Are you looking for the best Lake Tahoe hot springs? You’re in the right place! Finding the best hot springs around Lake Tahoe can be difficult as some are now closed, others are kept secret and the rest of them are reserved for guests or members.
Eric and I love California and we also love bathing in thermal water. So we thought we’d share the best locations for natural hot springs near Lake Tahoe so you can enjoy some naturally heated water while surrounded by beautiful Sierra Nevada landscapes too!
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world. From romantic date ideas in Santa Barbara to road tripping the West Coast and visiting Sequoia and Yosemite National Park, California is loved by many for its natural beauty, endless outdoor activities and vibrant atmosphere. Lake Tahoe is no exception and fits right in with this reputation.
In this post, we share with you the best natural hot springs in South Lake Tahoe, North Lake Tahoe and near Reno as well.
***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This does not change the fact that we only recommend products, stays, activities and attractions we are satisfied with and all opinions expressed here are our own.
Are Lake Tahoe hot springs good for couples?
Lake Tahoe is one of the top places among couples who elope in California. And that’s because it’s a gorgeous lake with lots to do from hiking to doing water sports activities and relaxing in natural hot springs!
The Tahoe hot springs are a great activity for couples and here’s why.
Relax with your partner in stunning landscapes
Most of the hot springs in this list are surrounded by stunning mountainous landscapes, rivers and canyons. They are set in peaceful and relaxing natural atmospheres that are perfect to relax with your partner while exploring new areas.
Reconnect with your partner
Whether it is by spending quality time bathing together or working as a team to find the secret Lake Tahoe hot springs (more on this later), spending time at Lake Tahoe hot springs will have you connect together and really appreciate each other’s presence!
Between reconnecting, relaxing and appreciating nature, spending time at the hot springs near Lake Tahoe is a great activity for couples!
Lake Tahoe Hot Springs Table
Before diving into details about each of the best Lake Tahoe hot springs, we wanted to share a summary table for each of them. In the below table, you can quickly see which ones are free natural hot springs Lake Tahoe offers or which ones you need to book in advance for. This table will help you, with just a glance, to select which Lake Tahoe hot springs is best to add to your California travel itinerary.
|Hot Springs||Driving time from Kings Beach (North Lake Tahoe)||Driving time from Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe||Easy access||Need to be a member?||In nature?||Cost||Do you have to book in advance?|
|Brockway Hot Springs||3min||60min||No||Yes for access to the pool, No for access to the rock pool||Yes||Free||No|
|Carson Hot Springs||45min||49min||Yes||No||No||$28||No|
|Sierra Hot Springs||50min||60min||Yes||One person needs to be a member – can be purchased on site||Yes||$30||Yes|
|Feather River Hot Springs||2hours||3h20min||Yes||No||Yes||$20 if not a member, $10 if a member||Yes|
|1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort||1h||25min||Yes||No||Yes||$55 for non guests||Not for day use|
|Grover Hot Springs State Park||1h20min||50min||/||/||/||/||/|
|Buckeye Hot Springs||2h20min||2h||Can be difficult – dirt road||No||Yes||Free||No|
|Travertine Hot Springs||2h15min||2h||Yes||No||Yes||Free||No|
|Cottonwood Canyon Hot Springs||2h||1h50min||Dirt road and snakes||No||Yes||Free||No|
|Steamboat Hot Springs Resort||40min||1h||Yes||No||No||$12 -$28||Yes|
OUR TOP ROMANTIC STAY: This hotel is reasonably priced considering the prices of Tahoe accommodations and also comes with a heart-shaped jacuzzi in the room so you can relax together no matter what the weather is! You can check availability for this romantic stay here.
Lake Tahoe Hot Springs tips
Before heading to the Lake Tahoe hot springs, we wanted to share some tips with you so you can have the best experience:
- We highly recommend renting a car before heading to Lake Tahoe and the hot springs. Lake Tahoe is a large lake that can take several hours to go around. Very few hot spring locations are on the lake so it is likely that you will need a car to reach your preferred hot springs. We recommend renting a car with DiscoverCars.
- If you’re heading to Lake Tahoe to soak in natural spring waters, you’ll likely want to spend a couple of days in the area. We recommend booking your cabins, lodges and hotels here to benefit from the reward system.
