Hot springs are unlike any natural experience. Typically a product of geothermal heat from volcanic activity below earth’s surface, these pools of hot water are Mother Nature’s jacuzzi. Not only are they an incredible act of nature, but hot springs have a rich history and are cherished across the world from age old bath houses in Japan to luxurious spas along the Historic Hot Springs Route of Colorado. They’ve been revered for boosting circulation, stimulating the body’s lymph system, and increasing absorption of essential minerals, so it’s no wonder thermal waters have been called the fountains of youth.
Hot springs have become so popular in recent years that there’s no shortage of spas and resorts built around the natural water sources to create the ultimate in luxurious retreats, but, the most incredible hot spring experiences are often found in those off-the-beaten-path. With 1,160 known thermal pools in the U.S., it’s would be an understatement to say there’s a wealth of waters to be experienced.
Of course, many of these known springs are far too hot to soak in, and others require extensive research to access their locations, which is why CarRentals.com created a handy guide that covers 71 natural hot springs in the western U.S. that are easily accessible by car. The guide sorts the natural hot springs in states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and categorizes them by number of pools, hike-in access, vehicle access, if fees are required, and if clothing is optional. Take a look at the map below to plan your road trip!