When the temperature begins to drop, consider taking a trip to a hot springs resort. With a variety of spa packages available, skin and wellness benefits of natural hot mineral spring water suit just about anyone’s needs. Here are 10 spas as well as campgrounds located throughout the United States.
Chena Hot Springs, Alaska
Located in a small Alaskan community approximately 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Ala., the century-old Chena Hot Springs Resort is one of the most developed hot springs resorts in Alaska. Guests enjoy the healing mineral waters and the aurora borealis displays in the sky about 200 nights each year. Relaxing while immersed in waters under the northern lights sets the scene for adults in the natural Hot Springs Rock Lake, while families can enjoy the indoor pool. Between taking dips, visitors can enjoy the Alaskan wildlife that is visible from the park. And for variety, the Aurora Ice Museum tour gives information about geothermal renewable energy and energy-saving projects. RV camping is available at the resort from May 15–September 15; 907-451-8104, ext. 2, www.chenahotsprings.com.
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah
First discovered in 1886, Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah, has become a popular destination for people hoping to enjoy the rolling mountains, sunsets and healing waters all while stepping back in time. Water flows from the earth at about 200 degrees F and cools nearly 100 degrees by the time it reaches Mystic Hot Springs. Guests can enjoy these warm healing waters in a variety of ways: eight personal outdoor bathtubs with breathtaking views of the Rockies or two concrete pools. The hot springs contain an abundance of calcium, magnesium and iron, providing a source of rejuvenation and relaxation. The shallow pool is perfect for children while a deep pool provides relaxing massage treatments for adults. Mystic Hot Springs offers 32 sites with hookups for RV camping; 435-527-3286, www.mystichotsprings.com.
Agua Caliente, Calif.
Nestled in the Anza Borrego Desert a few hours east of San Diego, Agua Caliente Park is well known for its geothermal-heated springs. Many snowbirds travel to Agua Caliente during the winter months to take advantage of the two outdoor pools and an indoor therapeutic 102-degree heated spa with Jacuzzi jets that the park offers. Agua Caliente also features spring-fed warm showers for guests. The park is complete with nearly four miles of trails for hiking, biking and walking; a play area; horseshoes and shuffleboard; as well as a picnic area for patrons. The campground offers 53 full-hookup sites and 53 partial hookup sites among a variety of dry camping sites; 760-765-1188, www.sdcounty.ca.gov.
Sierra Hot Springs, Calif.
Sierraville, Calif., is home to a non-profit retreat and workshop called Sierra Hot Springs that is situated within a forest and alpine valley. A variety of pools are open 24 hours each day. The Temple Dome has a main pool area with the Hot Pool that is enclosed in a large geodesic dome where relaxing among the natural spring water also provides views of the impressive stained glass and skylights. Two cold-water plunge pools surround the sand-bottomed Hot Pool. Just outside the Temple Dome, the Warm Pool has a spacious sundeck. Rock tile lines the outdoor Meditation Pool that is a faux natural springs pool complete with rock steps into a sandy floor. The Meditation Pool is seasonal and often suggested for viewing a star-speckled sky. More than 700 acres border nearby national forest land creating an ideal atmosphere for biking, hiking and cross-country skiing. For adventurous souls, Sierra Hot Springs is only one hour away from Tahoe ski resorts. Dry camping is available on roughly 300 designated acres of land on the resort; 530-994-3773, www.sierrahotsprings.org.
Miracle Hot Springs, Idaho
The deserts are far from dry in Buhl, Idaho, the location of Miracle Hot Springs. Open year-round (with the exception of Sundays), this resort spa includes 15 private hot pools, six VIP pools and four outdoor public pools. The four outdoor pools are general admission and kept cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter to give ultimate relaxation no matter the climate or water activity. Water in the pools is always chemical-free as and is drained and cleaned nightly. The 15 private hot pools have adjustable temperatures and changing rooms, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Larger groups can head to the six VIP pools where advanced reservations are recommended. Each private pool is drained, cleaned and refilled after each use. Massage therapists are also available to relax tight muscles, relieve stress and alleviate pain. Ten sites are available for RV camping with electric hookups; 208-543-6002, www.mhsprings.com.
Hot Springs Resort, N. C.
