Geothermal Energy Is Pretty Awesome
A “hot spot” is an area where there are high temperatures deep within the ground. These areas usually have a lot of volcanic activity and are great for geothermal energy.
Many of the western states in the U.S. are home to hot spots, which is why we get most of our geothermal energy from this area. States like California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, and Colorado are known to have underground spots that can reach more than 390 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are several other states that have spots above 300 degrees.
What’s neat about hot spots is that they often result in hot springs, which are pools of groundwater that are heated by the Earth. While some are too hot to touch, there are many that are a temperature perfect for bathing or soaking. Our geothermal heating company put together a list of some of the coolest hot springs around the U.S. that are worth a visit:
Sierra Hot Springs, California
There are several hot springs in the Sierra Nevada mountains that are not only adventurous to get to, but offer picturesque views. Head to the Travertine hot spring just south of Bridgeport and you’ll be able to take in a beautiful view of the Sierras while you bathe.
Just north of Bridgeport is the Buckeye hot spring, which is nestled in Toiyabe National Forest and sits next to a soothing babbling brook. Visitors can also stay at the nearby primitive campground.
About 50 miles south, near Mammoth Lakes, sits bubbling Hot Creek. While part of the Creek is restricted because of its scalding temperatures, there are other areas where hot water mixes with cold to create the perfect bathing water.
Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon
This hot spring is tucked away in the lush Oregon woods of Umpqua National Forest. The spring itself is small, but it offers beautiful views overlooking the Umpqua River.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone is known for its plethora of hot springs, geysers, and mud pots. Be sure to visit Grand Prismatic, the largest hot spring in the U.S. (and full of gorgeous colors due to the living bacteria). Just note, you can’t bathe in it.
Also check out Mammoth Hot Springs, which is said to look like an inside-out cave, due to the hot water carving out the limestone.
Also near Mammoth Hot Springs, you’ll find the Boiling River, where hot water meets cold to form a temperate water enjoyed by bathers from all over.
Conundrum Hot Springs, Colorado
If you love hiking, head to trail south of Aspen, Colorado, right around the border of White River National Forest and Gunnison National Forest. After hiking 8.5 miles, you’ll come across a secluded, 102-degree hot spring that offers beautiful views of the mountains. Many people hike to the area, then camp and enjoy the spring before heading back the next day.
Ojo Caliente Resort, New Mexico
This resort and spa about 40 miles north of Sante Fe is the oldest natural hot springs health resort in the country. It’s believed to have been used for thousands of years and is considered a sacred spot by its indigenous people. Schedule an herbal bath in one of the several secluded hot springs or bathe outdoors under the stars in a private outdoor pool. If that’s not enough, you can also indulge in a wide array of spa services for a unique experience.