Established during the Great Depression, the Virgin Valley Warm Spring is a moderately developed hot spring pool located within the Sheldon Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. This year-round, free warm spring is located at the Virgin Valley Campground and is rich in minerals with temperatures averaging around 90°F.
The Sheldon Mountain National Wildlife Refuge is home to a myriad of animals that roam around 900 square miles of pristine land. Here, you will find bighorn sheep, wild mustangs, pygmy rabbits, and other animal species that make this a very unique place. In the 1930s, in an attempt to restore the population of these animals, the Wildlife Refuge was established.
The Virgin Valley Campground was also built around the same time by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are still a few of the original buildings standing, one of which is a bathhouse located next to the pool. As a rustic campsite, it is light on amenities but heavy on the natural wonder of the landscape that surrounds it.
The Warm Springs Pool
Measuring thirty by thirty-five feet across and five feet deep, soaking in this sandy-gravel bottomed pond is a nourishing mind-body experience. As you soak, the natural mineral water bubbles up from the bottom. The source water is 90°F and the water within the pool is 80°F – 90°F, depending on the season and time of day.
There are no additives needed, as the flow is strong enough that the water is replenished often and stays pristine. Around the pond, you will find a concrete pad and a step ladder, giving you a place to rest between soaks and making it easier to get in and out.
Within the water, you will see small fish that pose no harm to you, though they might help exfoliate the dead skin on your feet if you sit still long enough for them to nibble!
Camping and Amenities
Camping at the Virgin Valley Warm Springs is free and open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis. You are allowed to camp up to 14 days per guest and the sites are available throughout the year. While there are no garbage or septic dumping facilities, you can enjoy the use of pit toilets, picnic tables, and fresh drinking water.
There are 12 primitive campsites to choose from, two of which are situated alongside the Big Springs and Catnip Reservoirs offering great fishing opportunities.
The bathhouse located at the Virgin Valley Warm Springs has been restored over the past few years. Additionally, there are two 24/7 mineral showers that are fed by the hot springs source as well as space for changing.
Address: Virgin Valley Campground, Sheldon Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, NV 89445
GPS: N 41°51.168′, W 119°0.116′ | 41.8528, -119.00193
Camping: Free | Up to 14 days