There are many hot springs San Diego, CA. Ranging from hot springs with a saline pool like the Warner Springs and Agua Caliente County Park ranch to springs with artificial mineral-water tubs like the old fogey hot springs, San Diego County has something for everyone.
I have been to several, and each had its unique appeal. Let’s dive in and look at what San Diego County offers!
1. Agua Caliente County Park: Best Natural Hot Springs Near San Diego
After a long week, I was eager to leave the city and unwind. My friend suggested we make the drive out to Agua Caliente County Park to soak in the famous hot springs. The park was about a 90-minute drive from San Diego, nestled away in the arid Anza-Borrego Desert.
- Landscape and Terrain: The landscape was breathtaking – rugged mountains and hills surrounded us as we followed the road through the desert. We hiked to a vista point and were rewarded with a panoramic view of the desert bathed in golden hour light.
- Facilities: We arrived at the park entrance and checked in at the ranger station. After setting up our tent at the camping areas, we headed straight for the hot spring pools.
- Temperatures: I slowly eased myself into the main pool, instantly feeling the tension leave my muscles as the 102°F mineral water enveloped my body.
DAILY USE PARKING
$3 per vehicle
Hot spring pools, camping, hiking trails
2. Glen Ivy Hot Springs
Glen Ivy Hot Springs is located in Corona, about 90 miles from San Diego. The drive takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes via the I-15 and I-215 freeways. Glen Ivy Hot Springs has been a popular destination for relaxation and rejuvenation since the late 1800s.
- Pools & Treatments: I had signature experiences at Glen Ivy Hot Springs, including the Club Mud massage, which uses mineral-rich mud to exfoliate and nourish the skin. I opted for a full-body clay treatment, getting slathered in red clay known for its cleansing and detoxifying properties.
- Facilities: In addition to mineral baths, the resort offers saunas, a steam room, and fitness classes on its beautifully landscaped grounds. The historic 19th-century bathhouse at Glen Ivy provided an elegant and tranquil setting.
MINIMUM PACKAGE COST
Starting at $70 per person
Hot spring pools, spa treatments, fitness classes
3. Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa: Best San Diego Hot Springs SPA
Found along the north San Diego coast, Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa is just a 40-minute drive from downtown San Diego. I experienced the healing powers of mineral-rich waters pumped from natural underground springs along the San Diego coast.
- Facilities: The spa offered outdoor pools and baths fed by the local mineral springs, including hot tubs and waterfall pools. Steam rooms, saunas, and spa treatments for massages and facials allowed me to unwind further.
- Water Temperatures: Temperatures ranged from warm to hot, catering to all my preferences.
- Therapeutic Benefits: The mineral-rich waters at Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa contain beneficial elements like magnesium, potassium, lithium, and calcium. Soaking in these waters promotes relaxation, detoxification, and relief from pain and inflammation. I heard that there are some health benefits to it.
MINIMUM PACKAGE COST
Day pass $99
Warm to hot
Hot tubs, waterfall pools, steam rooms
4. Holtville Hot Springs San Diego
After a 2-hour and 15-minute drive east of San Diego, I arrived at Holtville Hot Springs. For over 100 years, these remote hot springs have been a destination for relaxation.
- Pools: Fed by over 80 natural springs bubbling up in the marshes, visitors can create temporary soaking pools surrounded by rocks where the 90°F to 115°F mineral-rich waters emerge.
- Therapeutic Benefits: Lithium, calcium, and arsenic in the water are thought to have therapeutic benefits.
- Camping Sites: With free access and a peaceful, natural setting, groups often camp nearby to spend days unwinding in the rejuvenating warm waters.
Though rustic, the springs’ purported healing powers and serene atmosphere continue drawing visitors to this affordable, therapeutic getaway. I left Holtville feeling refreshed and renewed.
