The Oja (Ecotopia) Hot Springs in California was once a secret soaking place for locals, but with modern advances like social media, it became abused and overrun with people. Now, the landowners have turned the springs into a private destination to help preserve its cleanliness and integrity.
Reservations for two-hour slots and a donation are required to enjoy the park.
Hot Spring Pools
There are five rock-bottom pools at Ecotopia, and the environment has an aroma of sulfur in the air. Temperatures of the water range from 100-106℉. The largest pool is also the hottest at 106℉ and has a diameter of 20 feet, providing plenty of stretching room for multiple visitors.
One of the most impressive parts of these hot springs is the two waterfalls that pour into one of the pools. This area can be accessed by crossing the little bridge, which has a cave-like feel thanks to the large boulder in the middle of the water. These waters are usually about 103℉ and have the most potent sulfur smell.
The last pool is the coolest at 100℉ and can be found by following the stream created by the falls.
The property rules include no use of technology, drugs, alcohol, or other outside sources that might disturb people in the pools. Since advance bookings are required to use the springs, you won’t have to worry about fighting crowds with a maximum occupancy of 10 people. Clothing is optional, so be prepared for exposure to birthsuit suits.
Ecotopia is on private land and doesn’t offer on-site camping or lodging. However, the Wheeler Gorge Campground is just six miles away and has numerous tent and RV campsites with a few amenities and opportunities for outdoor activities.
Visiting the hot springs in Ojai is possible as a day trip from Los Angeles or Santa Barbara, but the town itself also has a few hotels for overnight stays.
Another local thermal pool in Ojai, CA to give a try is Willett Hot Springs.
Address: 2566 Matilija Canyon Rd, Ojai, California 93023
Hours: Thursdays-Sundays 8 am – 8 pm, also depends on weather