- Some of the listed Lake Tahoe hot springs listed in the next sections are difficult to reach. You may need to hike or walk for a bit to get there. If it’s the case, we highly recommend wearing proper hiking gear and bringing enough food and water with you as some of the hot springs near Lake Tahoe are in the middle of nowhere.
- Remove all jewellery before going into the water. Because the Lake Tahoe hot spring water is rich in minerals, it can actually hurt your jewellery material including silver.
- Once you’ve picked your hot springs location, check out the bathing suit policy. Some of the below locations allow you to choose whether you want to wear a bathing suit, clothes or nothing. Some have stricter policies.
- The best time to visit natural hot springs (vs resort ones) is during the early morning. At that time of the day, you can avoid the crowds and get some time for yourself and your partner to just relax together.
- Most hot springs are open year-round. Winter is especially enjoyable to visit hot springs as you get to soak in hot water while the rest of the world is cold and snowy! The Sierra area also gets snowy which makes for the perfect comfy view!
- Check the weather before heading to hot springs. If storms or lightnings are coming, it is recommended to avoid getting wet!
- Some of the hot springs we are recommending in this list are located in remote areas. Before heading there, check out the status of winter snow storms and summer fire as these could affect accessibility or prevent you from making you way back.
- Make sure to comply with the Leave No Trace principle and always take all your garbage back with you.
OUR TOP BUDGET ACCOMMODATION PICK: If you’re looking for a low-cost accommodation on Lake Tahoe, we recommend this studio with beautiful mountain views and which also gives you access to a shared hot tub and pool.
North Lake Tahoe hot springs
Some of the best natural hot springs in Lake Tahoe are located in the north of the lake. In this section, we share the top North Lake Tahoe hot springs and everything you need to know about them for a memorable and hot experience!
1. Brockway Hot Springs, one of the best hot springs North Lake Tahoe offers
One of the only hot springs located on Lake Tahoe are Brockway Hot Springs. Brockway Hot Springs are located between Kings Beach and Crystal Bay just at the north tip of the lake. Though they are easily accessible, there is a caveat to accessing the hot springs.
When visiting these hot springs, you actually have two access options: one that only works if you’re a guest or owner of one of the properties and one if you’re a visitor.
Brockway Hot Springs for owners and guests
The easiest way to access the Brockway Hot Springs on Lake Tahoe is to actually either own one of the properties or be a guest at one of them. Brockway Springs is, indeed, a private and closed community. It’s also the home to an outdoor swimming pool that provides stunning views on Lake Tahoe. The catch is that this outdoor pool is actually heated with the hot springs water. So this is the prime spot to experience the hot springs.
To access the Brockway Hot Springs as a guest, you’ll need to rent one of the following properties at Brockway Springs Resort:
Brockway Hot Springs for other external visitors
Unfortunately, visitors who aren’t guests cannot gain access to the hot spring water swimming pool as this is private property. However, you may be able to bathe in the hot spring water if you don’t mind going for a bit of an adventure.
Nearby the community, you cans sometimes find rock pools that fill up with the leftover hot spring water that the pool doesn’t use. The rock pools aren’t as comfortable than the resort’s pool but are on public ground and therefore accessible by everyone. The pool or pools (depending on how much hot spring water there is left), can fit two to four people and the water temperature often reaches the mid-90s Fahrenheit (around 30 degree Celsius).
You’ll find the rock pools nearby the private property line. The easiest way to access them is by the lake water. You can rent paddles or kayaks on Kings Beach or Speedboat Beach which are only a few minutes from the pools.
Brockway Hot Springs practical information
Access to the rock pools is free outside of the kayak or paddle rental cost.
The hot springs is located just 3 minutes from Kings Beach and about 60 minutes from Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe.
2. Carson Hot Springs, for natural hot springs near Truckee
One of the popular Lake Tahoe Hot Springs locations is Carson Hot Springs. The space is located in Carson City and offers hot springs Truckee locals love. Though the hot springs are part of a resort, you don’t have to actually stay at the resort to enjoy them, in contrary to Brockway Hot Springs.
You’ve got two options when visiting the Carson Hot Springs. You can either enjoy the outdoor pool only or enjoy both the indoor and outdoor pools. There is also a sauna on site which is included in all admission regardless of which ticket you choose. Let’s see what the difference is.
