Only two hours from the beaches of Los Angeles is one of the state’s most-visited National Parks. This protected area is known for its large rock boulders and eponymous “Joshua trees,” tree-like succulents that decorate the desert landscape. It is a land of extreme temperatures, from winter frost or snow to summer temperatures regularly exceeding 110°F.
9 Hot Springs Near Joshua Tree National Park
Most hot potters are typically not aware that Southern California is ideal for soaking in natural hot springs. The ground is bubbling with geothermal activity, particularly around Desert Hot Springs, where there are several commercial resorts.
Fifty miles south of Joshua Tree National Park and minutes from the Salton Sea, this off-road hot springs resort is a great place for an adventurous weekend. Mineral hot springs pipe into fourteen hot tubs and two large “therapeutic pools” (the source is 160°F). You can rent all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) at this resort to ride around in the dunes, then soak in the hot pools afterward (entrance included with the rentals). Stay at a cabin or even a covered wagon, and access to the hot springs is included. Day passes are available for $25.
Next door to Glamis North is the relaxed Fountain of Youth (FOY) Spa RV Resort, favored by older visitors. FOY is popular with long-term RV travelers looking for an all-amenities resort to spend the winter. In addition to the many activities such as karaoke nights and square dancing, you can also visit to soak in three hot pools, four hot tubs, and one natural mineral spa called “the lobster pot” (the source is 130°F). Bring an RV to stay in or book a vacation villa. Access to the hot springs is included for overnight guests.
Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort is approximately 50 minutes outside both entrances of Joshua Tree National Park and just 20 minutes northeast of Palm Springs. This lush, green hot springs resort is a central place to enjoy swimming or wading in the two pools or soaking in one of four covered hot springs pools. There is also an artificial lake on the premises, with ducks and a flowing waterfall. Bring your RV to stay in or book a motel room. Overnight and day visitors both have access to the hot springs. Day passes cost $15 (weekdays) to $25 (weekends).
Aqua Soleil sits 15 minutes north of Palm Springs and is a 40-minute drive from the north entrance of Joshua Tree. This modern hotel offers one large mineral water pool and a hot tub. In addition, the “Soleil Suite” rooms have private heated mineral hot springs pools, an incredible luxury. Day passes are available on weekdays for $15, but weekend soaks are reserved for hotel guests.
There are five mineral water pools at Azure Palm Hot Springs: one large swimming pool, two covered outdoor hot tubs, and two indoor hot tubs. There is also an indoor dry sauna. Guests can lounge around the pool or hot tubs in both shaded and open seating. There are fire pits and a cafe. Day visitors can enjoy the resort between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Overnight guests have 24-hour access to the pools and private mineral water bathtubs.
The Spring Resort and Spa is in the same neighborhood as Sam’s and Aqua Soleil, but it’s worlds apart. In this posh spa, the water emerges from the earth at 170°F before streaming into three mineral pools at an average temperature of 104°F. Half-day admission to the pools is $50. If you indulge in a spa treatment pool admission is included. Accommodation options include poolside and mountain-view suites.
Designed for a relaxed visit, El Morocco leans heavily on its North African theme with mint lemonade, dates, French press coffee, and more. There are two geothermal pools for guests. Day visitors pay $60 for a four-hour visit to the pools or choose a spa treatment (the entrance to the pools is complimentary with any treatment). Overnight guests choose between one of a dozen Moroccan-themed rooms.
This straightforward resort is 20 minutes north of Palm Springs and 40 minutes outside Joshua Tree’s north entrance. Eight natural hot mineral pools grace the property. Accommodation options include poolside and mountain-view hotel rooms or villas for approximately $200 per night. Day passes to the mineral pools cost $18 per person, but note that this resort limits day visitors to those over 21 years old.
Desert Hot Springs Spa and Hotel is next door to Miracle Springs Resort and Spa and offers day passes to all ages. Their kid-friendly atmosphere makes this a favorite among locals, travelers, and families alike. Accommodation options include modest hotel rooms for approximately $200 per night. Day passes are $12 per person.
The Best Time of the Year to Visit Joshua Tree
Though most people visit Joshua Tree in the late winter and spring, a fall visit is often ideal with longer daylight hours and cooler evening temperatures. And surprisingly, the summer can be idyllic at night, dropping to the 70s and 80s. Summer visitors will also get the best accommodation prices of the year. No matter when you visit, you’ll enjoy the natural warmth of the region’s hot springs.