Isabella Hot Springs – Lake Isabella, CA

The Isabella hot springs are a secluded gem in the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains. These natural hot springs are tucked away on the edge of Lake Isabella, a reservoir on the Kern River. The reservoir is in southern Kern County, about 30 miles northeast of Bakersfield, in the remote foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Isabella hot spring is one of several springs that emerge from the ground at this location, but it is the only one that is open to the public, thanks to an old concrete tub that was installed here many years ago. The site is often unofficially referred to as “Isabella’s” or “Isabella Hot Springs,” but it’s technically known as the “Isabella Springs Recreation Site.”

The springs and their tub have been closed for several years for maintenance, but they are expected to reopen soon—and we are thrilled to share our guide to this special place with you.


Lake Isabella Hot Springs
Lake Isabella Hot Springs

Isabella Hot Springs has been a popular destination for many years. The original concrete tub was installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and a new outhouse was added in 2014. Today, the site is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

The hot springs were first mentioned in print by naturalist Willis Linn Jepson in 1914. A 1919 article in Sunset magazine also featured Isabella hot springs as a travel destination. The springs were discovered in 1911 by workers building the dam that created Lake Isabella.

The site was rediscovered by a group of Boy Scouts in 1956, and the California State Parks System bought the land in 1963. The site was closed for maintenance after floods and vandalism in 1988 and 1998, but it finally reopened in 2007.

To make the hot springs more accessible, an old concrete tub was installed at the site in the 1920s or 1930s. Today, the tub remains, covered in metal siding.

Isabella Hot Springs has a fascinating history dating back to the early days of California’s statehood. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the area while soaking in the warm waters that have attracted people for so many years.

Lake Isabella Hot Springs

Isabella Hot Springs – Lake Isabella, California
Isabella Hot Springs – Lake Isabella, California

Nestled in the heart of Bakersfield, Isabella Hot Springs( a.k.a Lake Isabella Hot Springs) is a hidden gem that offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its mineral-rich water and steamy pools, this natural wonder is the ultimate destination for those seeking rejuvenation and relaxation.

At Isabella Hot Springs, guests can take their pick from three heated pools, each with varying temperatures that range from 104 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you prefer a dip in the mineral-rich pools or a soak in the cement pools, there is an abundance of pools to choose from. One of the pools even boasts a miniature waterfall that cascades water into the pool, providing a soothing sound that adds to the overall relaxation experience.

After a long soak in the hot spring pools, guests can explore the nearby hiking trails in Sequoia National Forest or take a dip in the ice water. For those who prefer a more rustic experience, Remington Hot Springs offers free primitive bathing further down the river.

It is important to note that guests must bring their own swimwear and that cash is the only accepted form of payment. Additionally, pets are not permitted within the water area. Before heading out, it is advisable to call ahead and ensure that the establishment is open. On-site RV parking or camping is not available at any time.

For those seeking the ultimate relaxation experience, Isabella Hot Springs also offers ice baths and bath tubs filled with mineral-rich water that provide therapeutic benefits. With its stunning natural beauty, abundance of pools, and variety of amenities, Isabella Hot Springs is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a natural escape that revitalizes the mind, body, and soul. 

RV Parking

There is no entry fee for this public recreation area, but there is a lot of RV activity on weekends. The hot springs are at the very back of the recreation area, so you can avoid most of the RV campers if you wish.

Camping and Hiking

Boondocking in Lake Isabella, CA - Photo: Mortons on the Move
Boondocking in Lake Isabella, CA – Photo: Mortons on the Move

Isabella Hot Springs is not just a natural wonder but also a great spot for camping. Sandy Flat Campground, located nearby, is one of the spots to camp and enjoy the beauty of the area. The campground is operated by the Sequoia National Forest Service Land and provides campers with a range of amenities, including campfire permits, camp stoves, and parking aprons.

Campers can choose from a variety of campsites, including Gulch Campground and Boulder Gulch Campground, both of which offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. There are also charming picnic spots at Bodfish Town and Silver City for those who are looking to relax and enjoy the scenery.

One of the popular activities in the area is hiking, and there are many trails to explore. The Hiking Trail is a favorite spot for many hikers, offering alluring views of the natural landscape. Visitors can also explore the Brandi Fenton Memorial Park View, which offers stunning views of the area.

At night, campers can enjoy late-night star gazing, as Isabella Hot Springs is located far from city lights. The stars are bright and the sky is clear, making it the perfect spot for astronomy enthusiasts.

Visitors can also enjoy the waters of Lake Isabella, which is perfect for boating and swimming. Campers can access the campsite through boats and enjoy the natural hot springs during the day. The hot springs are a great place to relax and unwind after a long day of hiking or exploring the area.

Overall, Isabella Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the natural wonders of the area. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a place to relax and unwind, Isabella Hot Springs has something for everyone.

In the Press

Recently, Isabella Hot Springs has been making quite a splash in the press.

The Arkansas Business Journal recently published an article highlighting the unique location of Isabella Hot Springs and the amenities it offers. It’s clear that the hot springs is quickly becoming a popular destination for those seeking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

At Isabella Hot Springs, you’ll find a variety of activities, from the Hobo Campground to nearby white water rafting. Google Maps makes it easy to locate the hot springs and plan a trip. There are also several government websites that provide information about the hot springs and the surrounding area.

How to Get There

Boat ramps at Lake Isabella open again after flood debris removal
Boat ramps at Lake Isabella open again after flood debris removal

Isabella Hot Springs is a beautiful and remote destination located near the southern end of Lake Isabella. Accessing the site can be challenging, but there are options available. The easiest way to get there is by boat, which can be launched from the north shore of Lake Isabella. Alternatively, it can be accessed via a three-mile hike from the Isabella Lake Resort.

Camping at the hot springs is free, but it is a primitive site with no facilities. Experienced campers who are equipped with their own water and cooking gear will enjoy the site best. For those who prefer more amenities, the Isabella Lake Resort offers several outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding.

In the past, the only way to get to Isabella Hot Springs was by driving down an unpaved and rough road. However, a new paved road has connected the hot springs back to Highway 155, making it more accessible. There is also an option to be driven out by the resort, which is a good option for those who aren’t up for an adventure.


Isabella Hot Springs provides a unique experience for visitors to connect with nature and take in the beauty of the Lake Isabella area. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful day of relaxation or an adventure-filled day of exploration, this destination has something for everyone.

Located on public lands, this popular spot offers a dirt parking area and a bath house for changing. The swimming pool, fed by mineral-rich hot springs, is a favorite activity among tourists. However, visitors should exercise caution as strong currents can be present in the Kern River.

For those seeking outdoor adventure, the nearby Sequoia National Forest offers opportunities for white water rafting and hiking on the many trails that surround Isabella Hot Springs. The campsite offers a range of amenities, including a boat launch and a concrete pool, with water levels that are maintained year-round.

Despite its popularity, visitors can still find a sense of peace and solitude, surrounded by the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The steamy pools and mineral-rich waters provide a unique natural experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

In conclusion, Isabella Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the best of what California has to offer. Whether you’re looking to relax or seek adventure, this location has it all. So make sure you add it to your list of places to visit and experience the beauty of Lake Isabella.

Weather forecast for next 5 days

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Local information

Address: 5838 Lake Isabella Blvd, Lake Isabella, California 93240
GPS: 35.62069,-118.474341
Phone: 213-280-6777




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.