When it comes to pampering yourself with a spa day, there are plenty of luxurious options to choose from in Reno Tahoe. But if you’re seeking something a little more on the wild side, a trek to one of the many area hot springs might be just what you’re looking for. With options ranging from rustic resorts to remote, find the hot spring that’s calling your name.
What to Know Before You Go
So you want to embark on a hot spring adventure? Be ready for an experience MUCH different than a spa day at a downtown resort. But don’t worry, with some preparation, you’ll be a hot spring junky in no time. Just keep these things in mind before you go.
- Dress accordingly. Depending on the area, you may have to walk the last stretch to the hot spring, and the desert isn’t easy terrain to navigate. Wear shoes suitable for walking through mud and sagebrush. After your soak, you’re probably getting out of that warm, welcoming water into chilly air so bring an extra suit and/or a change of warm, dry clothes. Towels, robes and even blankets are popular post-soak accessories to keep you warm on the way back to the car.
- Speaking of dress. Hot springs are often located in remote areas where there isn’t a dress code. Don’t be shocked to find others soaking sans suits. Proceed with whatever your mood and comfort level
- Share and share alike. Since many hot springs are located on public land, that means everyone is lucky enough to be able to enjoy them. Which is awesome, but also means it’s good practice to share the space with others who want their turn in the water.
- Better than you found it. Be respectful of this beautiful place so many get to call home and fellow hot spring enthusiasts, and pack out everything you pack in. There’s nothing worse than planning and driving, only to find that corner of wild zen trashed by someone else’s carelessness. If you do find other people’s trash, do yourself a karmic favor and pack it out too!
- Thou shall not pass. Not ALL geothermal features are on public land and if you decide to go in search of hot springs not listed below, be mindful of fences and private property boundaries.
- Share…but not too much. Be ready for your Instagram feed to be overrun with likes and comments when you share your hot spring experience, but know that there’s a bit of an unspoken rule…no geotagging. Part of the fun is researching and finding these remote hot springs. Inspire others to seize the opportunity for adventure, but don’t give away all the secrets!
- Safety first. These hot springs are naturally-fed, meaning the temperature can vary by season, or even day-to-day. Always check the water temperature, and if you decide to bring your furry best friend, please keep them safely secured away from hot water sources.
Located near the Black Rock Desert, Trego Hot Spring is on BLM land, meaning it is open to the public for all to enjoy. This particular hot spring is quite large with hot water mixing into a stream with some pools of calm water, so there is plenty of room for a group of people. It is fairly isolated and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended for the gravel road leading to the hot spring.
If you really want to get away from it all, then Soldier Meadows Hot Springs is for you. Part of the Black Rock High Rock Emigrant Trails Conservation Area, these hot springs are located in what is called “Cowboy Country,” about four hours north of Reno. In addition to the main pool near the parking area, adventurers will find several springs dammed into pools along the creek, giving you plenty of soaking options. Make a weekend of it with a stay at Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge, which offers guests a relaxing and truly Western experience.
You will find panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and two soaking tubs – a trough and a concrete pool – at this hot spring location. A hots springs resort in the early 20th century, little remains today other than some foundations and small features. Temperatures fluctuate in these pools so make sure you check the water before getting in.
Two overlapping pools make up Black Rock Hot Springs – a smaller, deeper pool whose temperature is too hot to enter, and a larger, slightly cooler pool that is suitable for soaking. Take in the expansive views of the Black Rock playa while you relax in this remote hot spring.
If a bit more ‘civilized’ experience is what you seek, visit one of the hot spring resorts in the area. Steamboat Hot Springs provides a truly spa-like experience, complete with facial treatments, massage services, and more, in addition to the tradition hot spring services. South of Reno, in Carson City, Carson Hot Springs offers their guests a large, outdoor pool fed by hot mineral water, as well as smaller, jetted tubs.