Nevada

11 Best Hot Springs in Nevada That Promise Nature-Based Relaxation

by Brittany Varano
Updated November 22, 2022

hot springs in nevada
Ruby Valley hot spring awaiting naked folk. Photo: Kris Wiktor

In need of a relaxing soak? Nevada has more natural hot springs than any other state, so you’ve come to the right place.

Nevada may be known for the silver that once dusted the land, but it’s also home to a wealth of naturally formed hot springs. There are more than 300 geothermal springs across Nevada, with many dotting public lands that are completely free to all.

Soak seekers can choose from natural springs untouched by man, semi-developed pools, and even hot spring resorts for elevated relaxation. No matter your style, this list includes some of the best hot springs in Nevada for the next time you need to pamper yourself.

5 Important Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Natural Hot Springs

1. Always check the temperature

Not all natural hot springs are at a temperature that’s safe for a soak. And even springs that are known to be safe can experience unexpected temperature changes, sometimes getting hot enough to cause burns.

For quick reference, the NOAA has an excellent hot springs database that lists all the known natural hot springs in America, and even gives the average temperature of the water – though it’s always good to test for yourself if visiting an unregulated or sparsely visited spring.

2. Practice “Leave No Trace”

During your hot spring visit, you may be tempted to enjoy drinks and snacks or to camp out for a few days. Be sure to follow Leave No Trace guidelines, and pack out everything you bring in to protect the natural landscape and keep it pristine for the next visitors.

Also, leave the glass at home to avoid any dangerous shards being left behind.

3. Some hot springs in Nevada are clothing optional

While you may be most comfortable donning a swimsuit, others may wish to enjoy a soak au natural. In other words, don’t be surprised if you see naked soakers. Additionally, if you want to get naked yourself, consider checking with others in the hot springs before doing so.

4. Be prepared with the right hiking gear

Some of Nevada’s most enticing hot springs are in the middle of nowhere, and much of the state is desert. So when planning a hike, be sure to bring enough water, snacks, appropriate clothing, and gear, and check that your fitness level matches the trail.

It’s also important to check that weather conditions are safe for a backcountry drive, hike, and soak.

5. Avoid dunking your head to stay safe from bacteria and critters

Natural hot springs are just that: natural! Which means critters and harmful bacteria may call them home. It’s imperative to avoid dunking your head to stay safe against Naegleria fowleri, aka: the “brain-eating amoeba,” which can infect humans through the nasal cavity.

Nevada hot springs may also be inhabited by red spider mites that can quickly bite and cause skin discomfort. Before getting into any spring, check that the water is free of these bad boys by inserting your finger, and waiting to see if any crawl on you.

11 Best Hot Springs in Nevada

1. Carson Hot Springs

Why you should go: A historic place to enjoy developed hot spring pools and saunas for a two-hour time limit.

  • Location: Carson City
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: No

At Carson Hot Springs, the water rises up from 35,000 feet below the surface, coming out of the ground at 121 degrees before being cooled to a perfect soak temperature. No chemicals or city water are added to the pools, just pure hot spring water enriched with natural minerals that are good for the skin.

This developed hot spring features a communal outdoor spring, as well as indoor private pools, a brewery, and a restaurant…all just 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe in Nevada’s capital city.

2. Spencer Hot Springs

 

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Why you should go: A natural hot springs piped into cowboy tubs surrounded by Big Smoky Valley views.

  • Location: Austin
  • Type: Semi-developed
  • Reservations: No

Not far from the impressive Toquima Cave, Spencer Hot Springs offers a unique way to relish the natural beauty of Nevada’s Big Smoky Valley. The springs feature three to four soakable pools, depending on temperature conditions.

Two of the pools are actually rustic cowboy tubs (corrugated stock tanks) filled with the naturally-heated water. Primitive camping is also available at Spencer Springs, open 24/7, thanks to its location on public lands. Best of all, it’s a fantastic spot to watch the night sky while you soak, with no city lights to disrupt the starry show above.

Related read: 6 Epic National Parks Near Las Vegas, Nevada

3. Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs

 

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Why you should go: A remote, 105-degree cemented hot spring tub in central Nevada.

  • Location: Dyer
  • Type: Semi-developed
  • Reservations: No

Take a dip in nature’s hot tub at Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs. From this four-foot by four-foot pool, soakers can take in the scenic views of Lake Dyer and the White Mountains that line the horizon. Primitive camping and a vault toilet are set up near the springs for those who wish to spend the night.

This hot spring is a 20-minute drive from the small town of Dyer, down a dirt road that’s best tackled with a 4×4 vehicle.

Related read: 8 Wildly Scenic Drives in Nevada to Explore this Year

4. Soldier Meadows Hot Springs

 

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Why you should go: A stretch of a hot creek that fills rocky pools in a secluded desert valley.

  • Location: Gerlach
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

Another remote hot spring in the Black Rock Desert is the Soldier Meadows Hot Springs. Tucked 50 miles down a dirt highway, this vast portion of public land is an outdoor lover’s paradise. The pools are made from rocks damming certain sections of a hot creek, creating a beautiful and picture-perfect scene surrounded by tall grass and mountains.

