While Los Angeles may be a sprawling metropolis that offers nearly every imaginable past-time, sometimes city-dwelling Los Angelenos need to get away and escape to one of California’s nearby hot springs for a weekend of relaxation. Luckily, LA’s position in Southern California places it within a three-hour drive of some of Cali’s favorite hot spring resorts and pools.
Thanks to geothermal activity surging under the earth, California is home to a wide variety of diverse hot springs. There is something for everybody, from posh resorts, to free primitive pools.
From Los Angeles, seven unique hot spring resorts and primitive pools can be reached within approximately three hours. These hot springs, ranging from boutique hotels in Desert Hot Springs to primitive pools in the middle of California’s vast wilderness, offer travelers a much-needed respite from the busy days of the city.
If it’s winter, consider checking out these ski resorts near Los Angeles. The ski slopes are a perfect combination to any of the following hot springs.
List of the hot springs near Los Angeles, CA, in no particular order:
Deep Creek Hot Springs
For those looking for a beautiful, primitive hot spring area near Los Angeles, Deep Creek Hot Springs is the obvious choice. Located just 90 miles from the center of Los Angeles, in the middle of the beautiful San Bernardino National Forest, Deep Creek Hot Springs offers the adventurous explorer a perfect escape from city life.
Deep Creek Hot Springs is characterized by three sizeable hot spring pools on the edge of the Deep Creek, which is one of the forks of the Mojave River. Geothermally heated mineral water emerges from a source located nearby and fills the three pools with water that sits at around 100°F, which is a perfect temperature for soaking.
To get to this beautiful California oasis, visitors have the option of a shorter hike across private property, which requires a small fee, or they can choose to hike just six miles on the over two thousand-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail. Either way, hikers will be met with gorgeous California views on the way to this stunning creek-side hot spring.
Unfortunately, camping is not allowed near Deep Creek Hot Springs, but that shouldn’t dissuade any potential visitor. The hot springs and surrounding area are beautiful, and, despite the crowds that sometimes flock to the area on weekends, a trip to Deep Creek Hot Springs is definitely worth the visit.
Willett Hot Springs
Just a few minutes further from Los Angeles than Deep Creek Hot Springs, Willett Hot Springs is another fantastic option for primitive hot spring soaking in Southern California. Situated in the stunning Los Padres National Forest, Willett Hot Springs is around 100 miles northwest of LA.
This simple hot spring pool is perfect for nature lovers hoping for a secluded soaking experience in the vast California Wilderness. Thanks to its unique position deep in Los Padres National Forest, potential visitors must be ready to conquer a nearly ten-mile hike to access the hot spring pool.
Due to this hike, Willett Hot Springs is often less crowded than some of California’s more readily accessible hot springs. After conquering the 9.5-mile riverside hike, soakers are greeted with an inviting hot spring pool filled with water that maintains a temperature of around 100°F.
Luckily, since accessing the spring takes most of the day, camping is allowed in the vicinity of the spring. Backcountry camping is free, and spots are readily available both along the river on the way to the spring and near the pool itself.
However, there are no facilities, so hikers should be prepared to be self-sufficient. Additionally, local fire restrictions require a fire permit for campfires.
While Willett Hot Springs is open year-round, the best time to visit is during the Spring and Fall. During the hottest months of the year, the Sespe River frequently runs dry, so hikers and campers lose out on a valuable water source.
Ultimately, Willett Hot Springs is one of the top primitive hot springs near Los Angeles because of the seclusion and relaxation its isolated location provides.
Miracle Springs Resort & Spa
Miracle Springs Resort & Spa is a complete hot spring resort offering an array of pools, relaxing massage services, and stunning accommodations and dining facilities. Located around 110 miles east of Los Angeles, California, Miracle Springs Resort & Spa is a great choice for those hoping to escape the city and relax in one of California’s hot spring resorts.
The primary draw of Miracle Springs Resort & Spa is the eight hot spring pools scattered around the resort.
These pools range from large, traditional pools to small tubs, and all are filled with healing mineral water that sits between 90° and 104° F, year-round. Besides the abundance of pools, visitors should also be sure to take advantage of the world-class spa facilities that offer treatments like body scrubs, manicures, and many varieties of massages.
In addition to these facilities, Miracle Springs Resort & Spa also offers well-appointed accommodations that feature a small kitchenette. There are a few different types of rooms to choose from, ranging from the resort’s standard double room to a much more luxurious King Suite, but all are sure to be a comfortable place to recharge between relaxing soaks in the resort’s pools.
