Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
Water Temperature
100.00 °F (37.78 °C)
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Shepherd Hot Spring is another of the abundant hot springs along California's Eastern Sierra. Lying in a meadow just south of the town of Mammoth Lakes, Shepherd is a single cement pool built adjacent to the source. The temperature of the pool can be adjusted with a valve on a pipe that carries water from the source spring located about 20 feet away.

Due to its relatively simple driving directions, Shepherd Hot Spring has a tendency to see a few more people than some of the other nearby springs. In a maze of unmarked dirt roads, many of these springs, such as Crab Cooker, require more complex navigation and high-clearance vehicles to reach. 

Accessed by two unpaved roads navigable by most passenger vehicles under dry conditions, the Shepherd Hot Spring pool is large enough to comfortably fit four people, maybe six if soakers don't mind getting cozy with each other. The water temperature hovers just over 100 degrees when the pipe from the source is on. The source itself is much hotter, but the size of the soaking pool ensures that the water cools significantly. 

A small dirt parking area lies immediately beside the tub, and though camping is prohibited at the spring, camping on public land is abundant slightly west of the spring. There are no bathroom or trash facilities of any kind at the spring.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Not Required


Beautiful scenery. Several nearby soaking options.


Can be crowded. Access is impassable in snowy conditions.


Sensitive Habitat

Number of pools



Nearby Adventures

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California


Absolutely Beautiful, more people than I would want, but not as many as I expected there to be.
We visited this tub twice, first time on a Saturday about mid afternoon, and the second time on a Tuesday in the late am in October. Both times we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for maybe 40 minutes. But this is a popular spot easily explained by the ease of access & in my experience, people do not hesitate to join in so be ready to share the space. No sulfur smell, but algae makes it very slippery. A valve allows you to stop the water flow or keep it warm for however long you soak!
Visited on September 12, 2016. Tub is operational, full and pleasantly warm. It was warmer than The Rock Tub. The odd shape of the pool walls was interesting, making it fun to seek out a place to sit.

There were two nearby springs, complete with mud mounds and steam rising.

Mix of clothing and nakedness.

Slippery with algae.
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