California hot springs are a soothing alternative to your pricier spa day, with the added bonus of a much-needed nature escape. Lucky for us, Los Angeles is close to some of the most incredible natural thermal springs.
As these are natural SoCal hot springs, it’s super important to treat these beautiful locations with the utmost respect. All the normal camping and hiking etiquette applies: leave no trace, don’t use any soap or bath products in the water, keep the noise down to a minimum to respect the surrounding areas, do not bring glass into the pools and please for the love of other guests — don’t pee in the pools.
Note that clothing is optional at many of these hot springs and it’s always advisable to bring plenty of water to prevent dehydration, a map in case you lose signal, and you should always check official park websites before going.
With that out of the way, here are our favorite hot springs near Los Angeles.
While this first stop isn’t out in the wild, it’s the only geothermal spa that features 100% natural hot springs fueled by an artesian well in Los Angeles. This luxurious Korean bath house is a cave-like sanctuary that offers full spa treatments including massages, skin care treatments, steam and dry herbal saunas, a powder room and lounge areas. The spa waters contain sodium bicarbonate and the temperature ranges from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with separate sections for men and women.
📍 308 N Oxford Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004
2. Tecopa Hot Springs
For those who are avid outdoor spa seekers, willing to journey a little further, Tecopa is a stunning natural haven. The grass-lined pools are a gorgeous aquamarine color, offering endless views of the famous Death Valley National Park. These piping hot pools have been millions of years in the making and are definitely worth a weekend trip. Some local resorts harness the natural hot springs for a more catered experience, including Tecopa Hot Springs Resort and Delight’s Hot Springs Resort.
📍 Tecopa Hot Springs Road, Tecopa, CA 92389
The dappling thermal waters of this outdoor oasis absolutely need to be on your list. After about a two-mile hike you’ll get to submerge in warm rock pools with temperatures reaching around 100 degrees as you take in the sweeping vistas of the valley. To get to these California hot springs, you will have to pass through icy cold water, but it’s all part of the experience, isn’t it?
📍 Pacific Crest Trail, Apple Valley, CA 92308
Just a few miles farther from Deep Creek lie two stunning and secluded California hot springs that take a lot of extra work to reap their magical rewards. To reach Sespe Hot Springs you’ll have to tie up your hiking boots and trek about 15 miles down the Sespe River in the Los Padres National Forest. Willet Hot Springs is a bit closer at 9.5 miles from the Piedra Blanca trailhead. We won’t lie to you: if it sounds strenuous, it’s because it is. But dipping into the naturally healing waters of these geothermal springs will make it all worth it. Find more info here.
📍 Piedra Blanca Trailhead in Los Padres National Forest, Rose Valley Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
Nestled amongst the canyons in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara, you’ll find a series of cascading rock and mortar pools out in the open. While your odds of enjoying this little oasis to yourself are pretty high, you’ll need to go on a 10-mile hike for that seclusion. The journey there is downhill but can be tricky as it narrows down towards the springs. There have also been reports of quicksand.
Of course, the hike back is up the same way, so you’ll need to bring a ton of water with you. Once you get there, though, you’ll have pools of varying temperatures to bathe in and take in the serene views of the grassy hills stretching out in front of you. You can access them from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for free, but you should always check for park updates first.
📍 Forest Road 5N16 Santa Barbara, CA 93105
In the 1800s, Montecito Hot Springs, also known as Hot Springs Canyon, was a thriving resort. Today, the aqua thermal springs nestled in the coastal mountains of San Padre remain. It’s currently run by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and is filled with hikers making their way through the picturesque surroundings to the canyon. Montecito Hot Springs has six pools, cascading down the canyon from hottest to coolest. Each one is enclosed with circular walls made of large stones and can fit around five to ten people.
📍 1217 E Mountain Dr, Montecito, CA 93108