Crescent Valley is in a very isolated part of Nevada with a wealth of natural hot springs. Unfortunately, many of those springs lie on private land, requiring those looking for these secluded soaking opportunities to venture further out on dirt roads in order to find springs that are accessible to the public.
The springs above Hand-Me-Down Creek sit on a picturesque mountainside. Here those intrepid visitors can take advantage of sparsely-populated Northern Nevada's clear night skies, and the sounds of whooping coyotes erupt in bursts throughout the night.
Flowing from the ground through a pipe into a larger cattle trough that is far too hot to sit in, the water cools before it flows out into a second tub (a heart-shaped jacuzzi tub was in place during this adventure), where it is cool enough to soak in. Temperatures can be adjusted by altering the flow of water into the second tub, but the temperatures can reach about 105 in the second tub if the pipe is left at flow full.
These rewards, however, are not easily gained. Hand-Me-Down is a slightly high-maintenance spring to visit. Beetles that attempt to drink from the hot trough end up dying and floating into the smaller tub, and they accumulate in numbers amongst the algae build-up. A small container to scoop out dead beetles and algae is very helpful. The springs are on a cattle range, and the product of grazing cows, along with broken glass from previous soakers, makes the springs slightly less than perfect for sitting beside or walking around.
Finally, a mining company recently ran a large pipeline - about 5 feet in diameter - across the access road, forcing visitors to park about a half mile away and jump over the large pipeline before making the walk up the final portion to the springs.
This is a scenic bathing opportunity in what can feel like a lonely corner of the world; it just takes a little bit of traveling and work to reach it...and a willingness to look past the questionable history of the heart-shaped tub.
All roads are accessible by two-wheel drive cars.