Hot springs are an intriguing phenomenon, merging science with relaxation in an exciting and luxurious way. While these natural hot baths fueled by geothermally heated water can be found all over the United States, there are a substantial number of them scattered throughout the Northern California region.
For an indulgent experience unlike any other, consider a trip to one of these hot spring spas relatively close to Sacramento. Some exist in the solitude of nature while others are in more central urban areas, oftentimes with an entire resort spa built around them. Peruse this collection of hot springs in the area for a relaxing retreat not far from home!
Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort — Calistoga, CA
Distance From Sacramento: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes
The city of Calistoga at the tip of Napa Valley is a major hub for hot springs spas, including the luxurious and relaxing Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa and Resort. Thankfully, a stay at this resort means you’re within close proximity of all the amazing wineries and attractions in this region saturated with vineyards. The Calistoga area has been a hot springs destination for over 150 years, as it was considered a place of healing called “Coo-lay-no-maock,” or “the oven place” by the local Wappo Indians. Golden Haven Hot Springs remains a place of healing to this day, as you can relax in the hot springs water in the spa sourced from the geothermal aquifer running underneath. The hot springs water emerges from the earth at approximately 150 degrees, is then cooled, and is distributed to their serene mineral pools and mud baths.
Sierra Hot Springs — Sierraville, CA
Distance From Sacramento: 2 Hours, 15 Minutes
Head to the enchanting forest in Sierraville for a relaxing retreat at Sierra Hot Springs, a non-profit resort and retreat center. With several hot springs pool options available, this is the ultimate destination for rejuvenation, relaxation, and restoration.
One of the main attractions is “The Hot Pool,” located in an enclosed geodesic temple dome with stained glass and skylights. This 105-110 degree pool has sand on the bottom and mosaic tile along the sides. You’ll find the large “Warm Pool” outside the dome, in addition to a sundeck and dry sauna.
Seasonal pools at Sierra Hot Springs include “The Meditation Pool,” an outdoor faux natural pool surrounded by rock tile, and the “Phoenix Baths” located inside private rooms.
Whichever pool you visit, you’re sure to be swept away by your picturesque surroundings and the water’s healing abilities.
Vichy Springs — Ukiah, CA
Distance From Sacramento: 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
Vichy Springs in Ukiah is a hot springs resort over 160 years old, featuring mineral baths and Olympic-sized pools in a historic setting. Relax in a private room or cottage for an extended stay, unwind in one of their carbonated “Vichy” mineral baths, and explore the resort’s 700 private acres by foot. Along with various pool options, guests are drawn to the Vichy Baths, 90 degree-baths filled with water sourced from 30,000 feet below the earth’s surface. These 14 baths are said to have powerful healing abilities, as a 30-minute soak can leave your skin refreshed and your mind at ease.
Wilbur Hot Springs — Wilbur Springs, CA
Distance From Sacramento: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
Wilbur Hot Springs is one of the best hot springs destinations in Northern California — and perhaps the entire country. This off-the-grid, solar-powered resort hosts naturally occurring hot mineral springs in the heart of an 1,800-acre nature preserve. The solitude and natural beauty of this location allows you to escape from reality as you experience the healing waters of their mineral pools.
It’s the water in these pools that truly sets Wilbur Hot Springs apart, as the geothermal water contains three ounces of dissolved minerals per gallon and remains undiluted, untreated, and unheated. The concentrated salt solution allows your skin to absorb the beneficial minerals, leaving your body silky smooth and full of life. Relax in the number of pools on-site to experience this rejuvenation for yourself.Steep Ravine Hot Springs — Stinson Beach, CA
Distance From Sacramento: About 2 Hours
Just north of San Francisco lies the rustic and natural Steep Ravine Hot Springs, occurring along the Pacific Ocean next to the Steep Ravine Campground in Marin County. You’ll have to time your hot springs adventure just right, as the pool is only accessible for about two hours during low tides under 1 foot. Most access the geothermal water in the dreamy hot spring grotto, where you’ll find a group of locals maintaining the space and making sure it is respected at all times. If you visit Steep Ravine Hot Springs, make sure to thank these kind folks for their service and remain respectful of this natural phenomenon and its surroundings.
Orr Hot Springs Resort — Ukiah, CA
Distance From Sacramento: About 3 Hours
Orr Hot Springs Resort is a small and secluded resort offering an unparallelled hot springs experience in its breathtaking 27 acres of land at the headwaters of Big River. The lodge and several of the cabins on site were constructed in the early 1930s, adding an authentic and historic feel to this resort that beautifully preserves the charm of that period. You’ll find graceful rivers, cozy cottages and yurts, refreshing plant life, and lots of baths on the property.
The Bathhouse hosts seven Victorian porcelain tubs, five of which are in private rooms, and two of which are located on the Bathhouse deck, called their “Stargazing” tubs. After soaking in these tubs, bathers travel to one of the two communal tubs under a covered roof or outside in the elements. These hot baths feature mineral waters at approximately 106 degrees, filled with naturally occurring minerals to create a healthy and rejuvenating experience.
Travertine Hot Springs — Bridgeport, CA
Distance From Sacramento: About 3 Hours, 45 Minutes
Soaking in the hot waters of Travertine Hot Springs is a Northern California must-do, as the picturesque mountain surroundings, beautiful rock formations, and natural setting make the scene unforgettable. While this is a popular activity during the winter, be aware that access roads to the springs may be closed due to snowy conditions. Or consider visiting during the warmer months to ensure an uneventful road trip to this picturesque location. Visit the five rustic tubs with unique travertine mineral formations that are open to the public and accessible off Highway 395 near Bridgeport.
Mercey Hot Springs — Firebaugh, CA
Distance From Sacramento: About 2 Hours, 30 Minutes
Mercey Hot Springs is the perfect destination to experience tranquility and rest, with its abundance of geothermal hot tubs, an outdoor pool, and surrounding hiking trails. Spend the night at this comfortable and inviting resort, where you can stay in their facilities or choose to camp on-site. Mercey Hot Springs attracts those from all walks of life, including families with kids, couples, and younger and older folks alike. Escape from it all in this hot springs oasis tucked away in a idyllic natural setting.