Last fall, I grabbed the girls and we headed into the mountains for a trip to Mono County to catch fall foliage. Since we are natural mineral water addicts, on our drive back to San Francisco, we decided to stop by the Travertine Hot Springs. (We visited the Wild Willy’s hot spring in Mammoth Lakes earlier that year and fell in love with soaking under the open sky.)
These Bridgeport hot springs are easier to find than most hot springs but still come with nuances that are important to know and could impact your visit. This is my guide to Travertine Hot Springs. Everything you need to know before you go, directions, and photos!
Travertine Hot Springs Directions, Soaking Tips & Photos (2021)
Hot springs in Northern California – and particularly Sierra hot springs – just have this extra magical feeling to them. Locals and visitors alike treasure them and use the hot springs as a favorite hangout after a day of work, a long hike or a lazy Sunday. It’s common for people to bring canned beer and hang out with friends.
They’re also extremely relaxing and fun to visit for even a quick dip. As I mentioned above, we made a whole trip into the mountains just to soak in the Mammoth Lakes hot springs once. On this road trip through the Sonora Pass from June Lake, we made a quick 1.5-hour pit stop at the Travertine Hot Springs in Bridgeport to break up a long drive.
Keep Travertine Hot Springs Clean!
Before we start with all the things you need to know about these Bridgeport CA hot springs (like location, what to bring, what NOT to bring, etc) let’s go over something real quick. DO NOT TRASH THE HOT SPRINGS. Ya’ll, there was so much trash in the woods near the hot springs. Be kind to mother nature. Pack out all your waste.
Don’t bring glass into the hot springs. Basically, don’t be a dick, ok? Let’s keep this hot spring in California clean and safe to visit for years to come!
How Many Pools Does Travertine Springs Have?
These Sierra hot springs have about 5 hot spring pools in total. One near the lot that is man-made which the large pool where most of our photos are taken in this post. This is the biggest pool and the warmest (and my favorite.)
There are also two around the corner of the rock and two down the hill a bit. The last one is way down the hill and much chillier and muddier than the ones closer to the rock formations. But if the other pools are packed, this is a nice private option. The Travertine Hot Springs geology sure is interesting!
Travertine Hot Springs Directions
Travertine Hot Springs are located South of Bridgeport off of Route 395 on Jack Sawyer Road.
- This road doesn’t cross Hwy 395, so turn onto Jack Sawyer Road.
- Take the second left that is at the fork of the road.
- At some point, this road will turn into a dirt road. Our small car made it, but you’ll have to drive slow if you don’t have 4WD
- Keep going until the road ends. You’ll see a little bathroom to indicate you made it! There is no formal parking area. Just park by the side of the road.
- The Travertine Hot Springs hikes is very minimal, it’s basically a stroll.
- There is a small man-made pool near the parking area if you want to dip in that, but the natural hot springs are further up, so search for them!
- They are easy to find – head to the right/behind the bathroom building and keep walking along the ridge. In about 200 feet, you’ll find the hot springs next to the rock formations!
Bridgeport is between Yosemite National Park and Mono Lake/Mammoth Lakes. It’s also near Bodie State Park (an old ghost town.) One of these places will probably be your end destination. Good thing the Travertine Hot Springs off 395 are easy to make into a quick visit while on a road trip! This is one of the reasons I loved soaking here. No long hike in!
Is There A Travertine Hot Springs Entrance Fee?
There is no Travertine Hot Springs Entrance fee. This is on state park land but from what I know, there is no ranger station near here. But let’s review real quick: just because people aren’t patrolling this area much, it doesn’t give you a free pass to be rude to others to destroy the pools.
Are Travertine Hot Springs Open?
Yes – the hot springs are on public state land and are NOT behind a gate, so they are open 24/7.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Travertine Hot Springs?
Like with all the best natural hot springs California has to offer, they can get crowded on weekends or holidays. My favorite time of day to hit up a hot spring is sunrise. Usually nobody will be there and it’s extra special to have it all to yourself.
But that’s not always possible to do, like on this trip where we visited in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday during a long drive. Thankfully, we lucked out and there were only a couple other people there so we were able to get the whole large pool to ourselves.
Once, I went to Umpqua Hot Springs in Oregon in the middle of the afternoon and it was packed with at least 50 people, so you never know if it’s going to be crowded or not. If you don’t want to take the risk, come at sunrise.
What To Bring To Travertine Hot Springs in Bridgeport
While there is a small outhouse-style bathroom, I can confirm that it’s not cleaned very often. (I personally relived myself behind a tree because I didn’t want to go inside.) Other than that, there are no other facilities at the hot springs. So, that means you’ll have to pack in (and pack out!) everything you’ll need!
1. Sunscreen: You’re up in the mountains at a higher elevation! While you’re soaking in those great views at these hilltop hot springs, apply some sunscreen! Please use reef-safe sunscreen so you don’t add chemicals to the natural mineral water.
