Wild Soaks at Wild Willy’s Hot Spring in Mammoth Lakes
Wild Willy’s Hot Spring is a non-commercial hot spring found in Long Valley, Mammoth Lakes California. It is a great location to relax for a while and be caressed by mineral waters in a completely natural setting. The hot spring is usually frequented by people passing through Mammoth Lakes on their way through the backcountry or between cities and is becoming a popular oasis in the Mammoth Lakes area.
Wild Willy’s Hot Pool Information
The hot spring at Wild Willy’s features two hot pools, located about 50 feet apart. The larger pool is about 10 feet wide and 3 feet deep and can comfortably accommodate at least ten people. The temperature is generally between 95 and 100 degrees. The smaller pool is hotter than the larger pool (often ranging between 100 and 105 degrees) and can accommodate 2 to 3 people. The hot pools can be found 200 yards east of the parking area at the end of a wood boardwalk.
History of Wild Willy’s Hot Spring
Wild Willy’s is one of many natural hot springs in the Long Valley region. The hot spring is believed to be the result of volcanic activity from thousands of years ago. The very same activity that resulted in the formation of the nearby Sierra Mountains. Wild Willy’s Hot Spring was regarded as “sacred” ground by early native Americans and early American settlers in and around the Mammoth Lakes area and the hot springs today maintains a rustic feel. The hot spring is currently managed by the BLM and Mono County, and everyone who visits is encouraged to enjoy the facility without leaving a trace. This is critical for the preservation of Wild Willy’s for future generations.
Access and Usage Fees
Wild Willy’s is a non-commercial mineral spring located on public land. There is no entry fee to enjoy the hot pools.
Wild Willy’s Hot Springs is located on public land, so you are free to camp if you want to. You will, however, want to take along all required amenities – from tents to sleeping bags and anything additional that you might need for the most comfortable camping experience. There are also no toilet facilities at the Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, so you will need to properly bury any fecal matter left in the area deep under the earth.
Seasonal Access Information
While accessible year-round, the pools tend to be crowded at times, especially on weekends and holidays when outdoor enthusiasts are out in force. If you visit during the week, it is likely that there will be fewer people to contend with and you will enjoy a more laidback and peaceful soaking experience. Please note that during inclement winter weather the BLM often gates (closes) the access road.
Wild Willy’s Hot Spring Driving Directions
From Mammoth Lakes:
Travel on Highway 395 south for 3.5 miles until reaching Benton Crossing Road. Make a left turn (east) on Benton Crossing Road and drive 0.4 miles, which becomes Minnow Creek for 0.1 miles, and then continues onto Benton Crossing for another 0.6 miles until reaching the hot spring.
Wild Willy’s Hot Spring Soak Stats:
Season: All (access road may be closed during winter)
GPS: 37.6610 118.7678
Map Quad: n/a
Elevation: 7,100 ft
Restrictions: Road closed during poor winter conditions
Water Clarity: Moderate
Area Features: Lil’ Hot Creek, Shepherd Hot Spring, Pulky’s Pool, Crab Cooker, Hot Tub, Whitmore Hot Springs
Closest Food/Gas: Benton Crossing, Crowley Lake
Camping: BLM camping, camping in the parking area is NOT allowed
Clothing Optional: Yes
Pit Toilet: None