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The Best Hot Springs In San Francisco And The Bay Area
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The Best Hot Springs In San Francisco And The Bay Area

Picture of Margot McKelvie
Updated: 9 February 2017
California is known to house some of America’s greatest and most striking national parks and forests, some of which are in Northern California and are perfect for weekend adventures. Living in a busy city, it is easy to forget about the beautiful, natural land that is so close to us. For a scenic, relaxing weekend with friends or family check out these hot springs to visit in the Bay Area.

Steep Ravine Hot Springs

Perfect for a day trip with family or friends, Steep Ravine Hot Springs is located just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. During low tides, visitors can hike down to these springs, which are located between the Steep Ravine Cabins and Stinson Beach, and soak in the warm salty water. If you’re looking to stay over night for a longer outdoor adventure, Steep Ravine Cabins, located on Mt. Tamalpais, offers small cabins for rent. Steep Ravine also offers the Steep Ravine Environmental Campground, which provides campers with tables, a food locker, a fire pit and a place to pitch a tent. Both are a 10 to 15 minute walk from the springs and offer great hiking trails. Check out the weather before heading over. On a nice day these beautiful and relaxing hot springs are definitely worth the trip.

Steep Ravine Hot Springs, California, USA

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Steep Ravine Cabins overlooking the ocean / | ©Dennis Yang/flickr

Sykes Hot Springs | Big Sur

Located in Northern California’s famous Big Sur in the Ventana Wilderness, Sykes Hot Springs is a popular destination that you don’t want to miss while on your visit. The spring is about eight feet across, knee deep and the temperature averages to about 102 degrees. A great place for hiking, the spring is about a ten mile hike into the forest and is the perfect place to end a fun day with some backcountry camping sites close by. Spend a weekend out of the city and head down to Big Sur for some amazing views, camping, hiking and these secluded hot springs.

VIDEO FEATURE

David Bird – Truly “at one with nature” on a hike through Skyes Hot Springs! / 2:52

Mono Hot Springs

A bit further than the other two previously mentioned, Mono Hot Springs is located in the High Sierra Wilderness between Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Park and offers multiple hot springs and other outdoor activities. At Mono Hot Springs Resort, visitors have the option of camping or renting a cabin and can participate in activities such as fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and swimming in the hot springs. There are twelve open air natural hot springs scattered around the south side of the San Joaquin River. Three of the hot springs are concrete-walled, built in 1934 by the California Conservation Corps, while others lay in meadows, surrounded by tall grasses and picturesque views.

Mono Hot Springs Resort, 7000 Edison Lake Rd, Lakeshore, CA, USA, +1 559-325-1710

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Mono Hot Springs in the Sierra National Forest/ | ©Vlad Butsky/Flickr

Orr Hot Springs Resort

For those looking for a more organized and cushy hot springs experience, Orr Hot Springs Resorts offers guests comfortable beds in the main lodge, yurts, and cottages. Less formal than what you may classify as a resort, Orr Hot Springs Resort provides a unique experience where you can bring your own towels, robes, flashlights, food, biodegradable soap and shampoo. The Resort also request that you not bring ‘noisy electronic devices,’ bath salts or lotions. The springs themselves are spread across 27 acres of land on the headwaters of Big River and can be enjoyed both outdoors and in bathhouses at the resort. Just two and a half hours from San Francisco, head down for a weekend, treat yourself to a massage and enjoy the sauna and springs at the stunning, secluded resort.

Orr Hot Springs Resort, 13201 Orr Springs Rd, Ukiah, CA, USA, +1 707-462-6277

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Irresistible hot springs / | ©slackrhackr/flickr

Harbin Hot Springs Retreat & Workshop Center

Harbin Hot Springs has 5000 acres of privacy around its natural spring waters and facilities. Harbin offers rooms, private cottages, dormitories, and camping grounds for all of their visitors. Along with the springs, they offer massages, spa treatments, yoga classes, dances, spiritual gatherings, and all sorts of other activities depending on when you visit. The pools, both indoor and outdoor, are all on the site and the water is brought from the natural local hot springs. Just a two-hour drive north from San Francisco, head to Harbin Hot Springs for the ultimate spiritual and relaxing experience.

Harbin Hot Springs Retreat & Workshop Center, 18424 Harbin Springs Rd, Middletown, CA, USA, +1 707-987-2477

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One of the many pools at Harbin Hot Springs/ | © Luiza Leite/flickr