Delonegha Hot Springs – Caliente, California
Delonegha Hot Springs is a geothermal hot spring with natural pools and stone tubs on the inside, surrounded by hills of redwood trees. This place is not as popular or well known as other geothermal hot springs in California like the ones in Idyllwild, Big Bear, or even Mount Shasta. But don’t let that deter you from visiting this beautiful natural wonder.
It is advisable to bring your own towel, bucket, and flashlights when exploring the interior of the springs, as it can get pretty dark and slippery. It is also important to note that there are no changing rooms at Delonegha Hot Springs. There are no restrooms either; guests must leave their belongings in their car before entering the grounds.
Why Visit Delonegha Hot Springs?
There are a few reasons why you should make the trek out to Delonegha Hot Springs, but the main one is the peace and tranquility it brings. Unlike other popular hot springs that are usually crowded and full of people, Delonegha Hot Springs is generally quiet, and you can actually hear the sounds of nature.
As someone who is always stressed out or stressed over things that are out of my control, this is the type of atmosphere I crave. I find myself able to sit back, relax, and just let go of whatever is bothering me. It’s almost like therapy, only without the cost.
Another reason why you should visit Delonegha Hot Springs is because it’s less commercialized than other hot springs. There are no shops or restaurants here, no parking meters, and overall less crowds. This is a place where you can truly disconnect from everything going on in your life and focus on yourself. Imagine yourself surrounded by nature and a warm, bubbling, mineral-filled hot spring. You can let go of all your worries, and just enjoy the moment you are in.
The History of Delonegha Hot Springs
No one is quite sure when Delonegha Hot Springs was discovered, but we do know when it was first documented. In the early 20th century, an article was published in the San Francisco Call newspaper titled, “A Hot Spring in the Woods.” It detailed the discovery of a hot spring located in the mountains of Caliente, California.
The article was written by a man named Jack Lawton, who said he discovered the hot spring while hunting for deer. Lawton described the hot spring to be about 150 feet long, 25 feet wide, and about four feet deep. He also noted that the hot spring was surrounded by a growth of weeds and had small pools of water in the deepest part.
After the article was published, people came from all over to see this hot spring. People with ailments like rheumatism and arthritis began coming to the hot springs to take advantage of its healing powers. The hot springs were abandoned during the Great Depression, and then rediscovered in the late ‘80s by a man named Lee Moore.
What to expect at Delonegha Hot Springs
Delonegha Hot Springs is surrounded by hills of redwood trees. The hot springs is actually located on private property owned by the Delonegha family. It is about a five-mile drive from the main road, so you have to park near the entrance and walk to the springs.
You can bring your own towel, bucket, and flashlights as the interior can get pretty dark and slippery. There are no changing rooms or restrooms, so you have to leave your belongings in your car before entering the grounds.
Those that make it to Delonegha Hot Springs will find themselves greeted by five different pools. The water that flows into each hot spring is 123 degrees Fahrenheit when it first emerges from the source. The temperature in the other two pools, which are divided by a giant boulder, is somewhat higher than the temperature in the three pools that are lined with cement and tile and are kept at an annual average of approximately 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are also several stone tubs that are perfect for soaking away all your stress. Hot springs like these are great for people who suffer from arthritis, rheumatism, or other joint diseases, as they are known to relieve pain. If you want to drink the water, make sure you clean it first. You can do this by filtering it with a mesh screen or letting it sit for a few days.
For your convenience, picnic tables as well as a small cooking station may be found strategically placed around the pools. The pool area is quite spacious, and each of the five pools can easily accommodate quite large parties because to their size.
Activities at Delonegha Hot Springs
Besides enjoying the hot spring, there are a few other activities you can do while visiting Delonegha Hot Springs. You can let your creativity flow and draw with the watercolor paints provided on site. Or, you can take a short hike to a nearby waterfall. You can also try your hand at gold panning, which is an activity that helps you collect gold from the sand.
If you’re more interested in going on a longer hike, there are plenty of nearby trails for that as well. The Discovery Trail is about a mile and a half long, so it is great for beginners. It is about a 10-minute drive from the hot springs, so you can do both in one day without overdoing it.
If you are up for a more challenging hike, the Gold Rush Trail is a little longer, and a bit more difficult. It is about a 30-minute drive from the car to the trailhead, and it is a 3-mile round trip hike that goes through redwood forests.
How to get to Delonegha Hot Springs
Because of its location precisely between the Kern River and private land that is adjacent to Highway 178, getting to the oasis of hot springs can be a challenging and eventful endeavour. The owner of the land covered up the numerous parking places that were located close to the springs with dirt in order to deter people from going to utilise them. This was done so that people would not use the springs.
The Delonegha Hot Springs, on the other hand, are located on public land and are entirely open to public access so long as people keep their distance from the high-water mark of the Kern River (which is 50 feet).
The springs can be reached by visitors either by rafting downstream or, when the river levels are low, by walking along the riverside. Visitors have the choice of doing either. There are no parking areas that are designated expressly for Delonegha; rather, tourists can park next to a bridge at a popular river take-out spot 0.7 miles upstream on the Kern River.
From this point, guests can either launch their rafts into the water or start the short trek to the region with the hot springs.
Tips for Visiting Delonegha Hot Springs
Delonegha Hot Springs is open year-round, but it is best to visit during spring and fall when the weather is milder. Even though the hot springs is in a forest, it is still in a desert-like area, so it gets very hot in the summer.
Always bring plenty of water with you and make sure to stay hydrated. Wear proper footwear as there are some rocky areas around the springs. And always be prepared for the unexpected. The springs are located on private property, so it is advised to be respectful and keep your voice down to avoid bothering the Delonegha family.
Unfortunately, there are no lockers or anywhere to store your valuables. So either bring a water-proof bag to put your items in, or hold on to them while you are in the springs.
Delonegha Hot Springs is a hidden gem in California that many people don’t know about. If you are someone who is looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and relax, this is the place for you. If you are someone who suffers from ailments like arthritis or rheumatism, the hot springs can help relieve pain. If you come with friends or family, it is a great place for bonding and letting go of any stress you have.
Address: Delonegha Hot Springs, Caliente, California 93518