Sometimes there is little else to do with the sweltering heat of the summer sun than to lean into it by visiting the naturally-occurring, calming waters of the American hot springs for their therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Detailed in a resource article from ReserveAmerica, the following is a list of American hot springs that naturally occur in nature for you and your family to visit.
Located in the aptly-named, Hot Springs, Arkansas is this National Park devoted to the titular hot springs that are supplied by steam from the 47 natural springs that rises up through vents in the street, bathing the town in a geothermal fog. Over 3,000 years ago, Native Americans discovered this city, and promptly named it the “Valley of the Vapors,” which the contemporary locals proudly appreciate. Though it can be tough to distinguish the national park from the town, since they share a name, it’s playfully suggested that visitors plan to stay a while when visiting the first-come-first-served Buckstaff bathhouse and the upscale spas of the Quapaw Baths and Spas. Rest in ancient vapors and pure opulence with this unforgettable locale.
Located in Clackamas County, Oregon, this locale was discovered in 1880 and is nearly as aesthetically primitive as when the hunter Bill Bagby stumbled upon it nearly 150 years ago. This hot spring is to be found in the dense and vibrantly green Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon, and visitors will find a soothing bathhouse of private and public log tubs at the end of just a 1.4-mile hike. Open year-round, these springs are supplied with scorching 138 degree water from the main spring that fills the plumbing and tubs that Bagby made himself from the cedar wood of the surrounding forest.
Trek out to Hesperia, California with these rewarding springs found in the northern Mojave Desert of the San Bernardino National Forest at the end of a (albeit difficult) 2 mile hike. Though, once at the end of the hike, traversers are rewarded with the picturesque scenery of rugged desert mountains covered in scrub brush and large natural soaking pools that are surrounded by gigantic rocks and sweeping views.
Don’t be deterred by the name with this California-based, primitive hot spring found in the middle of the stunning, unpopulated Mammoth Lakes area. Visitors traverse an elevated .02 mile wooden walkway alongside excellent views of grassy plains and the expansive mountains behind them. At the end of the short hike, you’ll find two shallow pools, one comfortably warm, and one deeper, hotter, and heart-shaped. If avoiding the crowds, be sure to check these out on a weekday, as the weekends can be known as a vibrant party destination.
If you’ve ever wished to relaxingly soak in a hot spring on the moon, you won’t be disappointed by this down-to-earth equivalent found in Midway, Utah. At Homestead Crater, you’ll find an oasis that was formed when snow from the nearby mountains of Utah seeped deep into the earth. That snow met with internal rising waters to create a 96-degree geothermal pool that sits at the bottom of a 55-foot tall beehive-shaped crater that offers an underground, otherworldly soaking experience. For the more adventurous, you can even scuba dive into the crater, as Homestead Crater is the only place in the continental United States where you can scuba dive in warm waters.
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