Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
Water Temperature
108.00 °F (42.22 °C)
Sensitive Habitat
Yes
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.

West Valley Hot Spring sits above the east bank of the West Valley Reservoir, and those who can brave the extremely rough and rutted dirt road to reach the spring are rewarded with a soaking experience in a small shelter that provides ideal views and cool, crisp, high-elevation air.

A square concrete waist-deep tub is covered with a wooden A-frame shack that contains two benches, hooks to hang clothing and towels from, and shelter from the wind. The open west-facing wall provides views of sunsets over the reservoir.

Water flows slightly uphill from the source in the marshy hillside, and it can be diverted into the soaking pool at about 108 degrees. The good flow through the tub does a good job of keeping the water clean, and a plug at the bottom of the tub can be opened to drain and sweep out the algae that collects on the bottom. 

It's clear that the springs have had a respectful crowd visiting them, so visitors should be especially considerate in doing their part to keep the pool and shack clean and maintained.

Parking is along the high points of the hill above the marshy areas, and reaching the springs from the parking spot may take some serious cow pie dodging. But the location in a secluded corner of California and the vicious roads required to reach the spring mean that you'll likely have a private bathing experience should you choose to visit.

And at an elevation of 4,700 feet, there may be no better feeling than walking through the brisk morning air to jump into a pool that's slightly too hot and requires some getting used to while watching the rising sun illuminate the reservoir waters below!

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Structure protects from wind or rain but opens with sunset views.

Cons

Extremely rough roads required to reach it.

Features

Constructed
Sensitive Habitat

Number of pools

1

Location

Field Guide

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

Comments

07/03/2020
How much clearance would you say is necessary for the road? We have a 4WD Nissan Pathfinder - think that will make it?
Maybe the roads were a bit better once, but that rental car in the photo isn't gonna make that trip today. Anything less than a Subaru Outback type car will get stranded. And my Outback *barely* made it. Quite a nerve-wracking experience. It seems alright until the very last bit. Also, this spring is only big enough for a couple people. If other groups are there, people will have to take turns.
04/12/2018
@Kate Don't pay attention to the car, it was a rental and got very roughed up on the roads out! I initially got lost trying to find these as well. I remember pretty far into my drive there was a fork - I initially went left and began climbing a hill to a fresh water seep in a cattle trough. This was possibly what showed up in your GPS? Eventually I went back and took the other fork, which got me there.

Alternatively, the springs themselves are here: 41.195719, -120.389161. My last visit I just parked across the reservoir and kayaked to them.
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