There’s something special about stumbling across a natural hot spring way out in the middle of nowhere. And Nevada has a lot of space to get lost. The more I learn about my new state, the more excited I get, so let’s take a look at the five best natural hot springs in Nevada.
Spencer Hot Springs
With a view of the Toiyabe Range as a backdrop to the Nevada desert, these primitive pools are about three hours and change from Reno. You’ll find both in-ground springs and a few steamy metal tubs — aka cowboy tubs, aka metal cattle troughs. The latter option is filled via a pipe from the main source, so you can customize the temperature to your liking. Pretty cool for a natural hot spring!
Black Rock Hot Springs
Crystal clear water with a sandy bottom is particularly inviting given the landscape itself — the Black Rock Desert! This hot spring is a giant main source pool between three and four feet in depth and about 100 feet across. A dock makes for easy access. This is a remote spring accessible only by driving on the playa, so you likely won’t run into crowds. Check the temperature before getting in first — this one runs pretty hot. And don’t forget to look around for the logbook!
Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs
This one is near Tonopah, which lies halfway between Reno and Vegas. The concrete-poured spring is three feet deep and the two natural warm ponds nearby are a good place to drift on a pool floating. Make a camping weekend out of it — this place also has fire pits and BBQs.
Solder Meadows Hot Springs
This BLM-managed hot spring has four to six spots for bathing, many of which are made up of dammed rocks running along the natural hot springs river. It’s shallow, seeping straight up out of the ground, with nary a cowboy tub to be seen. Located about 60 miles north of Gerlach in northern Nevada, this is remote country but makes for quite the experience.
Kirch Hot Springs
An hour south of Ely, inside the Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area, are beautifully clear hot springs also known as Sunnyside. Be aware that this is an important wildlife sanctuary, so it’s important to leave no trace, and if you’re quiet, you’ll have a good chance of spotting some of the locals!
One last tip — before you dip, make sure you’re clear on hot spring etiquette.