There is something other worldly about Saline Valley Warm Springs. In the vast dearth of the hostile Mohave, this is a little lick of soft green in a sharp brown world.
Wild burros wander the surrounds, and frequent the campsites. In fact, they will eat the cardboard out of your fire pit, or other paper left around, so keep those things under wraps until you are ready to use them.
Ravens will also raid your campsite if you leave things out on your picnic table. Be smart, or you will loose your tea bags to the little gangsters.
There are several wonderful springs to soak in. Temperatures range from deliciously warm to possibly verging on a bit too hot. Most are large enough to fit several people at a time, and many are concreted in, so your bathing suit (if you wear one) won’t get filled with silt.
The outdoor showers are warm even in bracing weather, and the wood platforms allow you to stay clean while dressing. There are even two outdoor bathtubs (for bathing, not soaking). The bathrooms are clean and frequently serviced.
This is a beautiful, almost spiritual place. You should enjoy being by yourself, or being with your traveling companion. If either are making you itchy, you may want to visit more of a day retreat. The remoteness of these springs require time and patience to get to and you don’t want to pack up and leave too soon.
- Price: Free
- Clothing and Non-Clothing optional (but mostly non-clothing)
- Rustic with some improved area
- No hook-ups, all self-sustained
- No reservations needed
- Camp host on site
What we liked: The location and natural environment. The full moon was amazing over the desert.
What we didn’t like: The rave party going on all night with a large group of hipsters from San Francisco. Though it did make for interesting conversation in the morning (lots of hung over individuals).
Tips: It takes awhile to get here, so plan on staying a couple of days. Be careful who you listen to when you ask about road conditions, we got lots of advice and much of it was wrong. Both locals and signage conspire to keep this a secret. The only thing that’s a little tricky is the turn off Saline Valley Road (left or right, depending on which way you come in) hewing east across the sand and low lands to the springs, a couple miles to the oasis.
The National Parks Service removed the old road sign, after they annexed the land that includes the hot springs. But we’ve seen evidence that it is back.
Half mile or so after your successful turn off Saline Valley Rd, you’ll see the famous post and metal bat sign, which you continue past to the springs.
GPS Coordinates: N36 48.731 W117 45.938