California is the third-largest state when it comes to “soakable” natural hot springs. In addition, there are more mineral water hot springs in Southern California than the northern portion of the state. The Southern California border is located east of the states of Nevada and Arizona, to the south by the international border of the United States and Mexico and to the west by the Pacific Ocean.
There is no official definition for the northern boundary of Southern California, but most include all the land south of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Tehachapi Mountains. To simplify navigation, we have set Southern California beginning at San Fransisco drawing a straight line across the state to Nevada. This portion of California has the highest population density areas of the state which include San Jose, San Fransisco, Los Angelos and San Diego clocking in at approximately 7 million people, not to mention the "smaller" cities around them.
Southern California is home to Yosemite, Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks. You will also find Sierra, Sequoia, Los Padres and San Bernadino National forests along with a smattering of wilderness and preserves.
Commercial hot springs have a private owner and are typically developed in a fashion towards more comfort, range from rustic pools to five-star resorts and usually have overnight accommodations of some fashion. Most also offer amenities like massage, yoga, swimming pools and a place to eat.
Popular Southern California public hot springs include Gaviota, Deep Creek, Sykes and hot water found throughout Los Padres National Forest, the Sespe Wilderness and Death Valley. Popular regions where hot springs are located include the cities of Bishop, Desert Hot Springs, Los Angeles, Niland and San Luis Obispo where both Avila Hot Springs and Sycamore Mineral Springs are located.
Leave No Trace
As always, please remember that if you pack it in, pack it out. It is our responsibility to keep these extraordinary places around for future generations.
The hot springs in Southern California listed below feature directions, descriptions, pool conditions, ratings, reviews, photos, videos and facility information and include if they are clothing optional, RV/ pet-friendly and have seasonal access restrictions.
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.