My name is Jessica (one half of @cruxandbeta) and welcome to my article on the Travertine Hot Springs of California. I was born in Sacramento and raised in Orange County. I met my partner Shawn in Stoney Point after I had moved to Los Angeles and was out hiking and he was out climbing.
He had been living in Long Beach for the past ten years but had moved from upstate New York. I was interested and eager to get into bouldering, so I approached Shawn to watch him and his friend. Shawn was teaching climbing at the time and it was no big deal to exchange information.
We actually didn’t hangout until four years later when we made it a first date to climb together! By this point, we were both single and expressed our interest in one another. We were a perfect match and made it official. Long distance dating was the go for a year before we decided to move to Colorado where we found new climbing opportunities and ways of living.
We first fell in love with tiny homes and later decided to build out a van to live in full-time. The idea was to be able to easily travel the US – exploring new places for climbing, meeting new friends and soaking in springs.
Our Journey to the Travertine Hot Springs
We had been living in our van full-time since May 2020 and traveling job-free since November 2020. Leaving Colorado and heading back to California to see family was the beginning of our journey. We spent time at one of our favorite climbing destinations, Bishop. Every time we visit this spot, we drive up to Mammoth to soak in their many hot springs.
Climbing all day and then soaking in hot springs at night is one of our favorite things to do. Everywhere we travel, we are in search of more hot springs. This time, we had the opportunity to explore further and discover new territory. Someone who was soaking in a tub in Mammoth told us to check out the Travertine Hot Springs if we were traveling towards Tahoe.
In the end, we were glad to google search this hot spring to find it easily. The drive to Travertine Hot Springs was a single dirt road and a little bumpy. We would say a regular two-wheel car or van would be just fine, but would not suggest an RV to make the drive. There was a dirt parking lot with a restroom open for us. We parked and headed to the springs.
We saw one small tub next to a picnic bench and no one was in it. The spring was steaming quite a bit. This didn’t look like the photos we had seen online and we weren’t totally sure where the hot springs were located.
But we knew they were close by because we asked a guy who was walking back to his car. He pointed us in the right direction – behind the restrooms and over a small hill. He mentioned that the small hot spring we saw was from the source and too hot to soak in. Upon arrival, we were excited to have found another hot spring to add to our collection of springs.
Review of the Travertine Hot Springs
Travertine Hot Springs weren’t busy when we visited and the fact they had restrooms was great! We do think they should also add a trash bin to avoid any littering nearby. Despite this – it was clean and not full of rubbish.
We walked towards the main hot spring and found the ones we had seen in photos. It looked beautiful and only had three people hanging out. We got into the second tub but it just felt warm and not hot like we desired. We sat there for a bit enjoying the views until we heard there were warmer pools further down. These were hot, exactly how we like it!
They were also super clean. The ones we got into were totally private, out in the middle of nowhere. The bottom had small rocks and wasn’t too mushy with mud. There was even a rock wall behind us to provide more privacy from the parking area. All in all, it was a lot of fun to throw on our robes and go wander out in the open land and explore the hot springs.
One unique moment from our visit was when we saw a couple of snakes laying in shallow streams and nearby bushes. I recommend keeping an eye out for these sneaky snakes. Although they weren’t threatening to us, they might still shock you if you are scared of snakes or have a phobia of them!
Need to Know Before you Go
We want everyone who visits any hot springs to make sure you keep these places clean and take good care of them. Please don’t leave behind trash and do your best to pick up any rubbish you see left from other people. Let’s take care of these precious places so that we can all keep enjoying them for years to come. Future generations will thank us for this.
Another amazing hot spring destination near Travertine Hot Springs is Buckeye Hot Springs. We stayed near this place so we could visit both Travertine Hot Springs and Buckeye Hot Springs on the same trip.
We parked our van on BLM land in Bridgeport near the springs and slept there. Buckeye is beautiful and very private where you hike down to the river and soak right next to the cold water – perfect for taking a dip when you get overheated. We recommend soaking in these hot springs as well!