Ruby Valley Hot Springs, also sometimes called Smith Ranch Hot Springs, is an incredibly scenic collection of pools that range in temperature from warm to extremely hot. The hot springs are located beside Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge and not far from the southern terminus of the Ruby Crest Trail.
Located along the southeastern side of the scenic and rugged Ruby Mountains, the hot springs sit among an unparalleled backdrop of wild skies and dramatic mountains. Their extreme isolation from any populated areas ensures that those who do visit will be treated to dark skies and little, if any, crowding.
The area has several pools. The largest and most suitable for soaking os about 30 feet in diameter and maintains a temperature of about 99 degrees. This large pool emerges from a source at an unknown depth in the center of the emerald pool. Several other smaller pools are all clustered within a quarter mile of this main pool, and all vary in temperature and accessibility.
Directions to the springs follow a series of turns and forks, and other popular listings have included wrong directions that will get you nowhere near the actual springs. Phone service is non-existent here, so have an idea of the navigation before heading into the Ruby Valley.
After wet weather, the dirt roads into the area may be impassable, and the roads only become more saturated as you approach the springs. As changing weather is the norm around the mountains, be cautious of conditions when driving in, or plan on putting on some shoes and doing the muddy hike for the last couple miles. The area adjacent to the springs is extremely muddy and saturated, so inspect any area for parking before driving onto it.
Some of the springs surface at about 122 degrees. While some of the other springs are okay for soaking in, be aware when checking as water may be scalding. There are no services or amenities near the springs or for most of the Ruby Valley. Plan accordingly.