2. Swimsuit: The hot springs are clothing optional and others may be indulging in a nude soak. I’m into swimsuits. The sulfur water doesn’t affect swimsuits, so don’t be afraid to wear your favorite swimsuit as long as it is a dark color. I only recommend not wearing white or light color as the mud *may* stain, though I haven’t tested it out yet. In these photos, most of us are wearing summersalt swimsuits. They’re the BEST swimsuits for outdoor adventures!
3. Water: The pools are hot! And will dehydrate you, if the elevation of the mountains doesn’t first. Bring in water!
4. Canned beer: The hot springs easily turn into a great chill party spot in the late afternoon and evening. Bring canned beer (no glass!) for a fun visit.
5. Towels: You’ll want to dry off with something!
6. Sandals that can get dirty: The area around the hot springs is really muddy, so your shoes will be covered in sulfur mud. I recommend Teva sandals, they’re my go-to outdoor shoe.
7. Trash bags: to pack out your trash! Also handy to use to lay your clothes on as sometimes the ground around the springs are really muddy.
That’s about it! You can change in your car or duck behind a tree to get changed.
What Not To Bring To The Hot Springs
Pretty much just don’t bring glass that can break in the hot springs and hurt someone else. Also, don’t bring anything that can’t get muddy and stained forever (like a white towel you love.)
Travertine Hot Springs Weather
Ok, let’s chat weather around these Eastern Sierra Hot Springs. Basically, mountains are really unpredictable. You have to be prepared for sunny skies and then a thunderstorm rolling in within minutes. When we visited the Mammoth Lake hot springs at the end of May (read that guide here!) we got allll sorts of weather.
That first day was warm, I remember taking my jacket off. Then, as we were pitching our tent, a thunderstorm rolled in and soaked EVERYTHING. And about 30 minutes later, the skies were clear again. That evening after the sunset, the temps dropped down to about 20 degrees and you best believe we FROZE in that little tent (great memory, but I would never go camping in the Sierras in Springtime ever again!)
Travertine Hot Springs weather will be no different. Make sure to check the weather before you go! The good news is, it’s easy to drive into and walk to from the parking area. And, the pools are all different temperatures. So, if it’s cold out, you can warm up. If it’s hot out, you can find one that isn’t boiling.
Want The Spend The Night? Travertine Hot Springs Hotel Or Camping?
Thinking of spending more time around Travertine Hot Springs instead of passing through? Sounds like fun! Bridgeport and Twin Lakes areas are beautiful and full of amazing hiking trails and lakes. You have two options: a hotel or camping near Travertine Hot Springs.
If you travel to the area, the weather may play a part in your decision on whether or not to camp or get a hotel (I wold not like to go camping here in the winter.) Also keep in mind, this area is pretty rural. You won’t find fancy resorts here, so the options are limited.
Travertine Hot Springs Camping: There is limited camping space is available on the short dirt road leading to the hot springs, but is not allowed in the immediate area of the pools. This area of land is BML land, meaning you can camp for free! You’ll have to pack everything in and out, (aka “no trace” camping) as there will be no facilities like at a normal paid campground.
Silver Maple Inn: The reviews on TripAdvisor are pretty good for this family-owned inn. It’s dog-friendly, clean and right in downtown Bridgeport. If you are looking for a Travertine Hot Springs hotel, I’d pick this one!
Remember, we drove on through so I didn’t actually camp here to spend the night so I can’t attest personally to which option is better. Depends on you and your group!
Other California & Eastern Sierra Hot Springs Worth Visiting
There are SO many hot springs in California (and the United States as a whole!) I keep thinking I’ve heard of all of them, but then I learn of new ones. So, this probably isn’t the full list, but these are the ones I know of and hope to visit all of one day!
- Wild Willy Hot Springs: This the hot springs in Mammoth CA I keep talking about! Also known as Crowley Hot Springs or something the ” green church hot springs “. I visited in person and this is where I fell in love with hot springs.
- Buckeye Hot Springs: Travertine isn’t the only hot springs near Bridgeport California! Buckeye Hot Springs camping ground has a large natural mineral pool, too! The trail is steepso you need to wear good shoes. There are 3 soaking pools here that are different temps and it’s near the Buckeye Creek if the hot springs warm you up too much.
- Benton Hot Springs: These hot springs are on the Benton Hot Springs Campground! There are PRIVATE hot spring pools at each campsite (man-made with piped-in water.) This hotel/campground is on my bucket list.
- Fales Hot Springs: Mono Lake hot springs! Well, near them at least. Sadly, the hot springs are on personal property and currently aren’t open to the public but in the past they have been open for visitors and may be open again in the future.
- Kern River Hot Springs: These pools are located in Southern California and along the Kern River. I loved the vibe at these hot springs, so friendly!
I hope this helps you plan your visit to Travertine Hot Springs while visiting the Eastern Sierra Nevadas! We stayed for about 1.5 hours in the mineral pools and had a blast. I loved how the mineral water always makes my body feel super relaxed after soaking in the tubs.
I try to visit a natural hot spring in California at least once a year and I like how easy this one is to get to. I usually swing by while heading to June Lake, but if you’re doing a road trip to all the California national parks, this is near-ish to Yosemite!
Leave a comment below if you have anything to add that is helpful. If you have questions, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll be happy to help!