From thick jungles filled with exotic creatures to arid deserts that glow under the midday sun, it's no secret that the earth offers a multitude of innate beauty. Natural hot springs are perhaps one of its coolest features, though. What's not to love about a toasty pool of thermal water infused with minerals? Best of all, you don't have to venture to Iceland or Turkey or New Zealand to take a relaxing dip in one of these scenic natural pools. The United States boasts some truly beautiful hot springs, and we've rounded up 10 of the best.
The Best Hot Springs in the U.S.
1. Goldbug Hot Springs – Salmon, Idaho
For unspeakable beauty, break out your hiking shoes and make your way to Goldbug Hot Springs, which lends a perfect dip no matter the time of year.
"Gold Bug Hot Springs in Salmon, Idaho is the truth," says Aaron Mumford, the COO of JET Hospitality. "Located just south of Salmon, Idaho near mile marker 282 on Highway 93, it's an easy two-mile hike from the trailhead."
2. Fifth Water Hot Springs – Salt Lake City, Utah
You'll find Fifth Water Hot Springs tucked away in Cottonwood Canyon about an hour from Salt Lake City. Known for its striking turquoise waters and picturesque mountain views, Fifth Water is a favorite local hotspot (pun intended!) particularly in the winter months. You'll find a handful of pools in the area with varying temperatures, with the hottest coming in at 111 degrees.
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3. Hot Springs State Park – Yellowstone, Wyoming
If you're exploring Yellowstone National Park and are keen on hitting a hot spring, make time in your schedule to visit the glorious Hot Springs State Park, which is about a few hours north of the park itself. "These mineral hot springs are free and open to the public," says Vanessa Gordon, lifestyle expert and CEO of East End Taste Magazine. "The scenery around is so gorgeous, though be mindful of wild animals that tend to roam through there on occasion."
4. Granite Hot Springs – Jackson Hole, Wyoming
While you're in the Wyoming area, it might make sense for you to also drop by the Granite Hot Springs near the Tetons.
Whitney Brielle Martin, CMO of JET Hospitality, says that a visit here was one of her favorite hot springs experiences she's ever had. "Just over the Tetons in Jackson, we rode through snow-laden hills and frosty peaks back into the incredible springs," she says. "In the winter, it's only accessible on a snowmobile or dog sled, and the steamy dip after the frosty temps are such a treat. Plus, you can't beat the views."
5. Umpqua Hot Springs – Idleyld Park, Oregon
Located about 75 miles outside of Oregon's Crater Lake National Park is Umpqua Hot Springs with its almost too-perfect blue waters amid lush foliage.
If you're not looking for a workout before you soak, the hike in to these hot springs is a bit more accessible compared to others on this list at only about .3 miles. Upon arrival you'll find two oval geothermal soaking pools amid the park's natural beauty. The hot springs are situated alongside the Umpqua river, which is a native word meaning "dancing water."
6. Chena Resort Hot Springs – Fairbanks, Alaska
If you prefer a resort setting over rugged hiking, check out the Chena Resort Hot Springs in Fairbanks, Alaska. While a stay is always a good idea, you don't have to be a guest at the resort to visit because the property allows for day pass purchases.
Gordon notes, "Since the hot springs are open late, it may be the perfect opportunity to see the aurora borealis." Now that is a unique hot spring experience!
7. Goldmyer Hot Springs – Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Goldmyer Hot Springs is located near the Alpine Lakes Wilderness along the Snoqualmie River in Washington. It's accessible via a lovely (but long) hike through a dense forest alongside the rushing river.
One thing to note is that the hot springs are tucked away on private property and managed by a local non-profit that accepts only 20 visitors per day. This helps prevent the hot springs from getting overcrowded—even in the busy season—and ensures the area remains beautiful. If you'd like to go, we recommend making a reservation in advance.
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8. Dunton Hot Springs – Dolores, Colorado
While definitely a splurge, Dunton Hot Springs are another private hot springs option to consider for those seeking a hot spring getaway. The high-end luxury mountain lodge offers five ways to enjoy the local natural hot springs and has a variety of luxurious on-site amenities, including a exquisite spa and rustic saloon.
Given the cost, we recommend this for a special stay like an anniversary or birthday.
9. Caliente Mineral Springs Resort&Spa – Caliente, New Mexico
For authentic southwest vibes and an unforgettable hot spring experience, plan a stay at the stunning Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort&Spa. It's a great spot after visiting Taos, and is only an hour's drive from Sante Fe and two hours away from Albuquerque.
"Big thumbs up here," says Baker, CEO of JET Hospitality. "Use the mix of multiple mineral options, so you can customize your unique experience while offering targeted healing. When we visited, we grabbed a sammie for lunch and a glass of wine from their bar afterward; it was a solid 360 experience."
10. Hot Springs National Park – Hot Springs, Arkansa
Boasting thermal water that's nearly 4,000 years old, Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is one of the premiere destinations for anyone who loves hot springs or simply wants to enjoy the earth's magnificence first hand.
The park is unique in that it's the only non-volcanic geothermal spring with such impressive water quality. It's clear, odorless, tasteless, and perfectly warm. The park also provides access to thermal spring drinking fountains, which are said to contain many nourishing properties.