7 of the USA’s most restoring hot springs

Nature

Mineral-rich and often found in beautiful settings, a natural hot spring is a feast for the senses. And the USA’s unique topography means it’s home to a wealth of these geothermal pools – time to plan a wellness escape to one of the country’s seven most restorative and remote hot springs.

Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming

Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming

Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming

Come for the hot springs but stay for the views – at least that’s the adopted mantra of the Hot Springs State Park. About a 3-hour drive from Yellowstone National Park, Hot Springs State Park has much of the former’s appeal but with the added bonus of its own bubbling springs. Located in the aptly named Thermopolis, the park’s Big Spring is the main draw; a turquoise ripple of steaming waters that contains at least 27 different minerals. Beyond that, the Rainbow Terraces are a delightful sight to see, consisting of a loop of naturally formed rocks that see thousands of gallons of water cascade over them daily. Dip into the waters and keep an eye out for herds of wild bison often seen grazing in the distance. Stay at the Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel, and soak some more in the hotel’s hotel tub.

Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

Though both hard to find and to pronounce, Umpqua Hot Springs is worth the effort. Halfway between the prettily named Surprise Falls and Misty Grotto Falls, you’ll find the hot springs jutting from rocky cliff faces and hugged by pine trees. The springs are reached on foot, via an attractive hike at the end of which you’ll be rewarded with a soothing bathe and graceful views of the Umpqua Forest. Clothes aren’t required for a dip but it’s a relaxed atmosphere whatever you choose to wear or not wear. After a long soak, drive to the cerulean Odell Lake and the cabin at Shelter Cove Resort & Marina for the night.

Fifth Water Hot Springs, Utah

Fifth Water Hot Springs, Utah

Fifth Water Hot Springs, Utah

The Fifth Water Hot Springs are appealing for the colour of the water alone – a luminous blue. At the end of the Diamond Fork Hot Springs Trail and about an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, the pools require a hike to reach them. But when you do, you’ll be greeted by rushing waterfalls that plunge into several rock pools. Pick one and submerge yourself in the blue waters and ethereal setting. Keep the feeling of otherworldliness going by heading to Daniels Summit Lodge in Strawberry Valley.

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Combine two of Earth’s great natural phenomenons when you visit Chena Hot Springs in Alaska. Between September and March, the sky is pierced with the magnetic, lustrous green of the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights. The resort is also famous for its collection of hot spring pools, each one reflecting the glowing sky when the Northern Lights appear. Bask in the warmth of the waters surrounded by icy wilderness and stay at the resort or back in Fairbanks at Brennan’s B&B.

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado

Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado

Once a ghost town sat on the West Fork of the Dolores River and now a luxury resort, Dunton Hot Springs has undergone quite a renaissance. Back in the late 1800s, Dunton was chosen as a potential gold (and silver) mine as the existence of mineral-heavy hot springs is usually a good indication of further minerals underground. Its remote location soon led to the town’s demise and the log houses and springs were abandoned but eventually the land was bought, turned into a resort – and today, the hot springs still thrive. The Bath House is the place to soak up the town’s history, before a visit to the resort’s bar where the infamous outlaw Butch Cassidy once sought refuge. Treat yourself to a luxurious night at the Madeline Hotel and Residences, only an hour’s drive north.

Travertine Hot Springs, California

Travertine Hot Springs, California

Travertine Hot Springs, California

Possibly one of the USA’s most well-known geothermal pools, the Travertine Hot Springs have earned a reputation for being some of the country’s most beautiful, too. Here, steaming water courses down the travertine rock faces, until it eventually ends up in little rock pools overlooking the dusty Eastern Sierra landscape. Stop by these pockets of blue for a blissful and much-needed break after conquering one of the many nearby peaks on a hike. And spend the night at Virginia Creek Settlement.

San Antonio Hot Springs, New Mexico

San Antonio Hot Springs, New Mexico

San Antonio Hot Springs, New Mexico

You’ll find the San Antonio Hot Springs in the heart of Sante Fe National Forest, clinging to steep, rocky mountain slopes. Reached via a 5-mile hike, these springs are a little more remote than many others but that’s all to your benefit. Dense spruce pines border the pools, with sweeping green views below, which is made even more magical when wisps of steam from the water swirl overhead. Here, it’s very likely to just be you and the natural world – so enjoy the silence before heading back to spend the night at your idyllic holiday home, La Cueva Eco Lodge.

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