If you’re traveling through the Long Valley Caldera region of California, near Mammoth Lakes, you’ll be met with various hot spring tubs – one of which is the Shepherd Hot Springs. These small-scale, simplistic hot springs pool surprises guests with breathtaking 360 views, making it a must-see for any soaking enthusiast.
Aside from its cozy stature and majestic sights, Shepherd Hot Springs is also well-known by locals and tourists as being an ungoverned recreational location that’s maintained solely by volunteers, which gives it a more natural and free atmosphere.
Hot Springs Tub
Shepherd Hot Springs isn’t known for its magnitude. In fact, this compact artificial tub can only fit up to four people comfortably – or six if you’re not afraid to get up close and personal with your nearby soaking buddies (who might be relishing the mineral-rich waters in their birthday suit).
The two-foot deep tub is made entirely of concrete with built-in ledges that serve as benches where soakers can sit back, relax, and let their troubles melt away. The water is naturally sourced from the ground at a piping hot 135°F but cools down to an inviting 100°F range once it meets the tub. There’s also a valve to help with adjusting the temperature.
While Shepherd Hot Springs is small in stature, which isn’t true of all hot spring tubs in the Long Valley Caldera region, it draws much attention due to having sensational views of the Sierra Mountains. It’s also notably situated on the border of an expansive marshland, offering plenty of stunning sights in every direction of the great outdoors.
Unlike other nearby hot spring tubs, such as the Crab Cooker, Shepherd Hot Springs can be found along two unpaved roads and sits directly next door to the convenient parking lot, meaning there’s zero hiking involved. Just keep in mind that while traveling to hot spring is relatively easy, the roads may be closed during periods of heavy snowfall.
Nearby Camping and Accommodations
Campers will be happy to know that many dispersed sites are situated around Shepherd Hot Springs. However, not all areas allow camping, such as on delicate marshland or in the parking lots, so double-check for signs before setting up shop. Also, note that there are zero facilities for campers. Those that want a more established campsite or are traveling in an RV will need to find campgrounds.
While Brown’s Owens River Campground is closest to the hot spring, there are a few others located a bit further down the road. Shepherd Hot Springs is also located 20 minutes from Mammoth Lakes, where you will find an abundance of snazzy and laid-back accommodations to suit your fancy.
Mammoth Mountain RV Park is another popular choice nearby. Like the aforementioned Brown’s Owens River Campground, both have sites for tents and travel trailers.
Getting to Shepherd Hot Springs from the city of Mammoth Lakes is a cinch. Simply follow these directions:
- Start on the US-395 S
- Turn left onto Benton Crossing Road and continue for 1.1 miles
- At the fork, turn left onto Whitmore Tubs Road and continue for 2 miles
- Take a right onto the dirt road and drive until you find the parking lot and hot springs tub
Discover some other hot springs near Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite National Park.
Address: Mammoth Lakes, California 93546
Coordinates: 37°40’00.9″N 118°48’12.1″W