World Best Hot Springs

Japanes spa , japanese onsen in the shadow of Mount Fuji

The best piece of heaven on earth. I can never forget the wonderful experience of hot spring. My first experience was in Japan and it was snowing. Can you imagine how romantic that is? Hmmm…

JAPAN Best Hot Springs aka Onsen

From Taupo Hot Springs

#1 Kanagawa Prefecture – Hakone, Tsurumaki

Kanagawa Prefecture boasts the spectacular Hakone area, just 2 hours southwest of Tokyo and featuring beautiful views of Mt Fuji, lofty peeks, deep valleys, clear streams and some of the finest hot springs in Japan. This volcanic area literally bursts with onsen.

  • Tsurumaki, Kanagawa
  • Hakone, Kanagawa

#2 Hokkaido

Hokkaido possesses three primary volcanic mountain groups. Consequently, more than two hundred hot springs can be found throughout the prefecture. Some of the more famous onsen resorts are Noboribetsu, Toya, Shikotsu, Jozankei, Yunokawa, Kawayu, Akan and SounkyoSounkyo, Hokkaido.

  • Onneyu, Hokkaido
  • Jozankei, Hokkaido
  • Noboribetsu, Hokkaido
  • Toya, Hokkaido
  • Futamata, Hokkaido
  • Yunokawa, Hokkaido

#3 Aomori

Aomori is a paradise for lovers of onsen, Japan’s hot springs. Throughout the prefecture, hidden away in mountain valleys or nestled among the shops and offices of a city street, there are hot springs of every shape, size and style.

  • Asamushi, Aomori
  • Geto, Iwate
  • Hanamaki, Iwate
  • Naruko, Miyagi
  • Zao, Yamagata
  • Akayu, Yamagata
  • Senami, Niigata
  • Yuzawa, Niigata
  • Shiobara, Tochigi
  • Kinugawa, Tochigi
  • Shima, Gunma
  • Kusatsu, Gunma
  • Ikaho, Gunma
  • Akagi, Gunma
  • Izu, Shizuoka
  • Atami, Shizuoka
  • Sumatakyo, Shizuoka
  • Shimobe, Yamanashi
  • Kakeyu, Nagano
  • Suwa, Nagano
  • Gero, Gifu
  • Unazuki, Toyama
  • Wakura, Ishikawa
  • Takarazuka, Hyogo
  • Arima, Hyogo
  • Shirahama, Wakayama
  • Miasa, Tottori
  • Dogo, Ehime
  • Beppu, Oita
  • Ibusuki, Kagoshima

NEW ZEALAND Best Hot Springs

NORTH AMERICA Best Hot Springs

From See the website for ranks 11-20

#1. Conundrum Hot Springs

4 out of 5 stars

A secluded collection of pools in a beautiful wilderness location. Essentially undeveloped, wilderness location. Conundrum is one of Colorado’s most exquisite settings, and if you pick your time carefully, your visit there can be an outstanding, secluded experience. The pools vary in size and temperature, but the larger pools average about 102 degrees F, depending on the season. Some small pools are fed by a length of plastic pipe from higher sources, and they are cooler. The pools are craters of rock hewn into their present shape over years of visitation, and they make for great soaking. The larger pools are more than 3 feet deep and have room for several people, if need be. No matter which pool you fancy or which direction you face, you will have superb views of the surrounding rocky spires and alpine terrain. Steep avalanche chutes and pockets of snow that almost never leave, waterfalls, and the bright greens and flowers of short-life-span plants are all around you. If you feel that you are on top of the world, its because you nearly are, at nearly 12,000 feet in elevation. Look down the long valley you have just ascended and marvel at the clear view and the expanse of beauty while you soak in your little hot pot high in the wilderness. It’s the same view that early miners and native Indians savored for generations. If you stay for the night and are blessed with clear skies, you may be dazzled by the sight of more stars than you ever thought existed, seemingly so close you can reach out and take one to guide your way back to the tent. You might ask yourself if life could get any better. Savor the pure pleasure of clear, high mountain air and the tingle in your toes that says you have earned this view and the soothing warmth of water nearly perfect in temperature.

