The Harbin Hot Springs resort is a commercial hot springs in northern California, two hours north of San Francisco. The resort offers healing through its eight pools and various massages, including Watsu, a water-based Shiatsu massage created at Harbin Hot Springs.
Harbin Hot Springs Resort near San Francisco
A New Age spiritual organization called Heart Consciousness Church operates this resort, emphasizing nature-based healing and an “embodiment of Oneness.” In other words, a trip to Harbin Hot Springs is a visit to the heart of hippie California: unpretentious and spiritual.
The large resort is located in picturesque Lake County, far from large cities. In 2015, the Valley fire ravaged Harbin, taking buildings, homes and changing the landscape. Though they have rebuilt, the hills still show the depth of damage that was inflicted.
Harbin Hot Springs Hot Pools Information
There are eight pools at Harbin Hot Springs, but only two of them can be called “hot springs.” First, the “Hot Pool” is about 115°F (46°C) and fills with filtered water from underground volcanic sources. This pool is so hot that the resort does not recommend sitting in it for more than a few minutes.
The main attraction is the “Warm Pool,” filled with water from the Hot Pool. The Warm Pool is between 95°F to 98°F (35°C to 36°C). Other pools include the “Heart Pool,” “Cold Plunge,” “Hot Plunge,” a swimming pool and a water therapy pool. Some of these are heated not by the ground but by solar power.
Nudity is the norm here, and you can expect to see everyone in the buff, even in changing areas. You’ll also want to bring a towel, as the resort sells but does not lend out towels.
Harbin Hot Springs Facilities
Harbin Hot Springs is almost all-inclusive. In addition to accommodations, facilities also include a cafe, library, theater, and gardens. The center opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m., but visitors can still relax in the hot springs until midnight.
Harbin keeps the services mindfully limited to increase peace. For instance, guests have to turn off their cell phones, and there is little internet. Restaurants, gas stations, and medical services can be found in Middletown, a few minutes away.
Reservations are required for day and overnight visits. Pets are not allowed.
Overnight visitors can choose from three types of accommodation: private cottages, domes, or caravans. All overnight visitors have access to the hot spring pools. The five globe-like domes are the most eccentric buildings on campus, but you may have to share a kitchen or bathroom with other guests. You can also choose to stay in one of 14 caravans, which have double occupancy, mini bathrooms, and basic kitchenettes.
The most spacious option is to stay in a cottage, with a private bathroom, queen-sized bed, and sun deck. The cottages do not have kitchens. Most rooms are double-occupancy, so Harbin Hot Springs is good for solo travelers and couples and less comfortable for groups. Another, more rustic option would be to bring a tent and camp.
Access and Usage Fees
Entrance fees vary from a half-day weekday visit to an overnight single-occupance stay in a dome. There is an additional, minimal membership fee to access Harbin Hot Springs.
The region around Harbin Hot Springs is one of luxury and relaxation. For instance, several hot spring spas are a few miles away in Calistoga: Calistoga Spa Hot Springs and Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort are two well-visited hot spring resorts.
Nature is the main attraction in Lake County. You can visit natural wonders like the “Old Faithful” geyser, a smaller version of the one in Yellowstone National Park, or a forest of petrified redwood trees. Further north, in Clear Lake, you can kayak, fish, or hike. And, because you’re in the country’s best grape-growing region, expect to enjoy wine on your visit. Beaver Creek Winery is only 10 minutes from Harbin Hot Springs, and the famous Chateau Montelena is 30 minutes away.
Harbin Hot Springs Directions
Harbin Hot Springs is in Middletown, a small town north of San Francisco. Fly into Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO), or better yet – Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, only an hour from the hot springs. Multiple domestic airlines like American and United Airlines fly into STS, the largest airport in California’s wine country.
If you’re traveling from Santa Rosa, drive the 29 North freeway towards Calistoga. Drive past Calistoga and toward Middletown. The hot springs are a few minutes north of Middletown on
Harbin Hot Springs Google Maps Directions
You may lose cell phone reception, so it’s best to download offline directions.
- Northeast from Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa (1 hour and 38 miles)
- North from San Francisco (2 hours and 95 miles)
- Northwest from Sacramento (2 hours and 93 miles)
- North from Los Angeles (7.5 hours and 448 miles)
Harbin Hot Springs Soak Stats:
Address: 18424 Harbin Springs Rd, Middletown, CA 95461
Elevation: 1,555 feet (473 meters)
Hot Spring Temperatures: 95°F (35°C) to 115°F (46°C), depending on the pool
Area Features: Calistoga, Petrified Forest, Old Faithful geyser, Chateau Montelena, Clear Lake, wineries
Nearby Hot Springs: Calistoga (21 miles)
Closest Gas and Food: 3 miles south in Middletown
Dogs: No, only service animals allowed
Clothing Optional: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes, and changing rooms
Harbin video results on YouTube