Primitive camping and fires in designated rings are allowed, and there’s even a cabin managed by Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management open to all on a first-come, first-serve basis. This Nevada hot spring is in the desert’s High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails NCA.

5. David Walley’s Resort

Why you should go: A hot spring resort nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains known for its hiking and skiing.

  • Location: Genoa
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: Yes

David Walley’s Resort can be found in Genoa, Nevada’s oldest town that once acted as a trading hub for gold rushers headed to California. Today, the resort is managed by Holiday Inn Club Vacations (though the property looks nothing like a Holiday Inn, instead looking like a gorgeous National Park lodge) and has five stone hot springs. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to bathe in a hot spring while still enjoying the luxuries of a resort.

Famous figures like U.S. presidents, movie stars, and even Mark Twain visited the original resort thanks to the water’s naturally occurring minerals like sulfur, potassium, and sodium, which were believed to be healing.

Related read: 7 Epic Things to Do at Great Basin National Park, Nevada

6. Gold Strike Hot Springs

 

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Why you should go: An exciting natural hot spring accessible via rope climbs through a desert canyon.

  • Location: Boulder City
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

A visit to the Gold Strike Hot Springs isn’t for the faint of heart! To reach the springs, visitors must complete a two-mile hike with various rope descents along the way, some of which are 20 feet tall. Hikers are rewarded for their efforts with a bubbling soak in canyon pools surrounded by a steamy cave and hot waterfall.

The springs are near the shore of the Colorado River, where views of the Hoover Dam and cliff jumping offer an excellent way to cool off after your dip.

7. Ruby Valley Hot Springs

 

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Why you should go: Various hot springs in a quiet desert valley with mountain views on the horizon.

  • Location: Ruby Valley Refuge
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

In central Nevada, about an hour from Elko, adventure seekers can relax in the bubbling waters of the secluded Ruby Valley Hot Springs, also known as Smith Ranch Springs. There are a few hot pools in the area, most of which average 100 degrees.

But temperatures are known to occasionally rise, so be sure to check before entering the water. Near the area’s largest natural spring, a small wooden boardwalk provides a place to sunbathe and relax. The site is also known to have spotty cell service, so this is the place to go to truly escape the daily grind.

Related read10 Adventurous Campervan Rentals in Las Vegas, Nevada

8. Black Rock Hot Springs

 

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Why you should go: A very rural 100-foot-wide hot spring found in the same desert that hosts Burning Man every year.

  • Location: Gerlach
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

Black Rock Hot Springs is named for the impressive, jagged mountain peak that towers above. The pool has clear, turquoise water that shines in contrast with the desert surroundings. Water temperatures can get quite hot, so checking the temperature or saving your visit for cooler temps is recommended.

To reach the Black Rock Hot Springs, you must cross the desert’s playa, which presents dangerous off-road driving conditions during wet and rainy weather.

9. Trego Hot Spring

Why you should go: A natural hot spring on public lands where you can camp under the stars.

  • Location: Trego
  • Type: Undeveloped
  • Reservations: No

Nestled down a dirt road in the Black Rock Desert, Trego Hot Springs offers a peaceful place to enjoy a naturally heated soak. The springs are essentially a long ditch with a soft, muddy bottom. Various vents release hot water into the springs, before mixing with the pond’s cool waters to create a water temperature that’s comfortable to soak in – but be careful of the hot pockets.

It’s also worth noting that Trego Hot Springs is a clothing-optional and pet-friendly pool. Camping is allowed near the spring and fire rings are already set up, though no services are offered.

Related read: 18 Unique Things To Do in Lake Tahoe

10. Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center

Why you should go: Mineral-rich hot springs in a healing center that also offers spa treatments.

  • Location: Reno
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: Yes

Previously a hospital that utilized the natural hot springs in hydrotherapy treatments, Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center now provides a modern place to get pampered where visitors can book a 30 or 60-minute soak in one of the center’s private tubs.

But the springs are just the start. The center also offers massages, wellness consultations, body treatments, and more. This is another historic hot spring once frequented by Mark Twain and has even made it on the State Register of Historic Places.

Best of all, Steamboat Hot Springs is less than 20 minutes from downtown Reno, making it a perfect afternoon escape from the casino floor.

11. Caliente Hot Springs Motel and Spa

 

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Why you should go: A desert hot spring oasis reminiscent of America’s Wild West.

  • Location: Caliente
  • Type: Developed
  • Reservations: Yes

Caliente Hot Springs Motel and Spa is an intimate hotel with 18 guestrooms, six of which have the ground’s geothermal mineral water piped directly into their baths. The motel also features a bathhouse with four soak rooms for guests to enjoy.

Caliente’s accommodations are well-appointed and homey, featuring fridges, microwaves, and outdoor seating. Although located in a remote county, the motel is within driving distance from beautiful state parks like Cathedral Gorge and Echo Canyon. This relaxed hot springs resort is about 2.5 hours north of Las Vegas.

Related readBest Stops on a Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Road Trip

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