Bishop Hot Springs – All You Need to Know

Published Categorized as Travel

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If you’re looking to unwind in a hot bath smack bang in the middle of the great outdoors, surrounded by vast plains of iridescent beauty, then Bishop Hot Springs near Mammoth Lakes has your name written all over it. There’s nothing more incredible than natural hot waters waiting to be explored.

Simply sink into the warm, soothing waters, and let your stress wither away in a matter of moments. If you’re looking for some hot springs to explore in California, then you’re in luck, because there are many incredible springs to discover, in and around Bishop!

Where is Bishop Hot Springs?

Bishop Hot Springs is a beautiful natural hot spring, that is located in the Bishop area of California, just a short drive from the Owens River. It’s the perfect destination for those who are particularly adventurous and enjoy holiday weekends promising hiking and outdoor sports.

The hot springs are also open for swimming, and if you’re planning to stay overnight, cabins and campsites are also available. Bishop is surrounded by a number of nearby cities, including Lone Pine, and Independence. Mammoth Lakes and Big Pine are also within a short distance.

Is Bishop Hot Springs Near Mammoth Lakes?

Bishop Hot Springs is a hot spring in Mammoth Lakes. Mammoth Lakes is an alpine resort town in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, located at 7,200 feet above sea level and offering skiing opportunities year-round. The majority of hot springs in Mammoth Lakes are primitive with no facilities. With promises of adventure through dirt roads and steep hikes, you’re finally met with the blissful hot springs.

Water Temperature of Bishop Hot Springs

The temperature of the hot springs varies depending on the time of year. Generally, it is around 90 degrees during the summer and lowers in winter. The temperature of the atmosphere can also affect the water temperature, meaning that when there is a higher air temperature, more heat will be absorbed by the water.

During the summer months (June to October) the air temperature is warmer than usual, resulting in the water’s temperature reaching as high as 105 degrees. Though during the winter (November to May) when the air temperature is cooler the temperature of the hot springs will average around 70 degrees.

It’s important to note that the bathing season runs from around the first week of May to the middle of October. The exact dates may vary due to the drastic change in weather, like heavy snow and ice, but don’t worry you’ll have plenty of time to take a long relaxing dip in the hot springs before winter creeps in.

Bishop Creek Hot Springs CA

The Bishop Creek Hot Springs trail is, in my opinion, one of the best hikes around Bishop. It is only about 2 miles in length and has moderate difficulty for most people. The trail starts out as a wide dirt path that winds through some sagebrush and climbs up to the top of a ridge overlooking the valley below.

After a short but steep climb, you will reach an overlook where there are two large springs that feed into each other. These springs are fed by runoff from snowmelt in the surrounding mountains which makes them quite warm (around 100 degrees). If you continue on up another quarter mile or so, there is another spring farther down on your right side before reaching Shadow Lake which would make an excellent place to camp if you have time.

Hot Springs Near Bishop CA

Hot springs are a type of geothermal hotspot. They occur when a water source heats up and forces its way through the crust, creating tendrils of steam released into the atmosphere. The resulting hot water pools to the surface creating irresistible hot springs. There are many hot springs near Bishop that are waiting to be explored. A short 1-hour hike, should lead you right to the steam baths, complete with breathtaking views ready to be captured by you. Let’s take a look at these delightful hot springs not too far from Bishop Creek:

  • Crab cooker hot spring
  • Hot creek geological site
  • Benton hot springs California
  • Wild willy’s hot springs
  • Hilltop hot spring
  • Pulkey’s pool
  • Keough hot spring

Crab Cooker Hot Spring

There are several great options for soaking in the dusty plains surrounding Bishop, with Crab Cooker Hot Spring being the best one. Located in Death Valley, the walk isn’t too long and it’s a great place to really immerse yourself into the beauty of the pitch-black night sky, dotted with tiny, winking stars. Crab Cooker Hot Springs is especially unique because of its sparse pool, perfect for more than a couple of people to soak in, without accidentally rubbing someone else’s legs.

That’s a rare bit of paradise you’ll get to experience, because normally the hot springs are small and shallow, and you might feel a little uncomfortable sharing with someone you don’t know, especially in such a small space, I can practically envision the uncomfortable awkwardness from here!