Carson Hot Springs: outdoor Lake Tahoe hot springs
Carson Hot Springs provide and outdoor pool along with a patio. Swimsuits are mandatory in the outdoor pool. The pool is filled with hot springs water only and temperatures are between 95-100°F in the summer and 100-104°F in the winter. There is a two hour use limit which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the water. Admission for adults is $15 and kids are allowed at a fee of $6.50.
Carson Hot Springs: indoor Lake Tahoe hot springs
Carson Hot Springs also provides an entire indoor area with slightly different rules. As a visitor, you can choose to only book tickets for the outdoor pool. However, if you want access to the indoor pools as well, your ticket will cover access to both the indoor and outdoor areas.
Carson Hot Springs offers nine small indoor pools. Each pool can fit up to 4 people and the water temperature is between 95 and 104°F year round. Bathing suits in the indoor pools are optional so be prepared to see bare bodies when coming in. There is also a two hour use limit that applies to both the indoor and outdoor areas. Admission for adults is $28 and children are also allowed at a fee of $20.
Where does the water come from at Carson Hot Springs?
The water comes from 35,000 feet below the surface. It contains lots of minerals like sodium, sulphate and silica. The water remains natural in the pools so there are no added chemicals or city water to it. The water is drained and refilled every day.
Amenities and practical information at Carson Hot Springs near North Lake Tahoe
It is not possible to book a reservation at Carson Hot Springs so you’ll have to turn up and see if there’s any room left. Because tickets are for a two hour duration, you may be able to try a couple of times during the day if it’s very busy. Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis.
There are facilities on site including lockers, a brewery and a restaurant. Visitors cannot bring drinks, food or coolers into the structure and food and drinks may only be consumed in the restaurant area.
Note that the resort rents out a limited number of towels so it is advised to bring your own.
The outdoor space is surrounded by a wall to keep the bathing activities private so there are no views on the scenery from the pool or patio.
Carson Hot Springs is located about 45 minutes from Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe and 49 minutes from Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe.
3. Sierra Hot Springs for a full and affordable retreat experience at Lake Tahoe
Located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, Sierra Hot Springs offers a full retreat that’s affordable and completely relaxing. If you’re looking for a relaxing and serene experience at hot springs near the North of Lake Tahoe or near Truckee, we are of the view that you would highly enjoy Sierra Hot Springs. Let’s see what you can expect of your visit here.
The hot springs at this Lake Tahoe hot spring location
Sierra Hot Springs offers three main hot spring water pools and several hot spring water baths. The main pool called the Hot Pool is located the Temple Dome, an indoor space enclosed in a geodesic dome with stained glass. The water at the Hot Pool is between 105-110°F.
Outside of the dome, you’ll find the Warm Pool which is another large pool at between 98-100°F. There, you’ll also find a deck to relax and a sauna.
Outside of the Temple Dome area, you’ll find additional pools and baths. First there is the Meditation Pool which hosts water at between 98-100°F. The pool is set in a beautiful and relaxing scenery with rocks and large trees to ensure a maximum of serenity.
In addition to those pools, Sierra Hot Springs is also home to the Phoenix Baths which host water at 85-90°F. These baths are private and the water is changed between each guest. The refill takes between 20 and 30 minutes. The baths work on a first come first served basis.
Things to do at Sierra Hot Springs
The grounds at Sierra Hot Springs are actually quite large and also border National Forest land. This location offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. In the winter, cross-country skiing is a popular activity as well.
Sierra Hot Springs practical information
Sierra Hot Springs is located about 50 minutes from Kings Beach and 90 minutes from Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe. It’s located about one hour from Reno.
The hot springs are open Wednesday through Sunday (except for day use, see below) and go under maintenance and cleaning Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you wish to come to Sierra Hot Springs, you will need to book online or by phone. We highly recommend booking at least a few weeks in advance as this is a popular spot and can fill up quickly.
In order to access the hot springs, one person of your party must have a membership with the hot springs. Because Sierra Hot Springs is a sister retreat with Harbin Hot Springs, you can be a member of either and access both. If you’re already a member of either, you don’t have to worry about it. If you’re a one time visitor, you’ll need to purchase it on site or while booking. The cheapest membership is $5 and is valid for 30 days.
Day use of the hot springs is open Thursday to Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm. Admission is $30 per person.
Clothing is optional in all pools and baths.
Can you stay the night at Sierra Hot Springs?