Aspen, CO – Hot Springs – 18 miles


#2. Deep Creek Hot Springs

4 out of 5 stars

A cluster of natural hot springs in an isolated canyon in the high desert. Deep Creek has become a favorite spot for those who like to go without clothing. Requires a gradual 6-mile hike or a steeper 2-mile one. The Deep Creek Hot Springs are quite a find and will amaze you once you get there. Completely natural and undeveloped, the springs have become popular for obvious reasons. The water is generally clear and an almost perfect temperature (averaging 105 degrees F.), with several pools from which to choose. As with so many hot springs in this book, Deep Creek was once relatively unknown, but has become heavily visited. Visitors have done a good job of keeping this area pristine, however, free from trash and vandalism. As noted, many of the more recent (and more numerous) visitors to the spring prefer to go without clothing, in and out of the pools.

Hesperia, CA – Hot Springs


#3. Bagby Hot Springs

5 out of 5 stars

Includes: Bull of the Woods and Bull of the Woods to the Welcome Lakes Loop. A day hike through lush woods to the Shangri-La of hot soaks. No need to pack a swimsuit. The 1.5-mile Bagby Trail is a delight in itself as it undulates through a grand old forest of Douglas-Fir and cedar with an understory of vine maple. Moss-coated logs litter the way, and the path slices between cross sections with 5-foot diameters. The gentle creekside route passes emerald green pools spaced between rapids. Cross three bridges, then leave the creek behind just beyond the last bridge and climb a short hillside to the springs.

Estacada, OR – Hot Springs – 3 miles


#4. Carson Mineral Hot Springs Resort

5 out of 5 stars

A sleepy Victorian-era hotel and bathhouse that features a regimen of therapeutic hot mineral baths reminiscent of old European spas. If you’re looking for a luxurious spa treatment with elegantly furnished rooms, then Carson Mineral Hot Springs Resort isn’t for you, but most visitors to this historic resort fall in love with the creaky Victorian-era hotel and the quirky hospital atmosphere of the bathhouse. With a prescribed, almost ritualistic approach, the resort follows the old European style of taking the mineral waters. The hot springs emerge from the banks of the Wind River at 136 F and cool to around 126 F by the time they reach the bathhouse. The soaking tubs can be adjusted to any comfortable bathing temperature.

Carson, WA – Hot Springs


#5. Verde Hot Spring

5 out of 5 stars

The remains of an extensive hot-spring resort, with several pools still available for bathing. Verde Hot Spring was at one time a thriving resort complete with hotel and several baths. Today, all that remains is the foundation for the resort, one main pool, and a couple more in the cliffside. The main pool is located on the foundation of the resort, overlooking the Verde River. The water in the main pool is about 98 degrees F, and there is enough room for several people. The pool is also quite deep, allowing for bathing without having to crouch down as with many other springs. There is a small concrete-block room with a rather stagnant pool of water inside. There are also pools of hot-spring water in the cliffside, where small caves have been cut. These pools are not the best for bathing, and can be difficult to get into. Also, there are occasionally small, rock-lined pools along the river where the hot-spring water enters. This is a fantastic location with the scenic Verde River in the foreground and mountain views beyond. This location can be hot, but the cool river is a welcome relief. Because this is such a fantastic place, and because it is relatively easy to reach, it is popular. For decades Verde Hot Spring was, and in some cases remains, a favorite hangout for nudists. Do not be surprised to find people going without clothing here. Once a bustling resort complete with access road and bridge, the hot spring now is in a rather primitive setting and requires a hike of 1 mile to reach.

Strawberry, AZ – Hot Springs – 2 miles


#6. Belknap Hot Springs Resort

5 out of 5 stars

A well-known commercial resort on the banks of the McKenzie River. Belknap Hot Springs has been a popular destination resort for Oregonians for more than 125 years. Since the 1870s the scalding hot springs on the north bank of the McKenzie have been piped across the river to a variety of bathhouses, soaking tubs, and the current two warm-water swimming pools. Day visitors can purchase an hourly or all-day pass to soak in the scenic lower pool. East of the lower pool is a footbridge that leads across the McKenzie River to the source of the hot springs. Suspended from the bridge is the pipeline that brings the hot water from the springs to the resort. Past the hot springs are miles of hiking and biking trails that parallel the north side of the McKenzie River. The upper terrace features several cabins and a second warm-water pool. It is also home to the Belknap Gardens, several acres of formal landscaping that features both native and cultivated plants. Plan on taking a stroll on the walkways through the gardens after a relaxing swim in the riverside pool.

