What? : Mammoth Hot
Springs is a non-commercial open space natural hot spring located in the Mammoth
Lakes area. The hot soak here is one of the best-kept secrets scenic and
beautiful hot springs in California.
Where? : An area east
of Mammoth-Lake Airport.
Driving directions: From Mammoth Lakes
head south on highway 395. Just after the airport turn left into Benton
Crossing Rd. after less than a mile drive you will reach the hot springs are.
Here you can turn left into the main dirt road that will lead you to few hot
springs or you can keep driving on the road and go to other springs.
When? : Year round as
long as you can reach the site at winter snowstorms when they may close the
access toad gates.
Due note 1: The area is
under Inyo National Forest management, it has free access, no other facilities
but you can set here for a night sleep.
Due note 2: Public hot
springs are not bathing facilities, do not use soap and shampoo, including bio
Due note 3: Although they
are not a “mainstream official tourist attraction” you probably will not be only
one here at summer weekends.
Due note 4: All off road
in this area are gravel roads, but all are in good conditions and are easily
drivable by a regular car.
Due note 5: Bathing in
nudity is an option…
My thoughts: One of my best
travel serenity experiences, soaking at the nature open hot bath and seeing the
sunset over the sierra mountains will be a memorable moment. I spend here the
evening and park for the night nearby, waking up before sunrise to see the sun rising
at the east and light the sierra range to the west. For me viewing sunrise from
Brees overlooking Hot Creek Geological Site was another unforgettable
and overnight stay at the Hot Creek Geological Site and the Hot Springs near
Mammoth. Whitmore Hot Springs is ideal if you appreciate hot springs in their
natural state that are not modified to be more commercially appealing.
There are several
springs most of which are quite small in size (3-5 people) so if you find them busy
you need to wait. At weekend, the area is quite popular then do not expect to
be there alone.
As in other non-develop
natural hot springs in California the immersion can be naked.
There are several
hot springs that you can park your car just near them:
The Rock Tub
For others they
are within a short walk distance from the car park.
If you are
planning to spend the night over here do not camp near the springs, there is a
traffic of people who come to bathe at night so if you want quiet do not sleep
there, find a side road and park there.
Hot Creek Geological Site:
is this area is Hot Creek Geological Site.
This hot spring
is geologically active with potentially deadly boiling water. Water
temperatures can change rapidly, entering the water in this location is completely
Driving directions: From Hwy 395
take the Hot Creek Hatchery Road, located 15 mins South of Mammoth Lakes.You will then proceed 2 miles on paved road
and 3 miles on gravel road. this site is connected from the far side to the
other hot spring’s dirt-roads.
Park your car
at the parking lot above the creek and go to the viewing point or down to the
Blue color boiling
pools, steaming shorelines, and bubbling eruptions the creek bed near the river
creating hot water pools, sometimes with small geyser eruptions.
Brees Lookout: Just east of
the main parking lot is one of the best breathtaking sunrises viewing point.
From here you can see the river winding below in the gorge, steam coming up
from the hot springs and to top this the view of the high Sierra mountain range
is getting sunrise light in the west.
Hot Creek keep
flowing to the east and connect to Owens River.
There is a
large Campground just near the road: Brown's Owens River Campground
Thin the area
you can find a small lake, Warm Alkali Lake may attract birds at the migrating