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Hot Springs Enthusiasts
Old 12-04-2019, 10:36 AM   #1
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Hot Springs Enthusiasts

Who else enjoys a therapeutic soak?

Another thread brought up hot springs, would like to discuss the topic and get some recommendations.

Here East of the Rockies hot springs, or even warm springs, are few and far between. I always try to add one or two on the cross country road trips and would like to know your favorites.

I'm a day trip away from the Roosevelt Baths, not the same as a hot spring, but still a refreshing day.
I've been a camp host at Valley View and after 3 weeks still never tired of twice a day soaks.
Spencer Spring in the Nevada desert was my first and strangest. Six miles off highway 50 no one around for miles.

Any recommendations? Especially interested in finding springs and baths in the East.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:58 AM   #2
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https://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/go...ealing-waters/ is an article from a few years ago with some hot springs in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Iceland had a few great hot springs too. That may be as easy to get to for you as west of the Rockies.

Hot Springs, Arkansas would be another place to check.

Iceland is the only place of these where I've soaked. I've also soaked at Pagosa Springs, CO, and some unmarked place up in the Ogden Canyon near Snowbasin that a friend new about.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:12 AM   #3
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Iceland is on the list of places to go as soon as I get the new passport.
Thanks for the link.
I visited Berkley Springs. More a warm springs, but the heated Roman Baths were much better than expected. Hot Springs NC was very nice. I recommend getting the hotel room over the gazebo soaks. Real good waters!
I see the Jefferson pools are closed, but the hotel nearby has a pool filled by the spring. It's on the list of must sees.
Never heard of the one in South Carolina, but I now have it scheduled for my March trip.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
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The Jefferson Pools are the only hot springs I have visited. Very relaxing. We stayed at the Homestead after a trip from Asheville north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a very nice and relaxing trip.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:26 PM   #5
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Any recommendations? Especially interested in finding springs and baths in the East.
I can't help with springs in the East but we've visited several here in the Pacific Northwest. I greatly prefer natural hot springs where there's just a circle of rocks or something to contain the hot water, but we've been to a few developed springs too.

McCredie hot springs near Oakridge, Oregon was our favorite for many years. Despite being right off the highway, it was clothing optional and had a nice parking area and a short walk. There's actually another spring on the other side of the river we enjoyed more, a bit more secluded, but more of a hike to get to it. Sadly, it's several hours away so we haven't been there in many years. Don't know what it's like today.

Terwilliger hot springs is popular, but was more of a hippie hangout. Lots of long haired folks smoking weed, and a fair amount of garbage laying around. A bit out of our comfort zone, so we rarely went to that one.

Belknap hot springs is a developed resort in Oregon. We never soaked at the resort but we did rent a private cottage nearby that tapped the same springs to heat the cottage and outdoor hot tub. It was nice.

Breitenbush hot springs is a rustic resort with a few hot springs you can soak in and cabins you can rent. The springs themselves are clothing optional, clothing required elsewhere. It's set up as a holistic retreat, natural healing, healthy food, and all that. We only visited once for the day, not really our vibe. A little too new age for our tastes.

Bagby hot springs is closer to home (a couple hours out of Portland, OR). Last time we were there it was sort of half developed, cool outdoor tubs made from carved out logs, as well as enclosed private soaking areas. I think it was about a one mile hike in. Last I heard it was kind of a victim of it's own success, vandalism in the parking areas, garbage left around, loud partiers, people waiting in line for a turn to soak, etc. We haven't been back in many years.

Olympic Hot Springs in Washington's Olympic Peninsula was also one of our favorites when we were younger. It was a hike in, but had a few natural pools to soak in. I don't know what the current status is. Last I heard the trail was closed due to a dam being removed, so it required a really long hike through back country to get there. Clothing optional when we were there.

Sol Duc hot springs is also on the Olympic Peninsula. It's a developed resort, right off the highway, with several large swimming pools fed with hot spring water. It was OK, but just felt like soaking at a hotel pool. At least the scenery is nice and you can hike in to Sol Duc Falls. Suits required, and they sell you towels (we still have a set of three).

