Northern California is one of the easiest places to find natural springs. Thanks to its unique geology, the region is dotted with them. Hopeful springers can find everything from undeveloped getaways to historic vacation spots and modern resorts. Here are five of the coolest hot springs in Northern California.
Vichy Springs, Ukiah
Long before manifest destiny took hold of America, native cultures had been using the alkaline, carbonated waters at Vichy Springs. Discovered by settlers in the late 1800’s, a resort quickly built up around the springs. Vichy Springs itself may not be as well known as its famous clients — the list of past visitors includes Jack London, Teddy Roosevelt, and Mark Twain.
Surprise Valley Hot Springs, Cedarville
Located in the more remote reaches of NorCal, the springs at Surprise Valley are renowned for their healing properties. The high mineral content of the water promotes wellness in visitors. Those suffering from medical issues may desire a visit to this place of healing.
Wilbur Hot Springs, Williams
As the story goes, General John Bidwell and a crew of men were scouting the area for gold in 1863 when one of his men took ill. One of the native tribes informed him of the healing properties of these natural springs. The man was taken there and miraculously cured of his ailments. Wilbur Hot Springs has been a place of relaxation and healing ever since.
Harbin Hot Springs, Lake County
These springs also have a long history, but more recent years have given them a unique twist. They are now a center for New Age beliefs and practices. Members can partake in yoga, water massage, or meditation workshops in addition to soaking in the springs here. One caveat: the resort is clothing optional!
Sykes Hot Springs, Big Sur
These springs are ideal for those craving something a bit more rustic. The Sykes Springs can be accessed via a ten mile hike through the forests around Big Sur. The pools are stone-lined and generally well maintained, but undeveloped otherwise. For those used to roughing it, these springs are a welcome sight after a long day.