Fales Hot Springs – Coleville, CA

The Fales Hot Springs are one of the best-kept secrets in Nevada County, California, offering a desert oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation. Nestled in the foothills of the Nevada County hills, these springs are a short drive from Grass Valley and Auburn.

According to local history, around 1898, a prospector from Nevada City, known as Old Man Fales, built the first shack at these springs. At that time, the springs were accessible only by horseback or on foot. In 1916, Fred McIntosh bought the property and built wooden cottages over the springs to accommodate visitors. Eventually he added more cottages and other facilities to attract paying customers.

McIntosh’s property was later purchased by Frank “Slim” Gabrielli who later sold it to Vic and Priscilla Jones who owned and operated the fales until 2016 when they sold it to a local realtor who is currently working on improving the property. It’s not exactly clear when or why the name “Fales” was changed to “Hot Springs,” but it’s been known as Hot Springs ever since. Here are some tips for visiting these fabulous desert oasis hot springs for a relaxing soak or even for having a wedding ceremony.


Fales Hot Springs – Coleville, California
Fales Hot Springs – Coleville, California

Nestled in the heart of Coleville, California lies the Fales Hot Springs, a hidden gem for those seeking a relaxing getaway. Just outside of Nevada City, visitors can easily access the springs with a short drive from Grass Valley and Auburn. However, it’s important to note that the springs are located at the end of a dirt road, so it’s best to have a reliable vehicle to navigate the terrain.

As you approach the springs, keep an eye out for a small sign indicating the turnoff. The entrance can be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. Additionally, the turnoff is not well-marked, so proceed with caution as you make your way down the dirt road. During the summer months, there are portable restrooms available for visitors at the entrance, as well as an RV park on site with running water and electricity.

For the ultimate relaxation experience, it’s recommended to visit the Fales Hot Springs on a weekday. Weekends tend to be very busy, with locals flocking to the site for a soak on their days off. It’s also important to note that dogs are not allowed at the springs. The main attraction of the hot springs is a series of wooden cottages, or “fales,” overlooking the water. These fales provide visitors with a private tub to soak in while taking in the breathtaking and dramatic views of the surrounding area.

The Fales Hot Springs are a testament to the vision of Samuel Fales, who originally discovered the springs in the early 1900s. His dream was to create a resort that showcased the beauty of the area while providing a relaxing escape for visitors. Today, the Fales Hot Springs Resort continues to h

Natural Hot Springs

Nestled on private land with a dwelling, Fales Hot Springs is a well-kept secret among those in the know. While the source and its surroundings are not accessible to the general public, a conduit beneath Route 395 transports hot mineral water from the defunct Fales Resort to a heated pool enclosed by granite walls. This geothermal water, hotter than your average hot spring water, creates a unique and memorable experience for those who seek it out.

As you make your way to the larger pool, smaller pools are formed along the route. The temperatures average a balmy 92 degrees Fahrenheit. However, snowfall from adjacent mountains might make the stream a little colder in certain seasons. While the water may be covered in a slimy coating of algae, there isn’t much of a sulfur stench, making for a more pleasant soak.

It’s worth noting that ticks have been observed on the grass throughout the spring season. It’s not the most luxurious hot spring experience out there, but the adventure of discovering Fales Hot Ditch and soaking in its natural hot water is priceless.

So why settle for the mundane when you can experience the unique? Fales Hot Springs offers a one-of-a-kind geothermal waters experience for those with a sense of adventure. Don’t miss out on this hidden gem of Coleville, CA.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Fales Hot Springs offers exciting things to do. Leavitt Falls Vista Point is perfect for hiking, with breathtaking views of the valley below and a chance to capture memorable photos. The area has clean trails for adventurers and a pit toilet close to the deck. The entrance may require attention when approaching from the East, but the parking lot is easily accessible and provides sufficient space for cars to maneuver. Leavitt Falls Vista Point is a great place to take a break on your way up and pass.

If you’re looking for a different kind of outdoor adventure, Joshua Tree National Park is a must-visit spot. The park boasts of spectacular rock formations, unique wildlife, and stunning sunsets that will leave you breathless. You can take a leisurely hike, rock climb, or go on a guided tour to explore the park’s many wonders.Merced County is another exciting destination that offers a range of fun activities for visitors. You can explore the Merced Wildlife Refuge and catch a glimpse of the diverse bird species that call the area home. Or, you can take a stroll through the historic downtown area and visit the Merced County Courthouse Museum to learn about the county’s rich history.For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Cache Creek Winery is a must. The winery is situated in a picturesque location and offers scenic views of the surrounding hills. You can take a guided tour of the vineyards and learn about the winemaking process, or simply relax and enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Know Before You Go

Ensure you’re fully prepared before embarking on your journey to Fales Hot Springs in Coleville, CA. Although the springs are secluded, they are not hidden from view, and visitors should be aware that nudity is permitted on the premises. If this makes you uncomfortable, it’s best to find another location to visit. Additionally, there is no lifeguard on duty, so parents should take responsibility for their children’s safety while enjoying the springs.

The Fales Hot Springs is a clothing-optional facility, so if you’re not comfortable with nudity, this isn’t the place for you. Before your trip, be sure to check the weather forecast, as the springs may not be accessible during inclement weather. Remember to fill up your gas tank before heading out, as the Fales is a hidden gem and isn’t listed on many maps.

If you’re planning to visit the springs, make sure to do so during daylight hours to ensure better visibility. While there is some lighting available, it’s best to see what you’re doing when soaking in nature’s hot tubs. If you’re interested in exploring more of the area, consider visiting Joshua Tree National Park or Merced County. Alternatively, you could check out Flat Creek or Cache Creek Winery.

When swimming in the river, use common sense and avoid entering the water if it’s too cold. Additionally, it’s not advisable to wade in the river without shoes on, as hidden rocks or other hazards may be present below the surface. By keeping these tips in mind, you can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to Fales Hot Springs.

Bottom line

The Fales Hot Springs offer an unforgettable experience of natural beauty and relaxation. With its stunning scenery, therapeutic hot springs and a variety of outdoor activities, it is an ideal destination for people wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you are looking for a peaceful spot to relax or an exciting adventure in the outdoors, you won’t be disappointed when visiting the Fales Hot Springs.

So pack your bags, grab your friends and family, and explore this hidden gem tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is sure to be a trip that you will never forget!

Weather forecast for next 5 days

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Local information

Address: 2 miles east of Hot Creek Pool, which is located at 90307 US-395, Coleville, California 96107, or 13.5 miles northwest of Bridgeport
GPS: 38.351109,-119.39917
Season: year-round




Anne loves to explore the world and share her experiences through her blog. She loves to travel to places that are off the beaten path and find unique experiences to share with her readers. She also loves to share tips on how to make the most of a trip, from budgeting to activities. She hopes that her blog will inspire others to explore the world and enjoy the beauty of nature.