The last hot spring we visited was Chena hot springs east of Fairbanks, Alaska. It's a developed spring, but is large and set up so it still feels fairly natural. Suits required. There's a nice restaurant on site, as well as an ice sculpture museum you can tour. Makes for a nice day outing if you're in the area.

Sadly, other than Chena back in 2016, we haven't visited any hot springs in quite a few years. The status of natural springs seems to change often as people abuse them and land owners take action. There are plenty of hot spring guide books, but you can find quite a few by searching for "hot spring" in Google maps. Colorado and New Mexico have several, and I know there area few in California. I haven't visited any of those.

Quite a few years ago we visited Goldenhaven spa in Calistoga, California (north of San Francisco). It was an older facility but we enjoyed soaking in the mud baths together, showering with spring water, soaking in the spring water hot tub, and getting body wraps and massages.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #6
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There are plenty of mineral springs in Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa, NY, although none of them are naturally hot. If you go to one of the spas, they do heat the water and you can have a nice soak.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:04 PM   #7
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Not east, but Saratoga, Wyoming https://saratogahotspringsresort.com...tSpringsResort

We've stayed in hotel rooms that open onto the hot springs area. Just lovely. I was floating in the large pool one night when a snowy owl took several flights right over the pool. The teepees around the smaller hot pools provide great protection from weather/wind.

We're also fans of the big hot pool in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. There is another (Iron Mountain) but we haven't been to that one yet.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:10 PM   #8
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There's a mineral spring spa in Okawville, Ill. It's not a hot spring, but they do have a heated pool and spa services. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin..._and_Bathhouse
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:47 PM   #9
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We go frequently, but on the wrong side of the divide.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:36 PM   #10
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The Jefferson Pools in Hot Springs, VA, closed a couple of years ago because the 18th century building that houses them was basically about to fall down. However, the Omni Homestead says they might reopen next year.

https://www.newsleader.com/story/new...ys/3213022002/
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions.
I've been to Lithia in Oregon, looks like I need another trip to the PNW.
Saratoga in Wyoming has a couple of free pools near the town pool. Fantasticly soothing.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:23 PM   #12
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Been to several in North America, China, and Iceland. Jasper and Banff have some good ones. And Myvant instead of Blue Lagoon as it’s less crowded.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:26 PM   #13
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Big Bend has one,too. And it’s free.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:05 PM   #14
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Mammoth Hot Springs, near Mammoth Lakes CA ski area. We used to go there at night after a day of skiing to soak our tired bodies.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:36 PM   #15
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While I'm not an "enthusiast" of hot springs, this thread got me curious.

Here's a map of all thermal springs in the US, from NOAA:

https://maps.ngdc.noaa.gov/viewers/hot_springs/

It gives each spring's location and temperature, but it doesn't say whether each one is public or developed. As others said, there are only a couple of springs east of the Mississippi that are classified as "hot."
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:55 AM   #16
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There's a hot spring spa about 60 miles east of Fairbanks, for those who visit the far north. https://chenahotsprings.com/

We visited in September one year when the nighttime temperature was already dipping into the low 20s. We were surprised to see busloads of Japanese tourists arriving. I don't recall a lot of them using the hot spring much during the day, but many came out at night to view the northern lights -- which are spectacular.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:12 PM   #17
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #18
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Been to several in North America, China, and Iceland. Jasper and Banff have some good ones. And Myvant instead of Blue Lagoon as its less crowded.
Loved those. Add Radium Hot Springs if we n the area. It's the biggest in Canada.

Lava in SE Idaho is also nice.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:29 PM   #19
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I was just in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The national park visitor center is the actual Fordyce Bathhouse and Museum and well worth a visit. You will learn about how folks flocked to such hot springs for full service treatment and cures.

And there are still some neighboring bathhouses that you can sign up for full service treatment, cures, and hydrotherapy. Feel like royalty!

This ain't like going to Mr. Bubbles in Yellowstone.
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