Please use the listing of natural Northern California hot springs below to assist with finding the best soaks near you. Although the majority of hot springs are located in the southern portion of the state, the north does not disappoint with its diverse and less crowded environment for enjoying naturally hot water fed pools.
Northern California spans the state’s northernmost 48 counties and contains redwood forests, along with the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite Valley and part of Lake Tahoe and Mount Shasta. For navigational ease, we have drawn a line straight across at San Fransisco to divide the regions.
With the wide expanse of mountain ranges and elevation variances, northern California can have diverse weather patterns. Snow and wet conditions are not uncommon. There are also several seasonal hot springs so it is always a good idea to know the area you are headed into before going. We denote if the spring has seasonality restrictions to help guide you.
Hot springs in Northern California offer unique geothermal pool experiences at destinations like Travertine Hot Springs in the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest and the off-grid resort of Wilbur Hot Springs.
Non-commercial hot springs are generally located on public national forest or BLM land. These soaks lean toward the more natural side. Hot pools can be found either roadside or off the beaten path and may involve varying degrees of hiking. Not all public hot springs have camping available on-site, but you should be able to find a place to rest your head in the general vicinity. Many of these hot springs are clothing optional, especially the ones further away from civilization.
Public hot springs in California are not bathing facilities and do not have ‘plumbing’ like that of commercial, improved hot springs.
Soap and shampoo, including bio soap and shampoo, do not breakdown naturally and pollute our fragile ecosystems.
FYI, this is also illegal in most wilderness and public lands areas. Please report suspicious activity to public lands officials (take pics).
It is important to remember when visiting hot springs in California or any state to leave them in better shape than when you arrived.
Please leave no trace, bring no glass and embrace the experience.
We recommend cleaning up the area and hot springs before soaking as it makes for a more natural experience and reward for your stewardship efforts.