71 Natural Hot Springs Off-The-Beaten-Path (USA)

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By Keilah Keiser

Do you have visions of yourself sitting in a natural hot spring, lying back in the warmth and comfort of the water? You don’t need to wait until you plan a trip around the world to make this a reality. There are numerous hot springs around the country within easy reach. But just what is a hot spring…and why are they now more popular than ever?

To keep it simple, a hot spring happens when heated water from the ground rises up to form a pool of water. Water from precipitation and melting snow flows underground, moving slowly around porous rocks and dissolving minerals as it moves deeper into the ground. The water heats up as it moves over hot rocks deep in the earth. And as it heats, the water expands and creates pressure that forces it to come bubbling and spurting back up to the surface through natural faults in the earth and rock. The warm, mineral-rich water gathers and collects on the rock surface, creating beautiful pools of natural hot springs.

For thousands of years, the healing powers of hot springs have been used by different cultures around the world. The Egyptians and Romans had their baths and spas, and the Japanese have their Onsen. No matter where you go people all agree that hot springs are pure bliss. What do these cultures know that we’re just learning?

According to folklore, the warm waters have a healing property and are used around the world to cure a multitude of ailments. Heated water holds more dissolved minerals and solids, so the water in hot springs has a high mineral content. Depending on where the hot spring is located it can contain calcium, lithium, magnesium, and silica – everything your skin loves!

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The lovely, warm temperatures of hot springs are ideal for soothing aching muscles – perfect after a long hike. In Asian history, hot springs have been used to treat arthritis and swollen joints. European spas use hot springs to rejuvenate the skin and treat some skin conditions. It’s believed that regularly soaking in the warm spring waters can reduce the redness and itching of eczema. Soaking in hot springs is also thought to help to improve blood circulation – and that some minerals, such as calcium, are good for the heart. And then there’s the benefit of helping you sleep better. The magnesium content in hot springs may help you get a great night of sleep, which many of us so desperately need after a long day of hiking!

You probably don’t need more convincing. We’ve been enjoying hot springs for thousands of years. And they’re back at the top of the list of things to do to help us relax in a time when most of us are busier than ever. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or the sun is shining, nothing is better than soaking in the natural, calming waters of a hot spring. It’s one of the best ways to relax and ‘soak up’ the surrounding beauty of nature.

Even without the folklore and health benefits, sitting in natural hot springs is just wonderfully relaxing. While Instagram has made may hot springs around the world famous, like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon and Pammukale in Turkey, those in the United States often fly well under the radar. Just the adventure alone is worth seeking out as many of the 1,661 hot springs in the country as you can, each with a different temperature and mineral content. Some are small and off-the-beaten-path, so you’ll need to trek in. But this makes the experience of sitting in one even more satisfying, as the healing waters gently soothe your sore muscles from the hike to the springs. So, pack up the tent, grab your swimsuit (or not!), and head over to the first on our list of the top 71 natural hot springs in the western United States.

 

Guest Author at

Keilah is a Content Marketing Specialist based in San Diego. With a background in small business marketing and writing, she specializes in developing and promoting content that drives growth for her clients.

When she's not writing or venturing the globe, you'll find her in sunny San Diego on a hike with her dog.

34 thoughts on “71 Natural Hot Springs Off-The-Beaten-Path (USA)

  • February 14, 2019 at 5:58 am
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    Man, I love hot springs since visiting them in Costa Rica! Now I have to try them here in the states!

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  • February 13, 2019 at 7:26 pm
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    I’ve never been to any hot springs, but I’ve always wanted to. We’re taking a trip out west this summer, and I’m excited to finally see some!

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  • February 13, 2019 at 5:47 pm
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    Se manifique moments captured. Great views and vibes. I would love to visit some of these one day.

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  • February 13, 2019 at 9:14 am
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    Wow! Amazing post. Love the way you wrote this article. You gave all the details and explained it very well. Thanks

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  • February 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm
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    These are amazing to see and visit. I also love abundant the camp sites and hiking trails in Idaho. It’s home.

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  • February 11, 2019 at 11:24 pm
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    I’m not an outdoor person, but you actually made me consider camping, for a split second. Well done! ? The hot springs sound amazing, but I prefer my hot springs in a steam room or sauna at the spa. Thanks for the read though, it was interesting.

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  • February 11, 2019 at 6:44 pm
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    This is a really great post!! I love the maps with the locations of all of the hot springs. I have actually never been in a hot spring before, but it is definitely on my bucket list for sure. Definitely going to save this!

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  • February 11, 2019 at 2:18 pm
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    Wow this is such a detailed article and so informative. The locations are a bit too far for me but I would love to go visit hot springs!

