Situated right off Interstate 8 near the US-Mexican Border in sunny California, you’ll find a palm tree-lined desert oasis that is seemingly out of place, known as the Holtville Hot Springs. This small-scale destination may not seem like much, but with a picturesque placement in the Imperial Valley Desert, it’s genuinely a snowbird’s dream come true.
Holtville Hot Springs draws tourists from across the nation, even though it’s a more primitive and laidback atmosphere compared to luxury resorts. While you can visit this destination year-round, it sees the bulk of its guests during fall and winter when temperatures aren’t so scorching.
Remember – this hot spring is set smack dab in the middle of a desert, so summertime may render temperatures far too warm for hot spring soaking.
Mineral Hot Spring Pools
Holtville Hot Springs, also referred to as Highline Hot Well and Old Fogey Hot Springs, boasts two fabulous manmade hot spring pools to relax in. Both pools are filled with steaming mineral-rich waters transferred from a nearby artesian well starting at temperatures up to 125°F.
The first pool is the largest of the two, five feet deep, with enough wiggle room for up to ten people to indulge. The temperatures of this pool tend to hover around 104°F to 106°F, although some soakers have seen the temps rise as high as 110°F. Regardless, this pool has the most superiorly warm temperatures that can be adjusted with the valves.
The waters from the larger pool overflow into the smaller one right next door. Here, the water is a few degrees cooler, making it the go-to for younger kids that want to splish and splash rather than soak their troubles away.
Whether soaking in the larger or small hot spring pool, you can enjoy majestic views in every direction. Seeing how Holtville Hot Springs is nestled in the Imperial Valley Desert, you can expect to get lost in a sea of palm trees and sand that can whisk you away to a time unknown.
You’ll also have a great view of the beautiful lagoon-pond, a body of water that boasts temperatures of approximately 90°F. While you can’t explore this sandy-bottomed waterhole, it’s a lovely sight that truly transforms the Holtville Hot Springs into an “oasis.”
When you need to take a break from the piping hot and invigorating waters, you can wash off in the nearby showers and relax on one of the provided benches.
Camping and Nearby Accommodations
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Holtville Hot Springs does not have overnight accommodations. In fact, this is a day-use-only hot spring location that closes between midnight and 5 AM.
Luckily, if you want to stay nearby Holtville Hot Springs for several days (or weeks or months), you can do so. Right across the street from Holtville is a “Long Term Visitor Area” where guests can camp for up to seven months from September 15 to April 15th. Keep in mind that no electricity, drinking water, or dump sites are available.
You’ll have to travel a bit further if you prefer hotels over camping. Most of the hotels are at least 15 miles away from Holtville. Here are some of the top hotels nearby:
- Hotel Lucerna Mexicali (19 miles)
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Mexicali (16.6 miles)
- Extended Suites Mexicali Cataviña (16.7 miles)
- Hotel Araiza Mexicali (19 miles)
Have a terrific time exploring these magical waters of Holtville, California.
Address: 3700 Evan Hewes Hwy, Holtville, California 92250
Phone: 760-337-4400 (BLM El Centro field office)
Season: Year-round (fall and winter recommended)