#7. Sykes Hot Spring

4 out of 5 stars

General description: A cluster of natural hot spring pools at a popular backpacking campground in the forested Coast Range. Accessible only by foot on a 10-mile trail, this spring is nevertheless popular and frequently visited. Sykes Hot Spring is a delightful natural spring adjacent to a rushing creek. The largest pool is sheltered on one side by a large boulder, and by deadfall on the other. The water maintains a temperature of 100 degrees F., just the thing after a 10-mile hike. The long hike does not guarantee you seclusion or having the spring to yourself. There will generally be other people camping at the spring, particularly on summer weekends. If you prefer solitude, try going midweek, and if people are still there, wait till they vacate the spring to enjoy it.


Monterey, CA – Hot Springs – 20 miles


#8. Olympic Hot Springs

4 out of 5 stars

Includes: Appleton Pass and Boulder Lake. A day hike or overnighter to popular soaking pools in Olympic National Park. Skinnydippable with (much) discretion. Without a doubt the hot spot of the Olympics, this cluster of steaming springs and pools lies sandwiched between a lush forest of fir and hemlock and the whitewater rapids of Boulder Creek. There are a total of seven bubbly soakers in a variety of sizes and temperatures, including one by a small waterfall. The most skinnydippable pool, at the end of the trail, is an easy one to miss when unoccupied.

Port Angeles, WA – Hot Springs – 5 miles


#9. South Canyon Hot Springs

1 out of 5 stars

Undeveloped hillside hot-pots with a view. Undeveloped except for a few rocks conveniently placed. Best time to visit: This is generally a summertime location because of its exposure to the elements and roadside passers-by when the creek-bottom trees lose their privacy-lending leaves to the changing season. Some of the most unique and enjoyable hot springs are not known to many, which is of course part of their allure. South Canyon Hot Springs is just such a place; it is known almost exclusively by the locals and intentionally not advertised. Many such places in the American West may never be described in a book because their very existence is a closely guarded secret. The lack of development may exclude some visitors who prefer hot showers and a snack bar, but for those who enjoy a natural setting to complement their naturally heated water, this may be just the place. Accessible, but not for those unwilling to search just a bit or get a little mud between their toes, it is a picturesque location with a great view of the open countryside.

Glenwood Springs, CO – Hot Springs


#10. Big Caliente Hot Spring

3 out of 5 stars

A natural hot spring piped into a cement pool in the rugged mountains above Santa Barbara. Well-known, Big Caliente experiences heavy visitation on weekends. Despite its rather rugged location, Big Caliente has had many improvements made to it. The hot spring source is piped into a rather elaborate concrete tub built into the ground. The hot springs are also equipped with a concrete dressing room and latrines. The concrete tub is about 7 feet by 4 feet and 3 feet deep, ideal for several people to bathe in at once. The water is rather hot, so you may want to divert the source water out of the pond for a while before bathing. A light trickle of water sprays over the spring from the source, creating a mild shower effect. This hot spring is relatively well-known, and heavily visited on weekends. Bathing suits are universally worn. During the week you may be fortunate enough to have the spring to yourself. The spring has been developed, with changing rooms and a bathroom but an otherwise primitive setting.

Santa Barbara, CA – Hot Springs


#11. San Antonio Hot Springs
#12. Saline Valley Hot Spring
#13. Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Springs
#14. McCauley Hot Springs
#15. Gold Strike Hot Spring
#16. Rainbow Hot Springs
#17. Terminal Geyser Hot Spring
#18. Wind River Hot Springs (St. Martins on the Wind)
#19. Strawberry Park Hot Springs
#20. Gamma Hot Springs



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