Yes, Sierra Hot Springs offer camping and lodges. Due to the weather conditions, camping can sometimes be closed so make sure to call before showing up. For the lodges, there is usually a minimum of two nights requested for booking. If you stay at Sierra Hot Springs, you get access to the hot spring pools and baths from 2pm on your arrival day to 2pm on your departure day.
You can find more information about lodging here.
4. Feather River Hot Springs
Feather River Hot Springs is a cabin, RV and camping park located along the Feather River. It’s set up in a quaint and natural area that is perfect if you’re looking to disconnect, relax and be at peace for a few hours or days.
Though you get access to the hot springs if you stay at the park, it is not actually required to stay there to enjoy the springs. You can book for a day use of the springs. Each pass lasts for two hours where you have the hot spring baths just for yourself. From the bath, you have direct views on the valley and the river. It’s beautiful and super relaxing. The tub can fit up to 6 people so you can either come with your partner or fiends! The area is a bit rustic but that’s because it’s all natural with water at a temperature between 99°F and 104°F. After you’ve soaked into the hot spring water tub, you can go for a fresh swim into the Feather River.
Practical information about these Lake Tahoe hot springs
Feather River Hot Springs is located about two hours north of Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe.
You need to book by text at 925-783-2913 or by email at email@example.com at least 24 hours in advance during the week and 48 hours in advance for a booking on the weekend. In your text, include your name, number of people and date and time preferred and they will get back to you with a confirmation or alternative dates and times.
Admission for the day use is $20 per person for non-members and $10 per person for members.
It’s possible to swim in the river to freshen up after soaking in the hot water. Because it’s a river, there’s lots of rocks so we recommend bringing water shoes with you. You can find more information about the campground and cabins here.
OUR TOP HOTEL PICK: This affordable but luxurious resort and enjoy two outdoor hot tubs and an outdoor swimming pool for maximum relaxation! Check available dates here.
South Lake Tahoe hot springs
In this section, we share with you the best hot springs South Lake Tahoe has to offer whether that’d be for an epic nature adventure or a more comfortable and luxurious experience.
5. 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort for a luxury experience of natural hot springs near Tahoe
The hot spring water at David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort was discovered by Walley in the early 19th Century. Walley sure turned it into a profitable luxury for all Lake Tahoe visitors!
The resort is quite large and comes with a large hot spring water swimming pool and five heated mineral water baths with hot spring water at a temperature between 98°F and 104°F. Around the main swimming pool, there is a large deck with lounge chairs and views on nature. The baths and pools are all outside.
These natural springs are actually one of Mark Twain’s favourite places in the world!
Can you stay at this Lake Tahoe hot springs resort?
Yes, the 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort is now a Holiday Inn Club Vacation Resort and offers studios, lodges, cabins, cottages and villas.
You can check availability for each of the accommodations at 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort here.
Practical information about David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort
The resort is located about 25 minutes from South Lake Tahoe, an hour from Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe and only a few minutes from the town of Genoa. It is niched in the Carson Valley and offers sublime views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The large swimming pool is open seasonally while the hot springs and heated pool are open daily. Admission for day use is $55 per person who aren’t guests and free for guests.
Bathing suits are required.
6. Grover Hot Springs State Park
As of 2023, due to the Tamarack Fire in July 2021, the Grover hot springs remain closed.
7. Buckeye Hot Springs
With an average temperature of 100-110°F, the Buckeye Hot Spring pools are some of the most popular ones. On site, you’ll find several pools with hot spring water. Nearby the parking lot, you’ll find two pools with great views on nature and the local grounds. These are more easily accessible as they are right by the carpark.
About 300 feet down from the parking lot, you’ll find more pools that people made as they came to visit. These pools are made with local rocks and sit right by Buckeye Creek. There, you get to soak into the hot water and switch to the cold water of the creek when you’re too hot.
All pools are located by or provide views on Buckeye Creek. When soaking here, you’ll be surrounded by alpine landscapes with pine trees, and rocky grounds.
In the hot pools by the river, you’ll see the water falling down like a hot waterfall into the pool which is quite interesting!
Practical information about Buckeye Hot Springs
The South Lake Tahoe natural hot springs at Buckeye Creek are accessible by car through a dirt road that is well maintained. The parking can hold about 20 cars. There are trails that can take you down to the pools by the river. Admission is free and the space is very quiet.
