Favorite Hot Springs in the West

AAA Members share their favorite spots to soothe their spirits with a soak surrounded by nature.

A woman soaks in the nordic spa at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska.
Editor's pick: Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska.
Dev Walker / Alyeska Resort

Chena Hot Springs in Alaska, northeast of Fairbanks, is gorgeous in the wintertime. And it’s even possible to see the northern lights, which is an unbelievable added bonus. This place is a must-visit.” —Ron Batchelder

Fountain of Youth in Niland, California, is very clean, with two pools (one fresh- water, one salt) and five hot tubs. The RV community there is friendly, with lots to enjoy.” —Patti Kraft

David Walley’s Resort in Genoa, Nevada, offers a way to indulge in natural mineral water in well-established surroundings. Indigenous peoples consider this spot sacred and the waters healing. And Mark Twain used to be a frequent visitor! The restaurant on the premises, 1862 Restaurant & Saloon, is a spot not to miss. Plus, there is live music on Fridays and Saturdays.” —Igor A. Likhatchev

Grover Hot Springs State Park in Markleeville, California, is a decent 3.5-hour drive from Modesto, or there is a very nice campground for spending the night in the park. Another hot spring we stumbled upon on our many travels is Sol Duc Hot Springs in Port Angeles, Washington. There are three hot pools and one with fresh water. It’s gorgeous country up there.” —Christine Bryant

“My favorite spot is Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, California. It’s a fantastic getaway in a very peaceful sanctuary.” —Michael Robbins

Two people soak in Castle Hot Springs in Morristown, Arizona.
Castle Hot Springs in in Morristown, Arizona.
Courtesy Castle Hot Springs

“Our favorite place to relax is Castle Hot Springs in Morristown, Arizona. When staying at this boutique resort, guests have unlimited access to the natural flowing hot springs in pools of varying temperatures.” —Tina Newman

Yellowstone Hot Springs in Gardiner, Montana, is different from other hot springs—alcohol isn’t allowed and there is no loud music, just peace and beauty. You might even see elk or bison in the distance using binoculars. It’s close to Yellowstone National Park, too.” —Kathleen Rakel


“Floating in Indian Springs’ Olympic-size mineral pool is heaven on earth. A Calistoga, California, landmark, the hotel’s pools are fed by steaming on-site geysers. There’s also an adult pool, lots of lounging spots, and an excellent spa featuring mud baths.” —Albert Mathias

“For a beautiful setting in the middle of town, and surrounded by mountains, visit Pagosa Springs, Colorado. A dozen or so pools are kept at different temperatures, and people from around the world gather here. It is always clean and has access to many activities such as hot air ballooning. It is a great place.” —Richard Gammill

“Twenty minutes south of Jackson, Wyoming, Astoria Hot Springs in Hoback features spectacular views of the Snake River and surrounding mountains. The quiet, laid-back atmosphere draws couples and families alike to the six natural-water pools, including one children’s pool and a cold plunge. Bring a picnic to make a day of it.” —Beatrice Parkin