Get rejuvenated with a soak in one of Nevada's popular natural hot springs.
It’s always wise to dip a toe first before making the full plunge. Depending on the location, temperatures can range from lukewarm to scalding hot.
Trego Hot Springs
Ditch the clothes and you’ll be right at home soaking at Trego Hot Springs. Located on the east side of the playa in the southern Black Rock Desert, this deep warm-water pond provides an all-natural mud bath thanks to the sediment that makes up the bottom of the spring. Just be careful getting in to protect yourself against sometimes scalding temperatures.
Find it: From Gerlach, head south on NV 447, then turn left on 48. This turns into Jungo Road. After 22.5 kilometers, hang a left on Trego Road and the springs will be approximately three-quarters of a kilometer up on the right.
One of many colorful and relaxing Nevada hot springs
12-Mile Hot Springs
12-Mile Hot Springs, also called Bishop Creek Hot Springs, is one of the most scenic places to take a dip in northern Nevada. Located outside Wells at the foot of the Humboldt Range, this massive, gravel-bottom soaking pool sits right on the creek with views of the rocky cliffs that flank the river’s edge. The pool is the ideal temperature, hovering right around 100 degrees. If you get too hot, you can always take a quick (and chilly!) dip in the river.
Find it: From the town of Wells, make a left on Eighth Street and drive 14.6 kilometers. Look for a dirt road on the right just past a series of old ranch houses. Head down this road for 3.2 miles until you reach the springs. Note: The road can get pretty difficult, 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.
Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs
In Nevada’s Great Basin, Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs is sandwiched between the Silver Peak Mountains and the White Mountains, while Boundary Peak – Nevada’s tallest – is directly west of the springs. The site comprises a large concrete hot pool and two natural warm ponds. Free camping, fire pits and grills can attract a weekend crowd, so be prepared to meet some other people who love hot springs, too.
Find it: From the junction of NV 264 and 773, head south on 264 for about 9.6 kilometers. Look for a gravel road on the east side of the highway. Follow this for about 11.2 kilometers until you reach the parking area.
Boating on Lake Mead
Arizona Hot Spring
The three tiered pools at Arizona Hot Spring are some of the most accessible from the Las Vegas strip. Just 45 minutes from downtown, they’re located in a narrow slot canyon above the Colorado River, where vertical canyon walls are as close as two meters apart, giving the springs a cave-like feel. The pools are built up with sandbags, and temperatures range from lukewarm in the lowest pool up to a blazing 44 degrees Celsius in the source pool.
Find it: This spring sits on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, but is most easily accessed via the Las Vegas/Boulder City area. Park at the trailhead parking lot located 6.7 kilometers south of the Hoover Dam on U.S. 93. From there, hike 4.8 kilometers down the wash until you come to the Colorado. Follow the river nearly a quarter kilometer downstream, going over a hill that drops you at the beach. Walk up the canyon and climb the six-meter ladder to reach the first pool.
The tranquil Black Rock Desert Hot Spring
Gold Strike Hot Springs
Gold Strike Hot Springs are a second set of cascading pools on the Colorado River, where water trickles straight out of fractures in the canyon walls. Like Arizona Hot Spring, they’re located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area and can be reached via a 6.4-kilometer hike down a narrow, rocky canyon.
The trail is awesome, requiring scrambling and lowering yourself over several large boulders using ropes that have been installed at major obstacles. It’s nothing that a moderately limber adult can’t handle. For a more unique adventure, you can also paddle to Gold Strike Hot Springs from Hoover Dam through the Black Canyon section of the Colorado River. There are many Boulder City-based outfitters who rent kayaks or canoes and provide round-trip transportation.
Find it: Just past the Hacienda Hotel & Casino on U.S. 93, take Exit 2. Make a left at the stop sign and drive down Gold Strike Canyon Road until you reach the trailhead.
Spencer Hot Springs
Spencer Hot Springs are basic pools with a few nice man-made additions. First, there’s a large metal tub. Being closest to the heat source, soaking here can get pretty steamy. When you’re ready to take it down a notch, use the diverter to adjust the temperature or make a dash to the in-ground spring. Some rock shelving has been added to this natural pool for comfortable seating. In either pool, you’ll enjoy views of the open desert landscape backed by the peaks of Central Nevada’s Toiyabe Range. Look out for the local brood of wild burros while you bathe.
Find it: From Austin, Nevada, head east on 50 and then south on 376. Make an immediate left on NF 001. After nine kilometers you’ll reach a fork. Go left for another 2.5 kilometers and you’ll find the metal tub. Continue on another 457 or so meters to reach the second pool.
Alkali Hot Springs
Once a popular resort a few miles north of the semi-abandoned ghost town of Goldfield, Alkali Hot Springs now consists of two small concrete soaking tubs that vary in temperature from 37 to 42 degrees Celsius. While the water can get a bit murky, the remoteness of these springs means you should have them all to yourself, making them perfect for peaceful late-night stargazing. Camping here is also free.
Find it: Head 6.4 kilometers north of Goldfield, Nevada, on U.S. 95 and hang a left on Silver Peak Road. After about 11 kilometers, the springs will be on your left.
Hot spring in Austin
Ruby Valley Hot Springs
In the middle of a vast marsh at the edge of Elko County’s Ruby Wildlife Refuge, you’ll find a dozen or so isolated potholes framed by Nevada’s high-alpine Ruby Mountains. The main soaking pool is 15 meters across and deep enough to swim in, and depending on the season, temperatures range from 32 to 39 degrees Celsius. The surrounding field can get muddy, but there’s a couple of wood platforms at the edge of the cerulean pool where you can strip down or work on your full-body tan post-soak.
Find it: From Elko, drive south on NV 227 for 10.9 kilometers, then turn south on NV 228 towards Jiggs. Drive about 48 kilomtersmiles and continue on to Harrison Pass Road, which becomes Forest Road 113. Continue on Forest Road 113 for 9.3 kilometers and turn north (left) onto Ruby Valley Road. Take your first right onto Harrison Pass Drive. Follow this for 1.7 kilometers and continue onto Ruby Wash Road for 2.4 kilometers. Finally, make three slight rights, now on rough terrain, to reach the springs.