This year I’ve written a few articles for the Matador Network about road tripping through Nevada and where to find the best adventures outside of Las Vegas. This most recent article is my personal favorite….the 20 Best Hot Springs in Nevada and how to find them. If you are road tripping in Nevada, I bet you one of these hot springs is right in your neighborhood. So check out this hot springs map I made, and grab your (birthday) suit.
**And a plea – when you visit these hot springs in Nevada – its imperative that you clean up after yourself. Be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles, pick up your trash, and when you are done make the springs look like you were never there. Thanks!
The 20 Best Hot Springs in Nevada and How to Find Them
1) Arizona Hot Springs
Take a break from the Vegas nightlife and head to these three tiered hot pools nestled in a dark slot canyon near Hoover Dam. To get there, park near the highway and hike three miles down a flat sandy wash. These popular pools do get busy, so for your best chance at solitude, go for a late night soak and consider camping on the beach below on the edge of the Colorado River. For more information on overnight trips at Arizona Hot Springs, see: A Secret Vegas Oasis – Paddling the Black Canyon.
2) Gold Strike Hot Springs
Those who reach Gold Strike Hot Springs really have to work for it. Like Arizona Hot Springs, Gold Strike is located along the Colorado River only 45 minutes from downtown Vegas, but the 4 mile hike through the narrow vertical canyon is slightly more technical requiring some scrambling and a few careful maneuvers. Once you get there, sit back and relax in this natural spa where water seeps right out of fissures in the rocky canyon walls.
3) Alkali Hot Springs
Goldfield, a semi-abandoned ghost town with a current population of 260, is the closest civilization to Alkali Hot Springs. While you might run into a few locals, there’s a good chance you will have these two pleasant in-ground cement lined soaking tubs all to yourself. Even though these are technically located on private land, camping is allowed. Just make sure to clean up after yourself, as with any of the hot springs mentioned here.
4) Twelve-Mile (Bishop Creek) Hot Springs
Hot, cold, hot, cold. That’s the name of the game at this huge steamy pool located along the Humoboldt River in Northeastern Nevada. For that all-over tingly body sensation, get all nice and toasty in the hot springs and then awaken those senses by diving into the chilly river. Or you can just sit back and soak and enjoy the view of the surrounding Humboldt Mountains.
Getting here is a little tricky since you won’t find these springs marked on the map: From the town of Wells in Northeastern Nevada, make a left on 8th street and drive 9.1 miles. Look for a dirt road on the right just past a series of old ranch houses. Head down this road for 2 miles until you reach the springs. Note that this road can get pretty hairy and a high clearance vehicle is recommended. If your car can’t make it to the end, go as far as you can and walk the rest of the way.
5) Spencer Hot Springs
The vast Nevada desert backed by the jagged peaks of the Toiyabe Range – that’s the point of view you’ll get soaking in these improved primitive pools. Located just off “America’s Loneliest Highway,” these springs are easily accessible and consist of a super steamy metal tub and an in-ground spring. After you are done soaking, spend a night camping here for free or head to nearby Austin, a small historical town with a few cute cafes, antique shops, and hotels where you can shack up for the night.
6) Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs
Popular among ATVers and RV campers, Fish Lake Valley is one of the few hot springs in Nevada that offers amenities such as fire pits, and BBQs. If you go here, embrace the company or try to hit it mid-week when the crowds are few. Surrounded by two mountain ranges in the middle of Nevada’s Great Basin, Fish Lake Valley has a large concrete hot pool and two natural warm ponds that are ideal for lazing around on a floating pool mattress.
7) Trego Hot Springs
While the Black Rock Desert is most famous for the 8 day spectacle of Burning Man, this Northern Nevada expanse is also home to a number of quaint hot springs that provide an entirely different playa experience. The silty Trego Hot Springs is one of them where soakers can enjoy a peaceful mineral-dense mud bath. Temperature varies at the site, so make sure to do a touch test before jumping in.
8) Ruby Hot Springs
Limestone ledges and a metal ladder provide easy entry at this series of hot pools on the border of the Ruby Wildlife Refuge, one of the most remote wildlife refuges in the lower 48. Located in the middle of a large marsh, this region is prime habitat for migrating birds, mule deer, antelope and other species. The main soaking pool is very large, deep, and a comfortable temperature for swimming, particularly in the late spring and early fall.
9) Kyle Hot Springs
Just 20 miles off of 1-80, Kyle Hot Springs are super easy to get to. Known for epic sunsets, the two plastic soaking tubs have gorgeous views of the mountains, and with average water temperatures in the low-90s, these springs are best enjoyed in the warmer months. The site has a historical feel with the abandoned remnants of an old hot springs resort including an original concrete tub.