Hot Creek Geological Site

Located just 8 miles from Bishop, Hot Creek is a unique place to swim, with warm crystal clear water, than can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. While the water can reach very warm temperatures (up to 40C) the rocks can too, so you might want to think twice before placing the backs of your feet flush against some wet rocks.

If you do plan to sit on the rocks, then bring a towel or some beach chairs, to avoid the inevitable scalding. If this is enough to get your adventure side jumping, then we highly recommend visiting this incredible spot!

Benton Hot Springs California

Benton Hot Springs is a hot spring resort located in Benton California, it is about an hour’s drive from Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. There are several pools ranging from shallow to deep, all of which are surrounded by rather tall trees and wonderfully natural rock formations, which make you feel like you’re bathing in nature’s spa.

Wild Willy’s Hot Springs

Wild Willy’s Hot Spring is located near Bishop, California. The best time to visit these hot springs is during summer and autumn when the temperatures are milder. If you’re interested in testing out the hot springs of Wild Willy’s, you can get there by taking Warm Springs Road from Mammoth Lakes.

It’s a short quarter-mile hike, down a narrow dirt path that leads to an open area with views of Sierra beyond. The thermal pool itself has several different temperature pools as well as a few smaller ones where people like to bathe in the nude (though this is completely illegal). The water in these pools ranges from very warm to scalding hot, so dip your toes first!

Hilltop Hot Spring

The hot springs near Bishop, California aren’t hard to find. Hilltop Hot Spring is located just off Highway 395 between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. It has a large car park where you can set up camp or park your RV if desired. The trail to Hilltop Hot Spring takes about 20 minutes to walk down from the car park.

When you arrive at Hilltop Hot Spring itself you will see two pools with different temperatures of water that both flows from snowmelt coming down from Mammoth Mountain above them. There is also a small waterfall that flows into one of these pools as well. This makes Hilltop Hot Springs an ideal place for families with children because it has a shallow pool along with another larger pool where adults can swim comfortably.

Pulkey’s Pool

Pulkey’s Pool Hot Springs isn’t a natural hot spring. It was created by a former miner named Fred Pulkey, who believed that the springs would help people with their health problems. He built the pool for free for anyone who wished to use it and it has been there ever since. Now, Pulkey’s Pool is used as a place for soothing relaxation and even though you can’t technically swim here because of the river water flowing through it, that doesn’t limit anyone from enjoying themselves in plenty of other ways!

Keough Hot Spring

The Keough Hot Spring is one of the best ways to relax and rejuvenate in Bishop, CA. Located just 2 miles from town and accessible by snow-free hiking trails, this phenomenal spring provides a scenic experience for visitors year-round. In addition to relaxing by the pools, you can also hike through an old-growth sequoia forest or camp overnight at the springs. The campsites fill up quickly though so it’s best to reserve your spot ahead of time, especially if you want to spend a night under the stars!

What to Pack for Bishop Hot Springs?

Of course, the equipment you pack to visit the hot springs will rely on the weather and the season you choose to visit Bishop. Bear in mind that the winters are very cold and the weather year-round can be pretty unpredictable. Since there’s no access to the hot springs during the severe wintery months, here’s what you should pack for visiting the hot springs during the better seasons of the year:

  • Swimsuit
  • Sandals/flipflops
  • A jacket in case it gets a little chilly once you hop out of the water
  • A towel
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Lots of water to drink whilst hiking, and when in the steaming pools

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with any of the hot springs in Bishop, California. The town is surrounded by mountains, making it easy to get to a hot spring. With just a short hike you’ll find yourself face to face with some of the most incredible hot springs near Bishop CA.

Other hike-related pages:

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are Mono Hot Springs Open?

Unfortunately, Mono Hot Springs is currently closed and don’t open until mid-June.

Where is Buckeye Hot Springs?

Buckeye Hot Springs is located off Buckeye road about 5.2 miles southwest of Bridgeport California.

Can You Swim in Grover Hot Springs?

After a scenic stroll, visitors may choose to soak in one of the six hot springs the park offers.

Is Bishop in the Mountains?

Bishop, California is a friendly town snuggled in between two magnificent mountain ranges, the phenomenal Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and the White Mountains to the East.

By Mike

Mike leads research, writes, and keeps the site up and running. He's worked on upgrades to an old class A Winnebago, vans, and other homes - wherever they are.

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