8. Travertine Hot Springs
If you’re looking for hot springs near South Lake Tahoe, Travertine Hot Springs will not disappoint.
They are some of the most popular hot springs in the Eastern Sierras. The water at Travertine springs is between 98°F and 100°F.
Travertine Hot Springs offer incredible views on the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the grounds around them. This is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some peaceful quality time with your partner away from any city bustling!
There are several pools at Travertine, all with filled with hot spring water. The first one is a cement tub located by the parking lot. This one is easy to access as it’s just a few meters away from your car. If you want to immerse yourself more into nature, you can walk a bit further and find four pools that are made with rocks. These pools are pretty shallow so you can sit and relax. The area is actually quite rocky and dry with some desert meet Mars vibes! It’s also quite cool to see the rocks turning yellow and orange because of the minerals in the water.
Practical information about Travertine Hot Springs
The Travertine Hot Springs are free hot springs Lake Tahoe offers about two hours from Pope Beach. They are located just near Bridgeport. Admission is free and clothing is optional.
Secret hot springs near Tahoe
9. Cottonwood Canyon Hot Springs
Cottonwood Canyon Hot Springs are natural hot springs Tahoe hides in the South East of the lake. The Cottonwood Canyon Hot Springs are still kept under the radar even though they are pretty cool.
On site, you’ll find a lot of space to park your car. Right by the parking space, you’ll find a rocky pool filled with spring water. The pool is decently big and can hold up to 5 people. From the hot spring water pool, you get views on the Cottonwood Canyon orange cliffs and the river that goes through it. It’s especially nice on a sunny day.
Practical information about Cottonwood Canyon Hot Springs
The Cottonwood Canyon Hot Spring are located about 2 hours from Kings Beach and 1h50 from Pope Beach.
Because this is a remote area, the drive to the spring is a dirt road so it is recommended to go there with a 4×4. In addition, the area is quite wild so you may encounter many snakes and other lovely local animals. Make sure to be prepared and bring food and drinks with you as well.
Reno hot springs
10. Steamboat Hot Springs Resort
The Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center and Spa is a hot springs near Reno and Lake Tahoe that offers more of a spa and affordable luxurious experience. If walking next to snakes to bath in hot water by a canyon isn’t your thing, this experience might be closer to what you prefer.
At this Lake Tahoe hot springs location, you’ll find a range of experiences and services. The center is home to and outdoor tub and shower, and infrared sauna, and a private mineral bath. You can book for 30 minutes and 60 minutes and add more time if you wish with a limit of 2 hours.
Practical information about the Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center and Spa
The Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center and Spa is located about 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. Admission starts at $12 per person and increase depending on the services. You can book access to the outdoor tub and shower only or combine it with access to the mineral bath. A booking is required for all reservation. You can book here.
Lake Tahoe cabins with hot tub
If you want to relax after exploring the Lake Tahoe hot springs or you simply would prefer being able to soak in hot water from the comfort of your own accommodation, we highly recommend staying at one of these Lake Tahoe cabins with hot tubs or Lake Tahoe hotels with hot tubs in room. These are perfect for couple getaways and relaxation breaks!
- This stunning lakefront home with a hot tub and private boat dock.
Check your dates here to see availability.
- This charming and comfortable Lake Tahoe cabin with hot tub:
- This stunning and affordable resort that offers beautiful views but also two hot tubs and an outdoor pool.
Check available dates here before it’s all booked.
- This perfect Lake Tahoe cabin hot tub lodge for a getaway between friends or with a couple of friends! This place has got a large outdoor hot tub and stunning views on the lake.
Check availabilities here before it’s all booked.
- This stunning wooden chalet with an outdoor hot tub on the balcony, a game room and modern interiors.
Check availabilities here before it’s all booked.
- This traditional wooden chalet in a peaceful scenery and with a large outdoor hot tub perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe hot springs Q&As
Yes, the main hot spring on Lake Tahoe is located at the Brockway Hot Springs Resort.
Yes, from Brockway hot springs to Cottonwood Canyon hot springs, there are many hot springs at Lake Tahoe and around it.
As of March 2023, yes the hot springs at Grover State Park are still closed but the park has reopened for camping since 2022.
Yes, Nevada has natural hot springs such as Carson hot springs.
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