Think of natural hot springs as Mother Nature's Jacuzzis. These ahh-inducing geothermal pools are known for their healing and therapeutic properties. Many of these hot springs are attached to hotels, while some are in more primitive outdoor settings — but they all offer fabulous soaks in mineral-rich waters. Here are some of the best natural hot springs in the U.S. to get your soak on.
The source of Glenwood Hot Springs is nearby Yampah Spring, which in the Ute language means "big medicine." The main pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, which opened in 1888, is 400 feet long and kept at a comfortable 90 degrees, so it's easy to wile away a few hours soaking in these mineral-rich waters.
To truly relax in this Rocky Mountain setting, book a room inand treat yourself to an aromatherapy massage.
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Not far from Park City is the Homestead Crater in the Heber Valley. Under a 55-foot limestone “dome” is an ancient geothermal hot spring — reached via a 110-foot tunnel carved through the rock — that maintains a year-round temperature of 90 degrees. It's truly a one-of-a-kind experience — we highly recommend it!
If you overnight at the Homestead Resort, just a few minutes' walk to the crater, a soak in the hot springs is included.
You can't swim in the famed Mammoth Hot Springs located within Yellowstone National Park, but the next best thing is to take a dip in the geothermal waters in the park's Boiling River. While you're soaking in the natural hot spring (the water is hot, but not boiling hot!), keep an eye out for wildlife like bison and elk.
For a private guided tour of Yellowstone and a visit to the hot springs, book a custom guided tour .
South of the resort town of McCall on Payette Lake are the Gold Fork Hot Springs in the small town of Donnelly, Idaho. These mineral-rich natural hot springs are comprised of a series of six terraced pools, which get cooler at each tier (the highest pool's temperature is a toasty 110 degrees).
You're less than 20 minutes from the hot springs if you stay at the lodge-style Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites McCall.
This spiritual retreat in Big Sur has long attracted bohemian types (and more than a few city slickers looking to de-stress). They come for the mind-body workshops, meditation, yoga, and to soak in one of the institute's clothing-optional co-ed natural hot springs — small outdoor tubs in spectacular settings overlooking the coast.
Esalen offers weekend, 5- and 7-day workshops, which include accommodations, meals, and use of facilities (including the hot-springs tubs).
The Springs Resort, in southern Colorado, has 23 terraced pools in a scenic spot along the San Juan River. Fed by the Great Pagosa Spring, these natural hot-spring pools range from 87 to 114 degrees, so you can pool-hop as you please. The bathhouse is open year-round, and hotel guests have 24-hour access to the hot springs.
The Springs Resort has 79 rooms ranging from standard rooms to mountain suites, some of which come with full kitchens.
Though you can no longer swim in any outdoor natural hot springs in Hot Springs National Park, you can still enjoy a therapeutic soak in its Quapaw Baths & Spa. Located along historic bathhouse row, you can alternate taking dips in the four thermal pools, all located under a stained-glass skylight, then indulge in a spa treatment.
If you plan on staying in the area, book a room at the Hilltop Manor Bed and Breakfast, a luxury five-room inn just outside the park.
In Montana's Paradise Valley, Chico Hot Springs is a rustic-chic resort near Yellowstone that's known for its two open-air natural mineral hot springs pools. As you soak in these mineral-rich pools, take in the gorgeous panoramas of the Absaroka Mountains, then sip a local Chico amber ale in the Western-style saloon.
Chico Hot Springs Resort offers numerous accommodations, including rooms in the historic lodge, cottages, and cabins.
You'll feel rejuvenated after a visit to Ojo Caliente in northern New Mexico. Spend the day dipping in and out of its numerous natural hot spring pools — there's even a mud pool, in which you can slather the mud onto your body (the mud is known for its detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties). The tubs are open late, so you can soak while gazing at the star-filled night sky.
Stay in one of Ojo Caliente's adobe-style suites, featuring kiva fireplaces, beamed ceilings, and Native American rugs.
Escape the Texas sun by taking a soak in the Barton Springs Pool. This 3-acre pool, located within Zilker Park, is fed by underground geothermal hot springs, and the average water temperature is between 68 and 70 degrees. Surrounding the pool are sloped lawns, which make for a perfect picnic spot after a refreshing swim.