Hike-in Required
Water Temperature
Sensitive Habitat
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Applegate Hot Springs, also known as Chicken Hot Springs, lie in a geothermally rich region of northeastern California's Surprise Valley. Two other more-accessable hot springs, Leonards and Glenn, have both recently been made off-limits by the property owners, leaving Applegate/Chicken as the lone soaking opportunity in this area.

Surfacing at up to 180 degrees at the sources, the spring water flows down a vein on the sage-spotted hillside until it reaches a single primitive pool. Adjusting the diversion rocks allows the hot water to flow in and heat the pool until the desired temperature is reached. Water temperature at the diversion point is about 112 degrees.

The pool is okay and large enough for several people to sit in, though the murky appearance of the water and the cow pies surrounding the area on this open range may be a bit of a turn-off for soakers.

On the plus side, the Applegate has a sweeping view of Surprise Valley, and it's a safe bet you'll have the springs to yourself. 

Access is by a graded gravel road until the final 1,000 yards; passenger cars and trucks should be able to make it barring any recent wet weather. You may just as easily opt for parking off the gravel road to walk up the water vein until hitting the pool. A firepit sits alongside the pool as well.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


Scenic view. Will almost definitely have the pool to yourself.


Some adjustment needed to reach ideal temperatures. Located on open range.



Number of pools



Nearby Adventures

Warner Mountains + Modoc Plateau, California
Warner Mountains + Modoc Plateau, California
Warner Mountains + Modoc Plateau, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Warner Mountains + Modoc Plateau, California


This place is fenced and posted closed.
This hot spring is no longer open to the public. Fresh barb wire surrounds the area and the road detailed in this article is closed. There is another way to get near it, but it's within the barbed wire fence. I'm guessing that the additional traffic from this article and maybe others and word of mouth, etc. has prompted the owners to close it off. I bet locals still use it. Whatever the case, I wouldn't waste time checking it out as we did...
I recently visited this hot spring and unfortunately the diversion pool no longer exist. I saw the remains of the dug out area which has filled with hard soil, old sand bags, PVC piping, and trash. The water was incredibly hot(180-boiling temps in locations) and the surrounding areas/views are outstanding. I want to go back and build out the diversion pool when I find time. It would be worth it. This location feels untouched, quiet, peaceful, and private. Plenty of room for camping, building a fire, and hiding out. There's zero tree cover in that area however. Definitely a pretty place to visit! Eagleville hot springs aren't far south from there which is maintained by locals and visiter's.
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