10) Carson Hot Springs Resort
No hot tub at your Tahoe accommodations? Carson Hot Springs Resort is your ticket. Smack in the middle of Carson City on the east side of Lake Tahoe, this no-frills, family-friendly hot spring resort has a large outdoor pool, private soaking rooms, a fire pits, and a powerful massage fountain known as “the hammer.”
11) Paradise Valley Hot Springs
A well-maintained large cattle trough next to the meandering Little Humboldt River provides soakers a private and quiet place to relax in the midst of the Great Basin and its surrounding snow-capped mountains. The water is typically clear, and locals have even built a solid wooden entry platform where you can stash your stuff while you soak. To some, this is considered one of the best hot springs in Nevada. Quick tip: The source pool near the parking area is a scalding 130 degrees. Do not mistake this for the springs. Just follow the stream from here down to the river to find the tub.
12) Soldier Meadows Hot Springs
The multiple natural pools at Soldier Meadows sits adjacent to dozens of trails and creeks and is a great place to spend a night or two. The Soldier Meadows Ranch is a working cattle ranch right next to the springs that offers lodging and home cooked meals, or if you prefer to rough it, there is plenty of free BLM camping in the area.
13) Dyke Hot Springs
Another set of springs at the northern edge of the Black Rock Desert, Dyke Hot Springs consists of two single (or cozy two person) bathtubs along the edge of a frog pond. When you arrive, find the piping that leads from the 150 degree source pond at the top of the hill down into the tubs. Fill em up, wait until the water is comfortable, and then get your soak on. Once you are done, you should drain the tubs to help keep them clean and algae free.
14) Rogers and Blue Point Hot Springs
More of a warm springs than hot, Roger’s Hot Springs is located not too far from Vegas at Lake Mead National Recreation Area between Echo Bay and Overton. Best visited from September through May, Roger’s and the nearby Blue Point Spring help support a lush desert ecosystem that includes vibrant desert palms and other greenery. If you are making a day trip out from Vegas, drive along the shore of Lake Mead on the way out, and then for an added bonus swing through the Valley of Fire on your way back to town.
15) Black Rock Hot Springs
Named after the recognizable rock in the distance that gave the Black Rock Desert its name, this large sandy-bottomed pool is awfully inviting. Just be careful getting in and always check the temp before fully submersing yourself. Use the wooden plank that leads to the pool to find the most common entry point and avoid the other end of the pool where the source water can be burning hot.
16) Bailey’s Hot Springs
Located just outside Death Valley National Park, relaxing at Bailey’s hot spring resort is the perfect way to end a winter road trip. Bailey’s was originally built in 1906 as a railroad depot and was later used by miners during the region’s boom. Take advantage of the RV hookups, pitch a tent or rent an on-site teepee; then spend the evening winding down in one of three private tiled bathhouses. While you are there, don’t forget to say hello to the cute pair of buffaloes that live at the resort.
17) Diana’s Punch Bowl
The scalding temps at Diana’s Punch Bowl make this the only unsoakable spring on this list. But this geologic wonder is still worth a quick side trip for those visiting Pott’s Ranch, which is only 6 miles away. In the middle of a large travertine hill, you’ll find a sunken crater that measures 50 feet across by 30 feet deep and is full of 200 degree dark blue water, not unlike some of the hot pools found in Yellowstone. Use care when approaching the cauldron. Trust me. This is not something you want to fall into.
18) Bog Hot Springs
Bog Hot Springs are unlike any other hot springs in Nevada. Rather than being a single stagnant pool, hot springin’ here involves sitting right in the midde of a warm flowing river. Pools are terraced and temperatures vary – allowing you to find your ideal resting place. Be aware that the surrounding grasses can harbor microscopic red spider mites which can leave you with red itchy bumps on your skin. So dip at your own risk!
Photo: Nick Bonzey
19) Steamboat Hot Springs
Need to rest those muscles after shredding the trails or slopes around Lake Tahoe? Steamboat Hot Springs is a commercial hot springs resort just south of downtown Reno that offers an outdoor tub, private baths, a steam room, massage, and aromatherapy. Water comes from a geothermal source and contains the same healing minerals you would find in a natural hot spring. Drop-ins are welcome for the outdoor tub, but appointments, which can be made online, are recommended for any of the spa’s other services.
20) Smith Creek Valley Hot Springs
Located on a dry desert lake bed in the middle of northern Nevada BLM land, the two metal troughs at the Smith Creek Hot Springs are very remote and well spaced out, offering plenty of privacy. Smith Creek also isn’t too far from Spencer Hot Springs, so definitely double dip if you have the time.
*** More Hot Spring Goodness ***
*This article was sponsored by Travel Nevada and originally appeared on the Matador Network*