There’s hardly anything better after a day of hiking than letting your sore muscles relax in tub of hot water. Even better when said tub of hot water is a natural hot springs and you get to watch the sun set over the Sierra Nevada. Here are three of my favourite hot springs in the Mammoth Lakes area.
1. Tavertine Hot Springs
A little drive to the north of Mammoth Lakes to the little town of Bridgeport takes you to the Tavertine Hot Springs. Turn right just after the ranger station and follow the dirt road winding it’s way up into the hills. You’ll eventually reach a parking lot with a little outhouse. A trail leads you over a little hill and there you’ll find the Tavertine Hot Springs, which consist of five pools of differently temperatured water, ranging from very hot, to mildly cool. I loved these hot springs soaking away five days worth of Yosemite camping grime and enjoyed chatting with some fellow hot-springers. Be aware though: You might wear a swim suit, but locals enjoy their hot springs nude.
2. Hilltop Hot Springs
Probably one of the most instafamous Eastern Sierras locations. The Hilltop Hot Springs offer you an amazing view of the Sierras, while you get to soak a way in a relatively secluded little tub. I do have to admit though that when I went there, there was a rather creepy guy hanging out on the carpark, so I a) waited for some fellow travellers to arrive before I got out oand b) walked down to the pool, took a picture and took off again, because that guy freaked not only me out, but also the family I walked down to the pool with. If you manage to get the springs to yourself though, they are really nice.
3. Wild Willy Hot Springs
My favourite hot springs both location and visitor wise. The hot springs are a bit hard to find. From the 395 turn right onto Benton Rd, then turn right onto a dirt road after the third cattle grid. The turn-off is just past a little hill, there is no sign. Keep driving on the dirt road until you reach a parking lot. A wooden pier leads you down the hot springs, which consist of some three spacious pools. A lot of people visit the pools, so expect to share the space. Everyone I met there was supernice and easy-going though, so I had a good time bathing and chatting with fellow travellers and locals alike.
If you want more…
…consult the book “Hot Springs of the Easter Sierra” by George Williams.
And let me know: Which are your favourite Hot Springs in the Eastern Sierras?