Finally, the resort features a restaurant on-site known as the Capri Restaurant, it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a focus on Italian cuisine. Overall, the abundance of pools and comprehensive dining and lodging facilities makes Miracle Springs Resort a great hot spring destination in Southern California.
Miracle Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa
While Miracle Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa is in the same town as Miracle Springs Resort, Miracle Manor is a much smaller, more intimate adults-only resort in the stunning Coachella Valley of Desert Hot Springs, California.
Because the resort is so intimate, there are only two hot springs pools: a larger, more traditional pool and a smaller soaking tub. Both of these pools are full of healing mineral water, and the views of the beautiful San Jacinto mountains are unparalleled.
In addition to the two hot springs pools, the boutique hotel also offers world-class spa and yoga treatments including facials, a variety of massages, and private yoga classes.
There are only eight hotel rooms in the entire property, and each one is luxuriously appointed for relaxation and rest. The furniture is made from reclaimed wood, and each room comes standard with bathrobes and daily meditation guides. There are five different types of rooms to choose from, ranging from a luxurious King Suite to a simpler room with twin beds.
Miracle Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa, though small, boasts luxurious accommodations and world-class facilities that make it one of the top resorts in Desert Hot Springs, California.
Big and Little Caliente Hot Springs
Vastly different from the hot spring resorts found in Desert Hot Springs, California, Big and Little Caliente Hot Springs are a set of primitive hot spring pools located in Los Padres National Forest.
The springs are set at the end of a nine-mile-long dirt road that is only accessible in good conditions with a high-clearance vehicle or a long hike. Visitors are likely to have a secluded, relaxing visit to these primitive pools.
After reaching the hot springs oasis, three inviting cement pools await. Big Caliente, the larger of the three pools, is set directly beside the source of the relaxing mineral water, while Little Caliente is situated a short walk further into the canyon.
Camping is not allowed right beside the springs, but fortunately, there are a few National Forest Service Campgrounds within walking distance. Just like the pools themselves, the campgrounds in this area are very primitive, so hikers need to be prepared. With that being said, camping near the springs is ideal because it allows for the unique opportunity of night soaking.
Despite the limited accessibility of Big and Little Caliente Hot Springs, this is an ideal set of pools to visit because of the seclusion and beauty provided in Los Padres National Forest. Although the drive is long from Los Angeles, the stunning views and relaxing mineral water gains this place a spot on the list.
Delonegha Hot Springs
Delonegha Hot Springs is a bit further from Los Angeles, but the opportunity to soak directly beside the beautiful Kern River makes this trip worth the approximately 140-mile drive. Accessing the pools can be tricky, as visitors must either raft down the Kern River or, during low-water, walk along the riverbank to the inviting pools.
Delonegha Hot Springs features five large pools set right on the riverbank, and they each maintain a temperature of at least 102°F year-round, making them perfect for healing soaks amid the natural mineral water. Besides the five relaxing pools, the adjacent area features picnic tables and a small cooking station.
Unfortunately, there is no camping allowed at the springs, so visitors should plan to make other lodging accommodations. Additionally, it can be difficult to secure parking in the area. Most visitors choose to park at a nearby river take-out spot before rafting or hiking to the springs.
While accessing the springs and finding parking can be decidedly hard, the opportunity for soaking in five hot pools right beside the Kern River should not be underestimated. Despite the potential logistical problems, Delonegha Hot Springs remains one of the top hot springs in the area because of its seclusion, natural beauty, and healing mineral water.
Avila Hot Springs
Set around three hours away from the stress of Los Angeles, Avila Hot Springs is a relaxing hot spring resort just two miles from the beautiful California Coastline.
As expected, the biggest draw of the resort is the hot springs. Avila Hot Springs features two pools: a smaller hot springs soaking tub and a larger chlorine-treated swimming pool. The soaking pool is heated to around 104° F, while the much larger swimming pool sits at around 80°F. In addition to these relaxing pools, the resort offers comprehensive, reservation-required massage treatments.
As for accommodations, Avila Hot Springs is not short on options. Most tent and RV sites feature picnic tables, and reservations are strongly encouraged, especially during the summer. For those who prefer more traditional lodging, the resort also offers one-bedroom cabins featuring a kitchen and living area.
Thanks to its prime location on the coast, access to the beach is an easy two-mile walk or bike ride on the beautiful Bob Jones Trail. While it may be a bit far from LA, Avila Hot Springs’ prime location, relaxing and enjoyable pools, and diverse accommodations make it worth the trip.