Smith Creek Valley Hot Springs are a prime example of one of rural Nevada's hot spring soaking opportunities. Lying off of an even more infrequently-used bypass of the Loneliest Road (Nevada Highway 50), this spring - made up of a couple troughs with minimal piping running into them from the source springs - feels like a small swimming pool at the desolate edge of the world!
The water flows out of the ground at a steaming temperature and down a pipe to this cowboy tub that is way too hot for soaking. It takes some time playing with the inflow and outflow to find an acceptable temperature.
Accessing the spring requires driving down a couple of unmarked dirt roads. Following wet weather, these roads can get muddy all the way up to the main Smith Ranch Road, meaning that you may have to park on solid ground and walk over a mile to the springs. But the isolated location ensures that you'll most likely not encounter another soul during your visit. The Nevada mountains and Great Basin wind may be your only companions.
Fire pits are evidence of past campers, though the alkali dirt in the basin isn't the most ideal.
There are no amenities of any kind at the springs - the nearest gas, bathrooms and food lying in either direction in the towns of Austin or at Middlegate Station.