The top 5 natural spas to seek out that are in or around Southern California.
It’s winter—well, as close as it gets in these parts anyway. So while half of the city is compelled to seek out snow-covered winter wonderlands, the rest of us are more inclined to snuggle up with some of the city’s best hot chocolates or to seek out hot springs to soak in. If you’re in the latter group, you happen to be in a state with some of the most incredible natural thermal springs. Whether it’s located in the lush hills of Santa Barbara or in the middle of a surreal desert, you’re bound to find a spot to let your hair down and immerse yourself in nature.
Here are the 5 best hot springs in and around L.A.:
1. Beverly Hot Springs
First up, is the only natural hot springs in Los Angeles which, amazingly, you can both drink and bathe in. Given the name, you don’t need to be told where to find it. It’s a cave-like where you have rocks with water cascading into pools, juxtaposed with slightly retro interiors, featuring ferns, a statue of Buddha and a grand piano. The spa waters contain sodium bicarbonate and the temperature ranges from 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with separate sections for men and women. Find out more here.
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. Being one of the hottest places on earth most of the year, there really is only one time of the year that’s ideal to visit this spot. These piping hot pools have been millions of years in the making and are definitely worth a weekend trip.
Location: Tecopa Hot Springs Road, Tecopa, CA 92389
3. Deep Creek Hot Springs
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 hang your arms over the rocks with the rest of you submerged in warm rock pools with temperatures reaching around 100 degrees as you take in the sweeping vistas of the valley. To get to the hot springs, you will have to pass through icy cold water, but it’s all part of the experience, isn’t it? Find out more here.
4. Montecito Hot Springs
Hike through the serene canyons of Santa Barbara to the abandoned hot springs resort. These cascading, naturally heated pools are lined with rocked and shrouded in flora. You need to trek very far before you get to soak in these sulfur-rich thermal springs. Find out more here.
5. Little Caliente Hot Springs
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.Find out more here.
Note: 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.