Appropriately located in Hot Springs, N.C., Hot Springs Resort and Spa was established in the 18th century and states that it has world-famous natural hot mineral water. Many services are offered at Hot Springs Resort and Spa including a variety of Swedish, deep-tissue and stone massages; body treatments like salt glow, herbal body wrap and a botanical mud wrap; esthetics packages: refresher facial, European-style facial, back facial, head-to-toe and mini-head-to-toe facials. In addition to the spa services, mineral baths are available at select times throughout the week. Twelve Jacuzzi-style hot tubs are built into decks in the comfort of a private, outdoor area with views of Spring Creek and the French Broad River. Hot Springs offers 34 full-hookup sites, reservations are recommended; 828-622-7676, www.nchotsprings.com.
Ouray Hot Springs, Colo.
Built in 1927 as an effort to boost tourism in the area, Ouray Hot Springs in Ouray, Colo., has become a beloved destination with activities for kids and adults alike. The Ouray Hot Springs Pool is open every day with seasonal hours. The Hot Springs Pool contains over 1 million gallons of natural hot springs water free from the smell of sulfur, and is filled with healing minerals such as fluoride, calcium, potassium, iron and zinc, to name a few. There are several soaking sections with a variety of temperatures ranging from 88 to 106 degrees, a lap swimming section, diving area, large slide, game area for water volleyball and a shallow section for young swimmers. The pool also offers a massage facility and fitness center. A variety of nearby campgrounds are available to Ouray Hot Springs visitors including Ridgway State Park, 4J+1+1 RV Park, Red Mountain RV Park, Ridgway State Park, and Weber Westridge RV Park & Campground; 800-228-1876, www.ouraycolorado.com.
Quapaw Baths & Spa, Ark.
Set inside a Spanish Colonial Revival-style building with reinforced concrete and stucco, with a large central mosaic-tiled dome, Quapaw Baths & Spa offers a spring with one of the highest mineral contents of any in the surrounding area. Guests can choose a variety of spa packages to fit their needs from aromatherapy baths, private mineral bath and Kneipp foaming herbal baths. Quapaw Bath & Spa also provides facials, body treatments and massage therapy options for patrons. Locals and out-of-towners equally love taking advantage of the benefits of natural hot springs baths, a centuries-old tradition that is celebrated at Hot Springs National Park (501-609-9822, www.quapawbaths.com). Catherine’s Landing campground at Hot Springs is located nearby and has been highly rated by Woodall’s. Catherine’s Landing includes 400 acres, a mile of water frontage as well as concrete and pull-through sites with full hookups and other amenities; 501-262-2550, www.catherineslanding.rvcoutdoors.com.
Warm Mineral Springs, Fla.
Warm Mineral Springs in North Port, Fla., prides itself as being “always a perfect 87 degrees,” and that’s ideal for swimming and soaking. With roughly 9 million gallons of water containing 51 minerals, guests of any age can enjoy the body benefits of natural hot springs. In addition to the springs, a variety of spa and wellness packages are available including a nail salon, massage therapy and yoga (941-426-1692, www.warmmineralsprings.com). Nearby, Riverside RV Resort & Campground offers full-hookup RV sites.
Additionally, Riverside has laundry facilities, restrooms, swimming pool, boat dock and shuffleboard to keep everyone entertained; 800-795-9733, www.riversidervresort.com.
Carson Hot Springs, Wash.
Established in 1892, the Carson Hot Springs Spa & Golf Resort combines natural mineral hot springs with activities suitable for just about anyone.
Located in Carson, Wash., this historic resort has includes an original bathhouse as well as the 1901 St. Martin Hotel, now used as a front office. Although the resort looks like a step back into the early 20th century, many renovations have been made to preserve the ambiance and history all while adding new saunas to the bathhouses and a restaurant at the golf course. Guests can browse antique stores in nearby Stevenson, go rafting or fishing on the White Salmon between dips in the mineral waters. Massage therapists stand by to provide healing through touch in addition to healing and detoxification from the hot mineral waters; 509-427-8296, www.carsonhotspringresort.com. Nearby in Stevenson, Wash., The Resort at Skamania Coves offers 17 full-hookup sites, 10 of which have 50-amp electric, and is open all year; 509-427-4900, www.skamaniacoves.com.