With clear skies and views of the Eastern Sierra Mountains, Travertine Hot Springs is a special treat. Unsurprisingly, they are one of the most-visited mineral hot springs in California. Despite its remote location in northern California, this natural wonder is much-loved.
Travertine Hot Springs Near Bridgeport
Outside the small, rural town of Bridgeport, California, you’ll find Travertine Hot Springs at the end of an unpaved road. Located off Highway 395, these springs aren’t a secret, and most tourist maps will include them. These springs are relatively crowded. However, if you arrive in the morning or on a weekday, you’ll have enough space to experience a natural pool quietly.
Mineral groundwater feeds the Travertine Hot Springs in varying degrees of heat. Travertine is lovely to visit in the late spring, summer, or early fall when the springs are warmer, and the ground is free of snow or ice. The springs may still be warm in the winter, though visitors cannot easily access them in the unplowed snow.
Travertine is a natural product of dried, hardened limestone. The limestone is often white and looks like dried salt. Many hot springs produce this sedimentary rock, which builders have created floors, walls, bridges, and even pottery. In other words, these hot springs are named after this geological feature.
Seasonal Access Information
Travertine Hot Springs is colder than most visitors expect. During the summer, daytime temperatures average in the mid 60°F. The driest and warmest months are May through September. However, even in the warmest months of the year, daytime temperatures rarely exceed 80°F, and night temperatures can still drop to 40°F.
There is a chance of rain or snow in October through April, and nighttime temperatures drop as low as 15°F. If you are interested in a visit during these months, it’s better to stay in an RV or get a hotel room in Bridgeport.
The air quality in Bridgeport is excellent, better than the national average. It is also sunnier than the national average, with 277 days of sunshine.
One of the benefits of visiting Travertine Hot Springs is that the land is free to camp on. There are no required permits or parking passes. There’s a parking lot and a public bathroom so that visitors can live their best van lives.
This is public land camping. You have to bring in your water and food, and there’s only one public toilet. Camping at Travertine is best for RV campers, particularly when nights reach below freezing in the snowy winter.
Bridgeport Accommodation Options
If you’d prefer to camp at a developed campground with fire pits and running water, the closest option is Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and Campground, where visitors can stay at one of 17 sites overlooking the marina (RV sites are also available). This campground is only a 10-minute drive away from the hot springs.
However, if you’d like more amenities and central heating, downtown Bridgeport has good options. The Bridgeport Inn is located two miles away from the springs and has an on-site restaurant. The pet-friendly Ruby Inn is another well-rated choice.
View Top Hotels Near Travertine Hot Springs (Expedia paid link)
Travertine Hot Springs History
People have revered these hot springs for generations, as far back as the first nations of this country like the Miwok, Mono, Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe people. For instance, according to Joseph Lent, a tribal historian for the Bridgeport Indian Reservation, this is sacred, created land. The Northern Paiute nations continue to live in the Bridgeport area.
Travertine Hot Springs Map
View statewide map of California hot springs
From Reno or Lake Tahoe, drive the 395 South freeway until you reach Bridgeport. From Bridgeport, go south for approximately one mile before turning left on Jack Sawyer Road. If you are traveling north from Southern California, you’ll take the 395 North freeway before exiting left on Jack Sawyer Road, one mile south of Bridgeport.
Approximately one mile down Jack Sawyer Road, you will arrive at Travertine. From there, you’re a few feet away from the hot springs.
Once you park at the parking lot with a vault toilet, you will only be a one-minute walk from the springs, where you’ll find four pools fed by warm groundwater.
Nudity and Hot Springs
Nudity is common at many hot springs in California, and Travertine is no exception. No visitor is required to soak in the springs naked, and some will wear swimsuits.
Politeness and Other Considerations
First, remember that this is considered sacred land to many Native people, so it is worth treating with respect. Take trash with you and pick up others’ garbage. In addition, bring water to drink since the heat of the springs can dehydrate visitors. Check snow conditions during the winter, as snow may prevent a visit. Finally, review the county’s fire regulations for any restrictions on stoves, fireworks, and smoking.
Travertine Hot Springs Soak Stats:
Season: Spring, Fall, Winter (access road may be impassable when wet and is not maintained during winter)
Type: Roadside (1 mile of dirt road driving)
GPS: 38.2458651 -119.2054099
Map Quad: Big Alkali
Elevation: 6,700 ft (2042 meters)
Land: Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest
Restrictions: No camping near hot springs, high clearance vehicle recommended
Temp: Between 70°F (21°C) to 200°F (93°C)
Water Clarity: Murky
Area Features: Benton Hot Springs, Buckeye Hot Springs, Hilltop Hot Springs, Whitmore Hot Springs, Wild Willy’s Hot Springs
Closest Food/Gas: Bridgeport
Camping: Bridgeport Reservoir Marina and Campground and nearby public lands, primitive camping along a 1-mile dirt road, camping is prohibited at or near the hot springs
Clothing Optional: Yes
Pit Toilet: Yes, in the parking area
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