Mammoth Lakes, California

Soak in Mammoth's Hilltop Hot Springs

Originally added by Ty Merkel

A steamy hot pool with an insane view of the Eastern Sierra. 

Mammoth’s volcanic valley floor is peppered with these natural steamy tubs with panoramic views of the Eastern Sierra. It’s pretty damn whimsical. 

My personal favorite is the Hilltop Hot Tub, which is a man-made stone pool fed by a bubbling, steamy creek. According to some corner of the web, it is sometimes called Pulkey's Pool, but I kinda prefer the emblematic nomenclature. 

Directions:

Take Highway 395 heading either south or north toward Benton Crossing Road. Then turn toward the cute wee green church and continue 2.5 miles down the road, past two cattle guard crossings. 

Just as you drive by the second cattle guard, you descend a little hill. At the bottom of the that, turn left onto a dirt road and follow it, staying to the right, for about 300 yards to a primitive dirt parking area (which doubles as free BLM camping space—whatta score, am I right!?). 

Once you're in the parking lot, you'll look for a small footpath that leads to a bleached plank bridge which will carry you over the squishy marshland and deposit you right by the hot pool with a killer view of the Sierra. Literally one of the most rewarding 5 minute walks in California. 

These hot pools are open to adventurers all year long, but sometimes in the winter the county closes the parking lot. So if you encounter a locked gate on your journey, just park on the side of Benton Crossing Road and walk 300 yards down to the dirt lot you were supposed to drive to. 

Fair warning, it is customary to wear your birthday suit in these hot pools, so expect to share the tub with a lot of old naked cowboys and tourists en route to Reno. But also, going nude can get you a ticket, because sometimes Mammoth County is an uncanny, contradictory place.

Address: Off Benton Crossing Rd.; about 3 miles east of U.S. 395Mammoth Lakes, CA

Coordinates: 37.6455, -118.8001 

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Tags

Chillin
Swimming
Hot Springs

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Chill spot, but small

Nice spot when Wild Willy’s is busy. It is a very small pool so only 4 people will fit (maybe 6 if you are all comfortable with each other). Pretty back drop and can easily see the road/parking lot to see if anyone is driving up.

One of the nicer hot springs of the area

Hilltop hot spring is one of the nicer and more convenient tubs off of Benton Road. A man made concrete tub, complete with a valve to control the temperature (kind of). But do be warned that it can get crowded, fitting at most 10 people at a time.

Awesome spot

This is a great go-to spot, especially when Wild Willy's is too crowded. This is also the perfect spot to watch the sunrise, especially if you want the place to yourself! Also, just as an FYI, most people (especially a lot of the locals) like to enjoy this spot in the nude!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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