The Most Amazing Hot Springs in the United States

Join the crowd and sink into the Hot Springs in Glenwood, Colorado
Join the crowd and sink into the Hot Springs in Glenwood, Colorado | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Debra Smith

Need to relax? Unwind in mineral-rich waters at one of these natural thermal pools across the United States – from Allegheny Springs in Virginia to Chena Hot Springs in Alaska. And we round up the best places to stay – bookable on Culture Trip.

Mother Nature can be very kind to us humans. Not only does she supply clean water in abundance, but sometimes she even heats it up to a perfect people-pleasing temperature. All over the world, hot springs bubble up from deep within the earth’s crust. Indigenous people used these natural hot tubs for centuries. Now it’s your turn. Here are the most amazing hot springs in the United States – with hotels nearby for a relaxing stay.
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1. Burgdorf Hot Springs, Idaho

Natural Feature

People soak in the 100 degree water of the main pool at Burgdorf Hot Springs near McCall, ID, during a light snowfall. The springs can be reached in w
© Yvette Cardozo / Alamy Stock Photo
Idaho is full of great hot springs but Burgdorf Hot Springs is the pick of the bunch. It offers two hot pools at an average temperature of 113F (45C), along with a small pool for children to wade in. The property has rustic cabins that you can stay in, but note: you will need to bring your own bedding. During the spring and summer months, the resort is accessible by road, but any other time, you must rely on snowmobiles. It’s open 365 days per year, so you can even soak here on Christmas Day.

2. Scandia Inn Motel

Inn, Motel

Scandia Inn Motel
Courtesy of Scandia Inn Motel / Expedia

Fairy lights and firepits illuminate this family-run establishment by night, close to ski hills and Payette Lake. The honey-toned log cabins, built in the 1970s, now gleam with whitewashed pine walls. Italian bed linens, furniture made of reclaimed lumber and flat screen televisions bring the Scandia right up to date. Borrow a set of snowshoes and break trail in the winter, or linger in the garden and watch for visiting deer in the summer.

3. Allegheny Springs, Virginia

Resort

Allegheny Springs, Virginia
Courtesy of Allegheny Springs / Expedia

The Allegheny Mountains in Virginia are part of the vast range stretching from the eastern US to Canada. Within the state, you’ll find over 100 hot springs, some just lukewarm while others reaching temperatures of 100F (38C). Its healing properties are said to date back to the 1600s when they were first discovered by an indigenous American. Now, there are two famous pools – Warm Springs and Jeffersons Pools, used by Thomas Jefferson himself.

4. The Omni Homestead Resort

Resort, Hotel

The Omni Homestead Resort
Courtesy of The Omni Homestead Resort / Expedia
The Omni tamed the local hot springs in 1761, making the Gentlemen’s Pool the oldest spa structure in the United States. Since Thomas Jefferson’s time, 23 US presidents have walked past the forest of massive pillars in the marble-floored lobby; some may have stopped to enjoy a game of chess while relaxing in a wicker chair. Play golf at one of two championship courses, learn the art of falconry, or try your hand at skeet shooting on the Shooting Range. The natural springs will be waiting, as they have for over two centuries.

5. Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

Natural Feature, Health Spa

Chena Hot Springs, Alaska
Courtesy of Chena Hot Springs / Expedia

Chena Hot Springs is 60mi (96km) outside of Fairbanks. Many come here to hike the picturesque trails in summer, before soaking in the bubbling pool. There’s also a year-round ice museum, filled with intricately-carved ice sculpture, plus an ice bar where you can sip cold cocktails. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of the Northern Lights, visible from August to April. During the winter you can also try dog mushing, snowmobiling and skiing in the surrounding area.

6. Chena Hot Springs Resort

Resort

People soaking in the outdoor pool.Chena Hot Springs.Near Fairbanks.Alaska.USA
© Pep Roig / Alamy Stock Photo
Live like a pioneer at Chena Resort in Alaska. Accommodations range from off-the-grid yurts (Mongolian canvas tents) with zero services, to geothermally-heated cabins with outdoor porta-potties, to rooms with everything but telephones and tubs. Fortunately, the hot springs provide all the warm water, showers and amenities that you’ll need. A plethora of tours are on offer like a dog-sled ride with huskies and ski touring day trips.

7. Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming

Park

Wyoming, Thermopolis, Hot Springs State Park
© Stephen Saks Photography / Alamy
The Hot Springs State Park, just a few hours from the popular Yellowstone National Park, features hiking trails and thermal pools in a beautiful landscape. The free bathhouse has indoor and outdoor pools fed by the surrounding mineral hot springs – perfect for soothing your muscles after hiking in the park. Best of all? There’s no entry fee. Watch out for the bison herds that roam these parts.

8. Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel

Hotel

Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel
Courtesy of Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel / Expedia

Heat up your trip with a stay at the Best Western Plus Plaza. You’ll find two water parks, just steps away in Hot Springs State Park, plus the hot-spring-fed hot tub on the property is open 24-hours a day. Romance may get hotter in a Queen suite, complete with a fireplace and carved pine rocking chair. There’s also a free hot breakfast every morning and warm cookies in the evening. Friendly staff are on hand to carry your luggage up to the second floor in a hot minute.

9. Mono Hot Springs, California

Natural Feature

A fresh spring at Travertine Hot Springs in Mono County, California on a snowy winter morning.
© Sara Armas / Alamy
The Mono Hot Springs Resort is located in the Sierra Nevada range, in northern California. The mountains buffer this tranquil area from the noise of Fresno, 70mi (113km) south-west. Soak in one of 12 hot springs, which run alongside the San Joaquin River. Old Pedro is the hottest at a toasty 107F (42C), whilst the Reed Pools are slightly cooler, allowing you to soak for longer. Afterwards, stop by the restaurant for fresh trout caught from the river itself.

10. Elliott House Bed & Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

Elliott House Bed & Breakfast
Courtesy of Elliott House Bed & Breakfast / Expedia

Pining for some time in a forest? Look no further than Elliott House. A 20-minute walk takes you to the shores of Shaver Lake for water sports or on to a hiking trail to spot wildlife. Enjoy breakfast delivered to your suite’s feather bed. The owners are gourmet cooks who love to whip up specials like blueberry pancakes with hickory smoked bacon. You’ll find complimentary wine and snacks from Trader Joe’s in the mini-fridge. Fancy cooking? The three-story cabin has a fully stocked kitchen and there’s a market just down the road through the trees.

11. Glenwood Hot Springs, Colorado

Swimming Pool

Autumn colors by Glenwood Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood, Colorado
© Debra Behr / Alamy

Glenwood Hot Springs, between Aspen and Vail, claims the title of world’s largest hot springs pool. The soothing mineral waters of the pools, sourced from the nearby springs, are the main attraction, but there is also a luxury spa that offers a number of treatments. Enjoy a day schussing down steeps on the nearby ski slopes before soaking those weary muscles in the restorative water. You don’t need to reserve a spot before you go, entrance is based on a first-come, first-served basis, although lodge guests are guaranteed entry.

12. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Resort

USA, Colorado, Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Hot Springs, winter.
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

The world’s largest year-round hot springs heated pool is right across the street from this 107 room lodge. Skip the line by booking a stay-and-play package. Exceptionally kid-friendly, the pool has a swirling, twisting, open air tube ride and a quiet splash zone for little ones. Complimentary breakfast is included in the rate. Bring a robe and slippers for the quick trip to the pool.

13. Fifth Water Hot Springs in Diamond Fork Canyon, Utah

Natural Feature

Diamond-Fork-Hot-Springs_TTTEF9
© Cavan Images / Alamy
Also known as Diamond Fork Hot Springs, these natural bathing pools are about 2.5mi (4km) from the main trailhead and feature several soaking pools as well as a magnificent waterfall. With their brilliant turquoise waters, the hot springs look like something out of a fairytale, and while they have a slightly sulphurous (eggy) smell, they are perfect for a soak at the end of a hike. During the winter, you can usually hike the trail without snowshoes, but you will need four-wheel-drive vehicle to access the trailhead.

14. Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Sandy

Hotel

Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Sandy
Courtesy of Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Sandy / Expedia

Bring the family, and the family dog, to this apartment-style Hyatt House, complete with a full kitchen, and separate living rooms and bedrooms. A complimentary American breakfast is offered every morning. Kids will love the nearby Classic Fun Center with indoor and outdoor activities, like roller skating and laser tag or a trip to the local aquarium. Adults will appreciate H Bar. It serves alcohol of all kinds in this formerly “dry” state. Fifth Water Hot Springs is just an hour’s drive south.

Interested in exploring more of Colorado and Utah? Join our eight-day epic adventure around these two states – highlights include hiking in Arches National Park and soaking in the hot springs at Steamboat Springs.

Aparna Krishnamoorthy contributed additional reporting to this article.

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