San Juan Island sea kayaking adventure but well-worth the road trip. Stop in Portland to connect with some other ECs too!

Ready to Get Hiking?

What’s the best way to relax after any hiking trip? Soaking in a hot spring, of course! Live the experience of a lifetime trekking trails with your Explorer Chick family, then soak those muscles in some of America’s best hot springs. Grab some EC gals and make a whole reunion out of it!

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Meet the Writer

megan wray writer

Megan Wray

Megan Wray is a queer, mixed-race Japanese-Canadian freelance writer based on Treaty 1 Territory. Passionate about pleasure, identity, and anti-oppression, Megan’s fuelled by meaningful chats about topics that aren’t “appropriate” for dinner table conversation. When she’s not writing, you can find Megan cooking vegan food, singing to live music, and trying to understand astrology.

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