90°F to 115°F
Natural hot spring pools, camping
5. Elim Hot Springs
Seeking an escape from the city, I embarked on the roughly 3-hour, 180-mile drive northeast from San Diego into the mountains to soak in Elim Hot Springs. Since the 1930s, these remote springs have drawn visitors to bathe in the serene 108°F mineral waters.
- Facilities: Elim Hot Springs had several facilities for me to enjoy the hot mineral waters, including public soaking pools, three hot tubs, and showers. These are all surrounded by beautiful nature, with scenic mountain views and pine-filled hiking trails that I explored.
- Accommodations: Overnight tent sites allowed me to extend my stay at Elim Hot Springs. This gave me a more immersive, multi-day experience in a peaceful setting.
- Location: The high desert, secluded location of Elim Hot Springs enhances its ambiance as a relaxing getaway for me, away from urban distractions.
- Therapeutic Value: The hot mineral baths provided a therapeutic, soothing relaxation for my body and mind. It offered an ideal setting for me to focus on my health and wellness by feeling restored by immersive nature.
$35 per adult
Hot spring pools, hot tubs, camping
6. Jacumba Hot Springs Spa and Resort
Jacumba Hot Springs is 60 miles east of San Diego, about an hour’s drive. Jacumba Hot Springs Resort provides a peaceful mountain getaway centered around the area’s renowned natural hot spring.
- Temperatures: Visitors can enjoy soaking in the warm mineral water, with temperatures ranging from 85°F up to 105°F.
- Amenities: In addition to multiple pools of different sizes and temperatures, the resort also offers spa treatments like massages, facials, and body wraps.
- Accommodations: Overnight accommodations are available in hotel rooms, cottages, and cabins. The access to the area’s legendary healing hot springs makes it a popular spot for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It gave me a convenient and remote hot spring experience.
With its resort amenities coupled with the therapeutic powers of the local mineral springs, Jacumba Hot Springs Spa and Resort is an ideal place to unwind, de-stress, and restore your mind and body.
Day pass $31- $50
85°F to 105°F
Hot spring pools, spa treatments, lodging
7. Warner Springs Ranch
Located in the rolling hills of North County San Diego, Warner Springs Ranch is just a 90-minute drive from downtown San Diego. This historic resort is located amid natural hot springs that have drawn visitors since the 1800s.
- Pools: Over 20 pools and spas are scattered throughout the grounds, fed by the local mineral springs. Water temperatures range from 85°F up to 110°F.
- Therapeutic Values: The sulfur-rich waters contain high amounts of minerals, which are believed to have therapeutic benefits.
- Activities: In addition to soaking in the healing waters, I participated in holistic wellness activities like yoga, meditation, horseback riding, and art classes. The serene natural setting made it easy to relax and focus on rejuvenation.
With its peaceful ranch location and access to the prized local hot mineral springs, Warner Springs Ranch has long provided me an escape from city life.
Currently closed to public
85°F to 110°F
Over 20 hot spring pools & spas, wellness activities
What are the closest hot springs to San Diego?
The closest hot springs to San Diego is Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa, about a 40-minute drive north along the coast.
Why is Warner Hot Springs closed?
Warner Hot Springs is closed due to damage from the 2020 Valley Fire and ongoing repairs.
Does California have any hot springs?
Yes, California is home to many natural hot springs throughout the state, owing to its volcanic and tectonic activity.
Are there natural hot springs near Joshua Tree?
Yes, a few natural hot springs are located near Joshua Tree National Park, such as the BLM Thermal Pools.
San Diego County’s diversity of natural hot springs provides unique recreational spaces and therapeutic waters to enjoy. From the desert oasis of Agua Caliente to coastal wellness resorts like Carlsbad, these geothermal spots offer rustic pools to full-service spas. Their mineral-rich waters are praised for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Whether seeking outdoor adventure or relief from daily stresses, San Diego’s wealth of hot springs is an ideal destination to soak in the region’s natural bounty. These prized geologic wonders will continue attracting people for generations to come.