Earlier this year I wrote about my discovery and love for a hot springs near Phoenix. And since then my love for hot springs has become a full-on craze for hot springs. I visited some in Nevada over the summer, and most recently checked out some hot springs in the Central Valley of California.
I know I’m not the only one! There’s a guy I see at the gym from time to time, and he’s a real hot springs junkie. One day in the locker room we got to talking about hot springs when he’d asked me about my trip to Phoenix, and that opened up a whole coversation about the many hot springs he’d visited. Some very basic, like the one near Phoenix, others very fancy. He’d suggested a Facebook group that caters to hot springs enthusiasts, and I’ve realized there are lots of us out there.
So when I had work in the Central Valley, I took the opportunity to visit a hot springs that had been on my radar for a while. Initially I figured I just stop by for a few hours on the way home, but then decided to check out the accommodations and spend the night. I imagined sitting in a tub under a dark sky, looking up at the stars.
The drive to the hot springs was down a narrow winding road, a world away from the busy interstate just a few miles away. The hills are striking in their curious rounded forms, and are golden this time of year. Traveling through the dry countryside, and boom, you stumble upon this little oasis in the desert.
These hot springs would be in the category of “rustic.” And that would indeed be their charm. The atmosphere is straight-up chill, with a collection of quaint old buildings siting aside little dirt roads. You’re out in nature, and there’s nothing but peace and quiet.
I rented one of the little cottages. It was a simple little one-room cabin with a tiny kitchenette and a really wonderful front porch. The bathroom was in a separate building a few feet away, which wasn’t any trouble. There was an option to rent a fully-loaded airstream trailer for a true “glaming” experience, but I’m glad I went with the little cottage. It was located at the back of the property, and right next to the clothing-optional soaking tubs.
As cute and charming as the cabins are, the main event is the hot springs. These pools are like magic. The water is rich in minerals, and soaking in it is like a warm, soothing hug from nature herself. You can choose your temperature and just let all your worries melt away.
I was able to get three soaks in while I was there. The first after I’d unpacked and arrived, then once more late at night and another the next morning. In between I sat on my porch naked and ate my dinner. This isn’t a clothing-optional resort except for some of the tubs, but the sun was down and it was dark so figured nobody would notice or care. The evening air was warm and dry, and it felt fantastic.
Soaking late at night was everything I’d hoped for. Out in the middle of nowhere, the stars were clear and bright. Sitting naked in a hot warm mineral bath under the stars, hell yeah.
And the place was absolutely quiet. There were restrictions on amplified music and other noisy things, and quiet hours into the evening. The clothing-optional tubs had a sign indicating whisper only. So while there were a number of guests around, everyone kept to themselves in recognition that this was a serene space.
So, in a nutshell, this was a low-key, off-the-grid paradise in the California desert. All in all a great escape to recharge and get back to nature. I already want to go back! And at this point I think I’d consider myself a hot springs junkie too.