Hot Springs in Mammoth
Throughout the Eastern Sierra, you will find pockets of warm spring
waters bubbling to the surface. One of the more famous locations
is at the Hot Creek Geological Site near Mammoth Lakes. The Mammoth
area is home to a large amount of geothermal activity and Hot Creek
is actually a cold creek that is warmed as it flows through some
miniature geysers heated by the lava that is under the surface. You cannot swim or wade in the water as the temperatures are scalding, however the scenery around the creeks are absolutely spectacular. Cliffs of green, gold, blue, brown wave through the cut out hillsides. Come in the afternoon and the colors light up the rocks.
Hot Creek Geological Site
Boiling hot springs, fumaroles and geysers are found at the Hot Creek Geological site. Some
of these pump hot water into the water flowing down from Mammoth
Creek warming the water into what is called Hot Creek. Swimming
is officially not advised but the many soakers will tell you, "come
on in, the waters fine", and it is, however, the area is currently closed to any kind of swimming. Hopefully that will change, so do contact the ranger station to be advised.
What makes Hot Creek so spectacular
is the view, and the way the water mixes. Melted snow falls into
cracks which is heated by the earth. It bubbles up boiling hot in
the ponds and mixes with other just melted snow making the temperature
very appealing. Caution, however, the temps are always changing
so check the water before lunging in and do follow the many signs
that are posted along the route down to the ponds. You will see greens and blues stained into the rock formations left from the sulfer and minerals that are pumped up from the underground water flow.
Even if the springs are closed for soaking, bring a camera as the hillside is magnificent. You'll never see anything like this anywhere.
Located, three miles south of Mammoth Junction on US 395 and three
miles east of the airport (the last 1.5 miles is unpaved). You take
the Airport Road and drive past the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery. Hot
Creek is a phenomenon of live hot springs and fumaroles (gas vents)
that heat a cold mountain stream. Parking lot and restrooms. Open
sunrise to sunset; no charge. Swimming is not recommended. And we
recommend not swallowing the water as it contains sulfur and arsenic.
Tecopa Hot Springs
A trip to the Southeast section of Inyo County is a delightful experience.
For those who have not had the pleasures of a mineral hot spring
& bath, a visit to Tecopa Park is a must. The park features a campground
with modern restroom facilities, showers, and bathhouses'. Men and
women's bathhouses are available along with a private invalid pool.
These baths are free to park users and the general public. The baths
are open seven days a week throughout the year. The average temperature
of the baths is 108 F. Tecopa Hot Springs Park is located via State
Highway 127, 5 miles South of Shoshone, turn Southeast on the County
Road, then 3 miles South to the Park. Phone: (760) 852-4264
Buckeye Hot Springs
This is a small hot spring located in the Toiyabe National Forest.
It is a clothing optional hot spring and has a hot outdoor pool.
There is no fee and so volunteers maintain the rock dam that creates
a lovely pool under a hot waterfall. Sounds seasonal. From the Buckeye
Campground, walk down the the trailhead, downstream from the campground.
You find a mix as the hot waterfall mixes with cold river water.
Find an area to your liking. No phone, so get a map before venturing
Travertine Hot Springs
Another smaller hot spring with several outdoor natural pools. This is a fairly primitive, and therefore remote clothing optional spring which can be accessed year round. Recommended is a four wheel drive to get out there, especially in wet weather. As this is near Bodie, perhaps it would make a nice stop after visiting the ghost town.
Travertine is located 2 miles south of Bridgeport. From Bridgeport take Highway 395 south about 1/2 mile. Turn left at Jack Sawyer Rd (a few hundred miles before the ranger station) Go .3 miles to where road begins to bend right, turn left on dirt road here and go 1.2 miles and take right fork over rough spots and approach the top of hill (you'll see colorful travertine). Pass the cement pool, and follow the ridge down to other pools, but don't drive next to lower pool or you might get stuck in the mud. The temperature ranges from 90F - 110F, so use caution.
For More Information
Mammoth Ranger Station