The U.S. is home to many awe-inspiring geological wonders. There are soaring mountain ranges, some of the world’s deepest lakes (we’re looking at you, Crater Lake
), extreme and inhospitable desert environments like Death Valley
— the list goes on and on! Some of the most fascinating treasures in America, though, are its hot springs.
These steamy water features mystify many, attracting visitors from all over who simply want to experience soaking in one firsthand. Hot springs are also usually in gorgeous locations near water and in the mountains, adding to their allure. Fortunately, there are several places where you can enjoy hot springs camping, so you can check this experience off your bucket list.
Fun Facts About Hot Springs
Start your journey armed with these fun facts about hot springs:
- Hot springs are geothermal bodies of water with natural hot water sources underground.
- Hot springs are generally defined as being hotter than the normal human body temperature (approximately 99 degrees Fahrenheit).
- While hot springs are very similar to geysers, they are different. Both form near sites of volcanic activity, however, geysers spew water intermittently.
- Many people seek out hot springs camping for the health benefits. Soaking in a hot spring is said to relieve digestive disorders, skin issues, and even pain.
3 Reasons Why It’s Worth Camping Near Hot Springs
Sure, you can simply visit hot springs as a day trip, but there are plenty of reasons to camp overnight.
- Hot springs camping gives you easy access, allowing you to soak multiple times.
- Camping near hot springs makes it easy to take a sunrise or late-night soak, when you’re most likely to be the only visitor.
- Hot springs tend to be somewhat clustered together. Camping near one likely means you’ll also have easy access to others, and the extended time lets you enjoy multiple springs.
Best RV Campgrounds Near Hot Springs
Whether you prefer remote and undeveloped sites or a more resort-like experience, there are plenty of hot springs campgrounds across the country.
Hot Springs National Park KOA Holiday, Hot Springs, Arkansas
It’s almost criminal to discuss hot springs camping without mentioning the aptly-named Hot Springs, Arkansas. The town is located entirely inside Hot Springs National Park, just an hour from Little Rock, and contains 47 natural hot springs.
This KOA Holiday is one of the best hot springs campgrounds and is located in the heart of everything with loads of amenities. Enjoy Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, an arcade and billiards lounge, a dog park, a seasonal outdoor pool (May through October), fishing and hiking on-site, a playground, and a general store.
Hot Springs Nearby:
There are dozens inside the national park, including those at historic Bathhouse Row
More Information: Hot Springs National Park KOA Holiday
Mountain Landing Suites & RV Park, Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Situated along the San Juan River in southwest Colorado, Pagosa Springs is a spectacularly beautiful destination for hot springs camping. It’s also home to the world’s deepest geothermal aquifer — a 1,002-foot-deep Mother Spring — which feeds several pools.
Located within Pagosa Springs’ town limits, this hot springs campground puts you within walking distance of numerous restaurants and shops but also feels as if you’re miles from civilization. Guests have access to full hookups, Wi-Fi, bathhouses with showers and laundry facilities, a covered pavilion with picnic tables, and a playground.
Hot Springs Nearby: Overlook Hot Springs Spa
and The Springs Resort and Spa
More Information: Mountain Landing Suites & RV Park
Stanley RV + Camp, Stanley, Idaho
Idaho has hundreds of naturally-occuring hot springs, including 130 that are totally safe to soak in. Stanley is a wonderful basecamp for enjoying many of them and is located smack in the middle of Idaho in the Sawtooth Mountains.
At Stanley RV + Camp, you’ll find 29 pet-friendly, full hookup RV sites to enjoy hot springs camping. There’s a shower house with toilets and laundry facilities, a community fire pit, a camp store, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Individual sites are spacious, well-shaded, and have picnic tables.
Hot Springs Nearby:
Boat Box Hot Springs, Mountain Village Resort Hot Springs
, Sunbeam Hot Springs
More Information: Stanley RV + Camp
Things To Remember When Camping Near Hot Springs
Hot springs camping is a memorable adventure, but there are some things you should know to keep it enjoyable and safe for everyone.
- Don’t use soap or any other body products. Even “clean” biodegradable types are bad for the water and surrounding environment. This applies not just to when you’re in the hot spring, but also a few hours prior to soaking.
- Be respectful of other soakers. Some hot springs are remote, but others are quite popular and you may need to share them. If there’s room, make space for others to join you. If it’s a smaller hot spring, be mindful of how much time you soak, and allow other visitors to enjoy it, too.
- Don’t bring any food or glass containers. Keep those items at your hot springs campground or, at the very least, leave them several yards away from the spring.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles. Several popular hot springs, like Idaho’s Skinnydipper, have closed due to overuse and being trashed, which is truly a shame because it’s preventable. Consider bringing a bag to pack up any trash left behind by others.
Following these tips will ensure a safe and enjoyable hot springs camping experience.
Enjoy a Hot Springs Tour With a Cruise America Rental RV
If soaking in a natural hot spring is on your bucket list, make the experience even better by renting a Cruise America RV
and trying out hot springs camping. We’ve given you a few places to get started, but there are many other hot springs campgrounds across the U.S. Pick one or plan a cross-country RV trip
to experience several! With 130 convenient rental locations
, it’s as easy as picking your starting point and packing a swimsuit! Choose an RV rental