Soaking in hot springs near Death Valley might not be the first thing that comes to mind when visiting eastern California, but it’s an incredible experience if you time it right. A couple of the closest options are located in neighboring Southern Nevada and Northwest Arizona.
Despite its reputation for its hot weather, the Golden State has some pretty temperate winters and cool evenings, making these natural pools more comfortable for soaking. A few of these destinations are established resorts and safe to visit throughout the year. However, the rural hot springs are seasonal due to extreme temperatures and safety risks.
Regardless of which natural pool you visit, bring lots of water to stay hydrated while soaking in hot water. If you’ll be visiting other parts of the state, peruse these other Cali hot springs for your itinerary.
Here are the closest hot springs to Death Valley, CA, in order of proximity:
The Oasis at Death Valley – 11 miles | 15 minutes
Formally known as the “Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch Resort,” this luxury property is one of Death Valley’s gems that dates back to the 1920s when it had just 12 rooms. Now, the one resort comprises two hotels, including the AAA Four Diamond historic one with 88 rooms and the more casual 275-room ranch.
This destination is part of the Xanterra Travel Collection. The Oasis at Death Valley has many excellent amenities, including an 18-hole golf course, six on-site dining venues, and two spring-filled pools.
The resort’s natural geothermal swimming pools are kept at a comfortable 87℉ all the time and are flow-through, meaning the water constantly replaces itself. Because of its non-stop movement, the water never needs to be chlorinated to stay sanitary.
In fact, the water from this spring well is what supplies the entire resort, including the lines on the golf course. The pool area is surrounded by stunning desert scenery, making it a great spot to swim, soak, or dangle your feet while getting some sun.
Delight’s Hot Springs Resort – 52 miles | 50 minutes
Set in the town of Tecopa, Delight’s Hot Springs Resort is famous for its mineral pools and serene environment. There are four private bathhouses that each have its own jacuzzi, with adjustable water temperatures between 102-104℉.
Each bathhouse also has a changing area and shower that can be used in 30-minute increments, but there is also a new addition of an outdoor pool. The only water on the property is mineral water, so guests are encouraged to bring their own drinking water if they don’t want to drink what’s available.
Day passes and overnight stays are both possible at the property. Guests that stay for the evening can choose to stay in a rustic cabin, camper, motel room, or in a rented RV space and have access to the pools 24 hours a day.
Other amenities include the on-site bar and restaurant, Tecopa Brewery, BBQ facilities, vending machines, laundry area, and a sun deck. The resort is also conveniently close to Death Valley National Park, making this an excellent option for sightseers.
Tecopa Hot Springs Resort – 53 miles | 50 minutes
Death Valley visitors looking for a place to unplug from modern life should turn their heads to Tecopa Hot Springs Resort, a simplistic facility that encourages focusing on relaxation in the beautiful desert. They offer a 12-room hotel, four cottages, and a campsite at their property.
All five of their hot spring tub rooms are open 24 hours a day on a first-come, first-served basis and are solely available to overnight visitors at this time. The resort invites guests to embrace the total serenity of their property by watching the surrounding wildlife and taking time to enjoy the sunset along with a soak.
The bathhouse contains men’s and women’s showers and toilets and two private hot spring tub rooms for camping and cabin visitors. Additionally, there are three private hot spring tub rooms for hotel guests.
Depending on the time of year, the source water can get up to 118℉, but it hovers around 104℉ in the pools. All tubs are flow-through and hold up to 350 gallons of mineral water; it takes roughly one hour to replenish completely.
Each geothermal tub room has a latching door and is spacious enough for two to three individuals. The inside rooms include skylights that bring in sunlight while protecting you from the sometimes brutal desert elements outside. Most people soak for 5-30 minutes at a time and at no extra charge to the guests.
Saline Hot Springs – 69 miles | 3.5 hours
Saline Hot Springs might be a bit rigorous to reach, but it’s worth it in the end. The site was established in the mid-1990s as part of the Death Valley National Park and is now run by NPS, who has ordered that the pools be left as they currently are, only partially developed.
Getting to the springs area requires a vehicle that can handle long durations on dirt and sometimes treacherous roads. It’s critical to check what the conditions of the route are before heading out to the springs, as they can be heavily affected by rain and other weather.
This part of California gets extremely hot, especially during the summer. Visitors to the springs need to consider that so they don’t get overheated in or out of the water. Bring lots of fluids to replenish and hydrate.
There are three soaking areas at the upper, middle, and lower springs with water temperatures between 95-107℉. Once you get to the hot springs pools, it’s easy to access them all from the same area. Primitive camping is allowed in designated areas, but there are no amenities and likely no cellphone services.
Gold Strike Hot Springs (Nevada) – 137 mi | 2.5 hr
Set just outside Las Vegas, the Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail is a seasonal hiking path leading to beautiful natural mineral pools. Due to high temperatures in the summer, the trail is only open from October 1 to May 14. When the route is closed, it is blocked off with locked gates and is strictly enforced; people who don’t abide will pay a hefty fee if caught.
Walking to the hot springs requires a 6-mile journey out and back and is moderately complex. Scrambling and ropes are necessary on parts of the trail, but once you get past the main obstacles, the reward is great. There are a few geothermal pools that keep temperatures between 85-105℉, which varies depending on the time of year.
Although Gold Strike Hot Springs is located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, parking is free. If you want to spend a longer time in the park, there is a cost per car that is valid for seven days.
Ringbolt Hot Springs (Arizona) – 174 mi | 2.5 hr
Tucked away along the Colorado River, the hot and secluded Ringbolt Hot Spring is found just south of the Hoover Dam. Also known as Arizona Hot Springs, it’s the perfect place for anybody looking to unwind or relax outdoors.
Due to the intense heat, this trail system is closed from May 15th to September 30th. The parking lot near the trailhead is located along US Highway 93. To get to these three thermal springs, travelers must hike a 5.8-mile round through a stunning and narrow slot canyon.
Primitive camping is allowed along the trail and near the hot springs. Visitors can bring their pets as long as they’re leashed and aware of possible wildlife lurking around.
The route takes roughly four hours to complete, minus soaking time, so be sure to pencil that into the itinerary. Also, know that the spring water is known to have Naegleria fowleri amoeba in it, so submerging your head or getting in with open wounds is unwise. The amoeba enters through the nose, and although very rare, it is almost always fatal.
Just when you thought that your visit to the Death Valley region couldn’t get any hotter, these spring pools will prove you wrong. Since it gets so hot in this part of California during the summer, a visit during the winter months is undoubtedly ideal for soaking.