Mother Nature has a way of providing remedies for all ailments. For thousands of years, people have gathered at geothermal mineral springs to ease their pains, from achy muscles to weary minds. The natural heat and mineral content of the springs have been reported to soothe arthritis pain, improve circulation, relieve certain skin conditions and more.
In the mountainous valleys of the West, where the temperature of the earth increases with depth (known as geothermal gradient), water percolating under the crust can come into contact with hot rocks. This interaction can circulate the heated water to the surface, forming hot springs. California has around 60 hot springs attractions — the most in the U.S. — and Wine Country is an idyllic locale to experience them.
Pack your swimsuits and check out the best mineral hot springs in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs
The doctor is in at this Calistoga wellness resort, providing relief and tranquility in its healing mineral waters since 1952. Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, which received a shoutout in The New York Times’ “U.S. Hot Springs Guide,” contains three geothermal mineral pools — one indoors and two outdoors — lined with conifers and palm trees.
The reimagined spa features eight new mineral baths, plus four mud baths, a steam room and various body wellness treatments, from CBD-infused baths to aromatherapy massages. A therapeutic stay at the resort is complete with outdoor games, fire pits, an on-site Southwestern health food restaurant and a mineral soak in the secluded spa garden.
1507 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, 707-942-4102, drwilkinson.com
Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa
Retro-inspired with comfort at the forefront, this chic midcentury-modern motel has three geothermal pools and a spacious spa garden for sublime relaxation. Calistoga’s natural hot springs feed into the mineral pools: an 80-84 degree main pool, 90-96 degree wading pool and 100-104 degree spa whirlpool. The site’s MoonAcre Spa has quaint clawfoot tubs to rest easy in geothermal mineral water before detoxing in the steam room or after a much-needed massage.
1880 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, 707-942-0991, calistogamotorlodgeandspa.com
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs
Four geothermal mineral pools take center stage at this Napa Valley resort, where guest rooms encircle a large outdoor patio dotted with pergolas, palm trees and pools in varying sizes. The impressively sized lap pool, resting at 80 degrees, sits next to a sun deck to relax after an energizing swim. A cozy fire pit lies between the lap pool and a smaller, 100-degree mineral pool, while a kiddie pool is located by the snack bar. For a deeply relaxing soak, there’s the 104-degree jet pool under a covered patio.
1006 Washington St., Calistoga, 707-942-6269, calistogaspa.com
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
This luxe, Spanish mission-style inn rests atop an ancient thermal mineral spring, which flows over 1,000 feet below the hotel. This spring feeds into Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s five geothermal pools, ranging in temperature from 85 to 102 degrees. The main resort pool outside sits near the Water Tower Bar for easy alfresco dining and cocktails, which can be enjoyed in a private poolside cabana.
The Watsu Pool, naturally heated to 98 degrees, is surrounded by palm trees with a trickling water fountain nearby for ultimate tropical relaxation. Then there’s the 92-degree Spa Pool shaded by redwoods and the indoor Roman-style bathhouse, featuring two mineral water soaking pools, an exfoliating shower, halotherapy sauna and an aromatherapy steam room.
100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, 707-938-9000, fairmont.com/sonoma
Golden Haven Hot Springs and Resort
The geothermal aquifer coursing underneath this resort is rich in minerals like sulfur, so you may notice an odor and coloration to the water, but that doesn’t detract from the heavenly accommodations and spa specials. Steam gently rises from the naturally heated mineral spring pool (85-88 degrees) and the two jetted spa pools (98-104 degrees), all of which are sheltered, with skylight windows allowing the sun’s rays to filter in. If you’re seeking a more intimate hot springs soak, spa tub rooms are available — large suites with private mineral baths and electric fireplaces.
1713 Lake St., Calistoga, 707-942-8000, goldenhaven.com
Indian Springs Calistoga
Located in the heart of Calistoga, this upscale resort has been providing rejuvenating comfort in a gorgeous setting for over a century. The hotel features an Olympic-sized mineral pool, one of the largest pools in the state, built in 1913 along with the surrounding Mission Revival-style buildings and bungalows. The pool is fed by natural, on-site thermal geysers and kept between 92 to 102 degrees for an optimal, relaxing soak. An outdoor fireplace cabana lounge awaits poolside, and there’s a separate, smaller Adult Pool for those who want a quieter, more intimate swimming experience, nestled in a lush setting for more privacy.
1712 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, 707-709-8139, indianspringscalistoga.com
Morton’s Warm Springs
This geothermal mineral spring in Glen Ellen had been around for centuries before Ethel and Harold Morton purchased the property in 1946, operating it as Morton’s Warm Springs five years later. Ownership of the springs changed hands over generations, each taking care to preserve the healing waters and surrounding flora while reimagining the space with community in mind. Morton’s has three geothermal mineral spring pools in varying sizes, nestled under a canopy of oaks and sitting just a stone’s throw from Sonoma Creek.
The property also includes geothermal showers, changing rooms, picnic and BBQ areas, and an organic, locally-sourced cafe. After a pool replastering job gone awry, Morton’s had to close its regular 2022 season, but plans to reopen next summer. Applications for season passes – which offer unlimited seasonal use of the pools plus other perks – are available now for the 2023/2024 season.
1651 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen, 707-833-5511, mortonswarmsprings.com
Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort
Experience a Tuscan villa-like retreat in Wine Country at Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort, with its world-renowned natural geothermal water and mud bath traditions. An outdoor pool, between 92 to 96 degrees depending on the season, and hot tub (103 degrees) are surrounded by trees and plants to accommodate a calming swim in a lush setting.
The indoor jetted pool, at 100 degrees, is in a quaint tiled room with a sauna and changing rooms. For a more intimate mineral soak, opt for a Splendido suite, complete with a two-person Jacuzzi tub filled with geothermal water next to a homey fireplace. Or book a 55-minute private mineral bath at the spa, which includes a clay mask and sugar scrub.
1300 Washington St., Calistoga, 707-942-2122, romanspahotsprings.com
This lavish and dreamy Napa Valley retreat is part of of the Auberge Resorts Collection of luxury hotels. During your stay at Solage, it will be difficult to pull yourself away from the spa bathhouse featuring five geothermal mineral water pools in varying temperatures. Taking a dip in the vitality cold plunge pool (60-65 degrees) is an invigorating start to your day, and the jetted saline and mineral pools (102-104 degrees) are optimal ways to relax as body tension melts away. A detox in the eucalyptus steam room is a great way to fully unwind after calming the body and mind in the ambient temperature, magnesium rich pool. With Solage’s hydrotherapy bathing rituals, healing self care is a breeze.
755 Silverado Trail N., Calistoga, 707-226-0800, aubergeresorts.com/solage
UpValley Inn & Hot Springs
After a day of wine tasting, downtown shopping and cycling nearby trails, settle down in this boutique Calistoga hotel with an on-site well feeding geothermal heated mineral water into its swimming pool and whirlpool. The pool and hot tub contains 100% natural Calistoga mineral water, so it will have a greenish yellow hue due to the high mineral content, which leaves you feeling relaxed and reinvigorated. Alternate dips in the pool with short rests in the dry sauna or steam room for a soothing, restorative stay.
1865 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga, 707-942-9400, upvalleyinn.com