Bay seniors shivering in this winter’s chill might consider doing what the earliest Californians did – head to a hot springs. There are over 50 developed ones in our part of the state and hundreds of mostly secret ones.

Closest in is the Steep Ravine Hot Springs just south of Stinson Beach. It’s down a tricky trail, tucked behind a boulder right on the beach and only available at low tide. Expect to share the warmth with folks who didn’t bother to bring their bathing suits. Free.

Most established hot spring resorts offer more than warm water. Yoga, massages and all sorts of rejuvenating barely active activities are available. For visitors reeling from the sulphurous perfumes, there are usually non-mineral alternatives available.

Up in Lake County two hours north of the City rustic Harbin Hot Springs is surrounded by 5,000 lush acres. Day visits are $20. Reservations strongly suggested. It is owned by the Harbin Consciousness Church so expect few clothes and New Age attitudes. Accommodations available for longer stays.

In the hills 14 miles above Ukiah ensconced in meticulously maintained gardens Orr Hot Springs has been a remote resort since 1878. It is  $25 for a day pass. Reservations required. There is a hostel-style dorm if you want to stay longer.

Back when stagecoaches were the only means of transportation Wilbur Hot Springs 22 miles east of Clear Lake was already a popular retreat for San Francisco’s founding families. It’s even busier today, an unpretentious spa surrounded by an 1,000 acre nature preserve. Day use $35.

One thought on “you’re soaking in it

  1. Thank you for your recommendation to visit Wilbur Hot Springs! A rare and unique configuration of minerals in the water sets Wilbur apart from all the other hot spring resorts and spas in Northern California and the USA. Nestled in the heart of a private, 1800 acre Nature Preserve, it is a quiet and serene place to unplug, unwind and retreat.

    We are open for overnight and for day use. Please note that reservations are required. A correction to the price quoted above: our day use rate 10 am to 5 pm is $53 (per person).

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