South of the small town of Bridgeport in the valley of the same name is where you will find the highly sought after Travertine Hot Springs.
Located on Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest public land, generous views of the Eastern Sierra’s Sawtooth Ridge can be enjoyed while soaking in the hot pools, along with wide-open skies perfect for stargazing.
Travertine Hot Springs Pools
The first and largest of 4 pools is an ADA-accessible cement walled tub and is literally right next to the parking area. This one can be rather toasty so do the toe dunk test, or use a thermometer, before jumping in. It has been known to have the ability to boil water, which means to proceed with caution.
A short trail starting from behind the bathroom, through travertine rocks, leads to the main grouping of hot springs. Rock and mud walls with clay travertine bottoms create the remaining geothermal soaking pools. There are three smaller pools overlooking the desert valley. You will find two more pools farther down the trail.
Hot springers visiting Travertine are well known for covering their bodies with clay and rarely wearing swimsuits. The largest pool can comfortably situate a group of 6 while each of the smaller pools has enough room for 3 people.
View Top Hotels Near Travertine Hot Springs (Expedia paid link)
Travertine Need to Know
There are no access fees
There is a pit toilet in the parking area
The hot springs area is clothing optional, nudity is common
The access road is not maintained during winter
Travertine is the most popular area hot springs
No glass allowed at the hot springs
As always, pack it in – pack it out!
Limited dispersed camping is allowed on the dirt road leading to Travertine. Any of the pullouts will do the job to let you rest your adventure weary head. These camp spots are primitive, without facilities so be prepared to be fully self-contained. Camping is NOT allowed at the springs.
Travertine Hot Springs History
The hot springs once belonged to the Paiute Native American tribe, believed to be created by Isha, one of the overseers of creation. It has since transitioned from a highly sacred and spiritual place to a popular tourist destination.
Travertine is a type of Limestone, and approximately 60 tons of Travertine was mined in the mid-1890s. It was used primarily for construction in luxury buildings. The San Fransisco City Hall is made with stone from this site.
Take Highway 395 about a half-mile south of Bridgeport. Turn west (left) onto a paved unmarked road (Jack Sawyer Road) that quickly turns into a dirt road. Follow the graded dirt road about 1 mile to the parking area.
Jack Sawyer Road is not maintained during winter when the road is frequently covered by snow. Please use extreme caution when visiting during winter.
Travertine Hot Springs Soak Stats:
Season: All (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: 6,750 ft
Land: Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest
Restrictions: No camping near hot springs, high clearance vehicle recommended
Water Clarity: Murky
Area Features: Benton Hot Springs, Buckeye Hot Springs, Hilltop Hot Springs, Wild Willy’s Hot Springs
Closest Food/Gas: Bridgeport
Camping: 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