Hunt Hot Springs – Big Bend, California

Hunt Hot Springs is a desert oasis, just off the highway and surrounded by the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert. With palm trees, a swimming pool, and a few buildings, it’s a peculiar sight among the sagebrush and sand. The Hunt Hot Springs is located on private property, about 5 miles east of Tecopa on route 178 and then south on route 127.

The property is owned by the Hunt family, who have lived in the area since 1918. The property was homesteaded in 1942 and has been open to the public as an oasis since 1956. The Hunt Hot Springs complex includes five buildings: a small gift shop, a two-bedroom house for overnight guests, two small cabins for overnight guests, and a pool house with restrooms and changing rooms. There are also several palm trees around the grounds that provide some shade from the Mojave Desert sun.

The Hot Springs Pool

Hunt Hot Springs – Big Bend, California
Hunt Hot Springs – Big Bend, California

The centerpiece of the Hunt Hot Springs is the large pool, fed by a natural hot spring. The pool boasts a waterfall and a variety of rock formations, including one that looks like an elephant.

The water at Hunt Hot Springs is extremely hot, with a headwater temperature of approximately 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water from the source flows into two adjacent tubs made of rock and concrete, which eventually drain into the stream below.

There are not one but four different pools at which visitors can rest in the warm water at Hunt Hot Springs. The water flows from the source into two connected tubs that have walls made of concrete and rock. The temperature averages between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can get as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the water in a hot tub might fluctuate depending on the temperature of the air outside.

The third and smallest hot tub is a natural rock-walled pool located next to the river. It has a temperature of approximately 103 degrees Fahrenheit and space for two people. The final spot to soak is in a larger tub made of rock that is located adjacent to the river and maintains a temperature of approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature of this collection can easily be adjusted by allowing some stream water to enter the container. After you have finished getting toasty in the hot springs, you can take a refreshing dip in the Kosh brook to cool off.

The center pool itself is about 4 feet deep at the edges with a gradual slope to about 1 foot deep near the center. It’s around 40 feet long by 20 feet wide and was built with concrete blocks in 1956. The water in the pool comes from an underground hot spring that has been tapped into the pool and feeds it at a temperature of around 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The water pours down into the pool via a natural waterfall and is quite refreshing on a hot day.

Although you can swim in this pool, there are no lifeguards on duty, no life jackets available, and the water is deeper than most pools. Swim at your own risk! You won’t be alone in the pool—there can be anywhere from 100 to 600 visitors on any given day, including many bikers who stop here as part of their infamous “Barker Highway” route across the Mojave Desert.

The Overnight Cabins

The two overnight cabins are located at the end of a long driveway, about 100 feet from the swimming pool house. Each cabin can sleep up to six people and features two queen beds and two bunk beds. There are no air conditioning units but each cabin has ceiling fans and there is one portable electric fan in the closet. Each cabin has a microwave, small refrigerator, coffee maker, private bathroom, and a small table with chairs.

There is a large picnic table next to the pool house with umbrellas that is available for guest use throughout the day. The pool itself is open from 8 am to 8 pm and guests can use it for $3 per person per day.

The cabins also have small refrigerators; guests are asked not to bring food into the cabins but the gift shop sells some snacks and drinks. There is no telephone in the cabins and cell phone reception is spotty, so you might want to include calling someone about picking you up in your plans before you arrive at Hunt Hot Springs.

The Main House

The Main House is where the manager of the property, a mix of desert rat and modern homesteader, lives. She and her dogs have been living in the house for more than 20 years and is also the owner of the gift shop and cabins. She has been operating this unique little oasis for decades, as well as operating a gift shop in Death Valley since 1997.

The home itself is a colorful and eclectic mix of desert kitsch and artwork, along with some Native American crafts. The walls of the living room feature a gallery of desert paintings done by her late husband, along with several pieces done by their son, who is a well-known artist in his own right.

The gift shop sells all sorts of ephemera that has been gathered over the years at various desert events or just out exploring in the Mojave Desert. It’s an eclectic collection with something for every type of off-roader or desert rat.

The Main House is open daily during the summer season; call (760) 863-2468 to schedule an appointment if you want to stay overnight during another time of year. Although there are no longer any rooms available within the house itself, guests can rent one of two small cabins located across from the Main House.

The Gift Shop

The Hunt Hot Springs Gift Shop is located in a small building just off the highway, near the entrance to the property. It’s open daily, selling snacks and drinks and some souvenirs, including clothing and hats with the “Hunt Hot Springs” logo.

The gift shop is operated by the owners of the property and offers a fun glimpse into their lives. Shelves are stocked with items that they have collected over many years and there are often interesting stories to be heard while you browse.

The gift shop also sells hot springs water from five different springs. The water is bottled on site, using a high-tech system that filters out minerals without distillation.

Water from two springs is sold in one liter glass bottles for $6.50 or $8.50 with a signed bottle label. The other three springs are sold in gallon containers for $35 each (again, signed labels are $10 extra). The water from each spring has different properties and all five can be sampled from spigots outside the gift shop building. The water is drinkable but it’s quite bland and minerals can be quite strong; it’s not recommended for drinking straight but works well as an ingredient in smoothies or other drinks. There’s a sign outside the building with more information about the five springs and their unique properties.

More Palm Trees

One of the more unique features of the Hunt Hot Springs is its collection of palm trees. There are about 20 scattered around the grounds and desert, with several more in the process of being planted. Most are Washingtonia filifera, also known as the California fan palm or desert palm.

Palms grow slowly and take years to grow large enough to be planted in the ground. The palms at Hunt are all at least 20 years old and some are much older than that. The oldest palm tree at Hunt is a Washingtonia robusta, or Mexican fan palm, located next to the pool house. This tree has been at Hunt since before 1956 and is at least 70 years old.

The oldest palmetto in North America is located near Palm Beach, Florida, and is estimated to be more than 500 years old. A Washingtonia filifera planted in 1890 at the University of Southern California is believed to be the largest palm tree in California and is over 70 feet tall and more than 18 feet in circumference. These facts show that even though they grow slowly, palms can live for a long time if cared for properly.

Weather forecast for next 5 days

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Bottom line

Exploring the Hunt Hot Springs in Big Bend, California is an adventure that should not be missed. From the stunning views of the hot springs to the tranquility of the desert wildlife, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature. The hot springs are an ideal spot for swimming and soaking, while the nearby Big Bend National Park provides plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and sightseeing.

With its unique mix of natural beauty and outdoor activities, Hunt Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventurous day out in nature, Hunt Hot Springs has something for everyone. So grab your camping gear, pack some snacks, and make your way to Hunt Hot Springs for a truly unforgettable experience!

Local information

Address: 1.5 miles south of: 26500 Kosk Crk Rd, Big Bend, California 96011
GPS: 41.033768,-121.931663