A hot spring is a pool of groundwater that’s heated naturally by the Earth. This heat comes from a “hot spot” underneath the ground, and can reach temperatures up to nearly 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Many hot springs are the perfect temperature for soaking or bathing, which makes them an interesting (and different) to do while you’re on vacation.
Many western states, such as California, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona are home to hot spots, and our PHL Airport parking company has compiled a list of hot springs that are worth seeing:
Sierra Hot Springs, California
The Sierra Nevada mountains are home to several different hot springs that are not only adventurous to get to, but they also offer picturesque views of the mountain scenery. Three of our favorite hot springs are accessible from Bridgeport, California:
Just two miles from Bridgeport sits the Travertine hot spring, whose water flows from a large limestone rock. The water travels down through five different pools, cooling down even further with each pool. As you relax in the warm water, you can take in a beautiful view of the Sierras.
Head north of Bridgeport and you’ll find the Buckeye hot spring tucked in the Toiyabe National Forest. The two hot spring sources flow into two separate pools, both of which sit next to a soothing babbling brook.
If you’re looking for a more lively hot spring, head 50 miles south of Bridgeport to Hot Creek hot spring, near Mammoth Lakes. Part of the bubbling creek is restricted because of its scalding temperatures, but there are other areas that mix with cold water to give you the perfect bathing temperature.
Ahalanui Park Hot Pond, Hawaii
Since the islands of Hawaii itself are hot spots, it’s no surprise that you can find several throughout the area. Hilo, the world’s largest active volcano, sits on the big island and just 35 miles south of it is Ahalanui Park, The park is home to a hot pond the size of two Olympic pools. Its natural thermal spring water gets cooled to about 90 degrees, making the pond great for relaxing.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone is a hot spot, which is why it’s known for its plethora of hot springs, geysers, and mud pots. You’re sure to stumble upon one no matter where you go, but here are our favorites:
Grand Prismatic, the largest hot spring in the U.S., is rimmed with shades of orange, blue, yellow, and green due to the living bacteria. The hot spring is one of the most beautiful in the world, however, it’s just for your viewing pleasure, as you can’t bathe in it.
Mammoth hot springs are also worth a visit. They’re said to look like an inside-out cave, because of the way the hot water has carved out the limestone. Visitors can walk a boardwalk above the hot springs or take a drive around them.
If you’re looking to take a dip in a Yellowstone hot spring, head to Boiling River, north of Mammoth hot springs. Here, hot water mixes cold to create a temperate water that can be enjoyed by bathers from all over.
Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon
Oregon is known for its lush landscape and tucked away in the Oregon woods of Umpqua National Forest is Umpqua hot springs. Also called Tokatee hot springs, visitors can enjoy three different pools (one covered) once they conquer a short, steep hike. The pools offer beautiful views overlooking the Umpqua River.
Whichever hot spring you decide to go to, don’t forget to make a parking reservation with us! We’ll take care of your PHL Airport parking so you don’t have to.