Last Updated on August 15, 2021 by Wandering our World
We’ve always found that bathing in the warm mineral water of natural hot springs is one of the best ways to relieve stress and relax. It’s that ‘ahhhh‘ feeling you get when slipping into the water, shuffling around and finding that perfect position, and then looking out on a breathtaking landscape. But did you know that there are over 300 Nevada hot springs? That makes the ‘Silver State’ perfect for unwinding and rejuvenating.
Northern Nevada is home to a large number of these natural wonders. Quantity, however, does not necessarily mean quality. Many of Nevada’s hot springs are a little too hot for comfort, while some have questionable water quality.
But don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. Here we share with you a list of our favorite hot springs in Nevada. Many of them have options for free camping, so you can hike during the day and soak in springs under starlight at night. Maybe we will see you out there one day!
Gold Strike Hot Spring
Gold Strike Hot Spring is in a superb location if you want to go hiking and then enjoy a deserved soak in a hot spring afterwards. Expect a very pleasant temperature of 109°F on average when bathing here.
The hot springs are unique as they’re actually a series of pools formed from spring water that flows straight out of the canyon walls. It’s very special. They are situated inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and are accessible through a 6.4-kilometre hike down a narrow, rocky canyon.
Visitors who want to trek to the hot springs must walk a path via Gold Strike Canyon. That trail takes you through areas with beautiful rich native flora, towering canyon walls, and perhaps if you’re lucky you may get the chance to see Desert Bighorn Sheep. Fortunately, this is a straightforward hike, but can be challenging in places. However if you have a good level of fitness if should be fine.
At the challenging parts you will have to scramble over huge rocks, but there are ropes in place to help. You can also kayak to Gold Strike Hot Springs from Hoover Dam through the Colorado River’s Black Canyon for a more exciting experience. You can hire a kayak or canoe in Boulder City.
It is worth noting that these hot springs (and other trails in the region) are closed between May and September due to extremely high temperatures during the summer months. You can see where the trailhead starts, here.
Average temperature: 109°F
Ruby Valley Hot Springs
The Ruby Valley Hot Springs is considered a jewel in Nevada’s crown because of its naturally pure springs which runoff into many different pools with varying water temperatures and lovely emerald color. Situated around one hour from the town of Elko, this is a remote place with some of the state’s most pristine natural pools.
The main pool is huge and very deep, and averages a very pleasant 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The other smaller pools are spread out across the area, and can also be bathed in – just be wary of temperature changes from pool to pool.
Visiting the Ruby Valley Hot Springs is a bit of an off-road adventure, especially during the rainy season. The surrounding area can get muddy sometimes but there’s a wooden platform at the side of the main pool where you can strip down and work on your full-body tan once you’ve finished soaking.
Average temperature: 100 °F
Kyle Hot Springs
Kyle Hot Springs is a desert treasure in Northern Nevada. These hot springs are located in a remote section of Buena Vista Canyon near the fascinating ghost town of Unionville. They’re not the prettiest looking hot springs you will find, but they’re rarely visited so you can often have them all to yourself.
The main spring is around 150°F, and hot water from that is piped down a hill into a few baths. The thermal water is hot since it is straight from the spring, so check the water temperature by dipping a toe in before bathing. You’ll notice the geothermal water here has a distinct sulphur odour, but it’s meant to be very good for you.
Dispersed camping at Kyle Hot Springs is permitted, but not near the hot springs. Winnemucca, 56 miles northeast, has lodging. The Rye Patch Reservoir has developed campsites 50 miles west too.
Average temperature: 105 °F
Soldier Meadows Hot Springs
As one of Nevada’s most secret hot spring destinations, Soldier Meadows is an excellent retreat and a great place for those looking for an escape. There are six hot springs in this oasis that sits in the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, and they provide a pleasant soak in the midst of a vast desert landscape. You’ll get no phone service here, so it’s perfect for getting away from 21st century life.
However there is a charge for using the Soldier Meadows Hot Springs as they are located on a cattle ranch. We feel it’s worth it though, as this is a part of Nevada very few people visit.
There’s around a dozen free BLM campsites near Soldier Meadows Hot Springs, so staying in the area for a few days is possible. Look out for the authorised camping signs when here, and keep in mind that campfires should be limited to established fire rings.
If you’re lucky, you can stay in a free, BLM-managed cabin in Soldier Meadows. This tiny cabin, available on a first-come, first-served basis, is outfitted with a wood-burning fireplace, a pit toilet, and plenty of space to spread out for the night. (Related: Dispersed camping in Nevada).
Average temperature: 95-105 °F
Virgin Valley Hot Springs
Virgin Valley Hot Springs is a lovely warm bathing pond hidden in the high desert of northern Nevada. This emerald-green pool is 30 by 35 feet and 5 feet deep, with a sandy-gravel bottom. Water is brought in from a neighbouring hot spring at a lovely 90 degrees Fahrenheit and then pumped straight into the pool.