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  • February 9, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    The ground outside is covered in snow as I read about all these fabulous hot springs on your blog! Um, I want to jump in one RIGHT NOW! I honestly had no idea there were so many here in the US. Love the graphics you created showing hot spring locations in different states of the US! I live in Washington, so I need to add some of those to my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!

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  • February 9, 2019 at 4:25 pm
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    Did you create that infographic because wow! That is so helpful! I only wish there were more natural hot springs on the east coast where I am!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 8:30 pm
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      Hi Celia, thank you! I created did the research around the topic but had help creating the infographic. Always great to hear my work is appreciated. I’ve heard of a handful on the East Coast, so stay tuned for a part two to this piece.

      Reply
  • February 9, 2019 at 11:58 am
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    OMG, I have to try to go to a natural hot spring in the US. I love them here in Japan.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 11:31 am
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    I love the idea of visiting some hot springs – sounds incredible! I didn’t realise there were so many in the US. I’m in the uk but would love to visit one day!

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  • February 9, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    I didn’t realize there are more than 1,000 hot springs in the U.S. Sadly to say, I’ve never been to any one of them, just read the sign and drove by. Hopefully will remember to stop at one or two in the future. I’ve been to the one in West Java, Indonesia when I was little though. I remember a lot of people came for healing purposes.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    I love hot springs and yeah I don’t need to be more convinced to visit this place. I can’t belive there are so many of them and I would definately get spoiled with spa there. It’s such a relief to jump in a hot spring – I feel so relaxed after.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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    I’m a Nevada native and had no idea there were so many natural hot springs nearby. I cannot wait to explore some of them. Thanks for sharing!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 8:29 pm
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      Hi Marcie, thanks for the kind words. I’m California native—we certainly are spoiled being in such close proximity to so many springs!

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  • February 8, 2019 at 8:37 pm
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    I love hot springs but have never tried any out in the US. The infographic was perfect information. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely keep this article for when we visit the States again.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 7:49 pm
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    While I have never actually enjoyed any hot springs, I would love to check out some and it is cool to know there are so many here in the US

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  • February 8, 2019 at 7:08 pm
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    I’ve only been to a few hot springs before, and one of which isn’t listed on your infographic: Lava Hot Springs in southeastern Idaho. It’s so cool: there are multiple pools that progress in temperature. I hiked out to the Fifth Water hot spring in Utah last year. It was such a beautiful hike out to it, but the rotten egg smell was almost too much to handle when I got out there!

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  • February 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm
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    I lived in Thermopolis, Wyoming for awhile, and there were some AMAZING hot springs there as well.
    Then, a few years ago, we visited Hot Springs, Arkansas. There’s a town full of history!

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  • February 8, 2019 at 4:24 pm
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    I am not a big camping fan but we do have some natural hot springs here and I do enjoy those :-p

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  • February 8, 2019 at 4:03 pm
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    I certainly love bathing in hot springs. I believe in the healing powers of natural hot spring water. My favorite hot springs are in Laguna, Philippines

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    • February 11, 2019 at 8:32 pm
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      Thanks for sharing. The Philippines has been a bucket list location of mine forever. Always great to hear tips!

      Reply
  • February 8, 2019 at 1:21 pm
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    Oh wow! I didn’t even realize there’d be so many hot springs in USA. But when I think of it, it’s a huuuge country with a lot of regions and climates and cultures. So yeah, it’s funny how I didn’t realize it earlier!
    Anyways, I’ll send this over to my friends in USA.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 7:59 am
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    I love hot springs and I love getting off the beaten track, hence I loved this article. I covered some of these and even mentioned them in my articles. I hope I get the chance to visit more of them next time I come back to the states

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    • February 8, 2019 at 6:55 pm
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      Hey Daniel! Thanks for the kind words. Our hot springs here are wonderful hidden gems 🙂

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  • February 8, 2019 at 6:58 am
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    Hot springs are pure bliss, I agree! I recently went to one in Budapest and it was freezing outside while I was in the pool and I just loved the feeling. Also a great way to soothe aching muscles after a long hike or a tiring walk. I had no idea there are so many hot springs in the US!

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  • February 8, 2019 at 4:54 am
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    I have never been to a hot spring before, but I am eager to visit! I love the infograph you included. What an eye-catching graphic!

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  • February 8, 2019 at 2:24 am
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    I love visiting hot springs. I remember how I mapped in every hot spring in Iceland when I was there. This blog of yours will surely help me when I will visit the States, especially during the road trip across these states. I would love to include hot spring visits in my plan.

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  • February 7, 2019 at 10:04 pm
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    I’m so glad I read this post. I have heard a lot of positive things about natural springs. I feel this will help ease my joint pains, I cant wait to visit one.

    Reply

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