Many of the best hot springs in California are located on public land, usually managed by the National Forest or BLM, which means they are often free to access and open to everyone.
Hot springs located on public land can also be undeveloped and unregulated, which means you need to be respectful, responsible and prepared when visiting them.
You also need to be aware of the potential risks and challenges, such as weather, wildlife, water quality and seasonal accessibility.
Popular Public Hot Springs
- Deep Creek Hot Springs: A series of geothermal pools along the Mojave River in the San Bernardino National Forest.
- Travertine Hot Springs: A group of natural pools near the town of Bridgeport in the Eastern Sierra.
- Wild Willy’s Hot Spring: A large natural pool near the town of Mammoth Lakes in the Long Valley Caldera.
- Montecito Hot Springs (AKA Hot Springs Canyon): A group of natural pools near the town of Montecito in the Santa Barbara County.
- Sespe Hot Springs: A series of small pools within the Sespe Creek in the Los Padres National Forest.
- Remington Hot Springs: A collection of geothermal pools above the Kern River near the town of Lake Isabella.
View the complete list of public hot springs below.