A concrete platform and stepladder into the pond makes it simple to get in and out. However you may feel a small painless nip at your feet when soaking – small fish live in this pond! Many locals think of it as free exfoliation!
On top of the free natural skin treatment, there’s first-come-first-served camping available year-round at the Virgin Valley campsite. Amazingly, it’s free to camp and stay for up to 14 consecutive days. Water, picnic tables and pit toilets are also provided, but waste disposal and septic tanks are not available. So, remember to pack out all of your belongings, even the trash. This rule applies to all Nevada hot springs.
Average temperature: 80-95 °F
12 Mile Hot Springs
The 12 Mile Hot Springs, also known as Bishop Creek Hot Springs, is one of the biggest outdoor hot springs in the state. The “12 Mile” comes from the fact the hot springs are situated twelve miles from Wells.
This is arguably Northern Nevada’s most beautiful swimming spot, and is a huge, gravel-bottom pool that’s located on the banks of the Humboldt River. With views of the steep cliffs that surround the river’s edge, it’s a lovely soak.
The pool’s temperature is precisely 100 degrees. But a short soak in the river is always available if you need to cool down.
The region around 12 Mile Hot Springs is also a great location for hiking, with several trails going off into the landscape. Without a doubt one of our favorite Nevada hot springs.
Average temperature: 100 °F
Alkali Hot Springs
At Alkali Hot Springs, which are located in a rural area of western Nevada, you can soak in rock-walled primitive tubs and unwind in warm waters that average around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The temperature of the two man-made rustic pools that the spring water collect in can be regulated thanks to the use of hoses and pipes, so if the mineral water gets too hot there are options to cool down.
The tiny man-made pools at the Alkali Hot Springs can fit two or three people comfortably and feel secluded, remote, and romantic. But further down from those bathing pools is a much larger one that can fit more people.
Although the water can get muddy, these springs are isolated which means they are ideal for quiet late-night stargazing. The springs are on private property but thankfully the landowner continues to allow visitors to use them – however they ask visitors to not camp near the springs but instead use the BLM land around them to camp on.
Average temperature: 105 °F
Trego Hot Springs
Trego Hot Springs is one of Nevada’s many hidden treasures, and it’s not hard to see why. This natural mud bath is located on the east side of the playa in the southern Black Rock Desert. Just be cautious when you enter to avoid being burned by the occasionally scorching temperatures that occur in places.
The huge long bathing pool at Trego Hot Springs is actually man-made, but the mineral water that flows into it is all natural. As an added bonus, dispersed camping is allowed at Trego Hot Springs. However, campers must be at least 300 feet away from the springs in order to be allowed to stay there.
We will be honest though, this place can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it will be packed with 50-100 people, other times you can have it all to yourself! But when you have the hot springs all to yourself it is bliss.
Average temperature: 100 °F
Spencer Hot Springs
Spencer Hot Springs is considered one of the best hot springs in Nevada – and no wonder. It is one of the most dependable hot spring soaks and is one of the state’s most famous hot springs. That’s partly down to its proximity to Las Vegas and it can get busy. Still, it’s located off of Highway 50, nicknamed ‘The Loneliest Road in America’.
A few excellent artificial embellishments have been added to Spencer Hot Springs to make it more than just a typical swimming hole. For one, a large metal tub has been brought in to increase bathing space. That’s on top of several tiny, naturally heated ponds and baths that are dotted around the area – all of which are around 130 °F on average.
The natural pools have been enhanced to with rock shelving so it’s more comfortable to sit in the springs. Regardless of whatever pool you choose, you’ll be able to take in the vast desert scenery here which is framed by the stunning Toiyabe Range. Keep an eye out for the nearby burro herd while you’re taking a bath! This spectacular desert view is one of the reasons this Nevada hot spring is so famous.
Average temperature: 130 °F
Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs
This gravel-bottomed outdoor cement hot spring tub has a depth of about four feet, making it perfect for a good soak. Located near the rural and peaceful town of Dyer, these hot springs (also known as Fish Lake Hot Well), are accessible to the public and are equipped with handrails and a stepladder to make entry into the hot springs easy. Expect temperatures of around 105 °F, and in the ponds where the water runs off into, temperatures of around 85 °F.
The views while bathing are quite special too as Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs is nestled between the Silver Peak Mountains and the White Mountains in the heart of the Rockies. To the west of the springs you can see Nevada’s highest peak, Boundary Peak.
In addition to the hot springs, visitors to Fish Lake Valley have other outdoor activities at their doorstep too, like fishing, wildlife spotting and camping. In fact there’s a campground close to the hot springs so you can enjoy this wonderful area for more than just a few hours.
Average temperature: 105 °F