Keough’s Hot Springs – Bishop, CA

Keough’s Hot Springs is a rustic hot springs along the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River that has been in constant use since at least the 1860s and possibly as early as the 1840s. In 2018, it reopened for day use, after a brief closure for repairs, and it is now a destination for hot spring enthusiasts.

Keough’s Hot Springs is a beautiful hot springs along the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River just outside Bishop, California. It’s remote enough that you’ll feel like you’re getting away from it all, but just close enough to civilization that getting there is easy and quick. The history of Keough’s Hot Springs is long and rich, dating back to the 1840s when miners first settled in this area.

The first bathhouse was built here in the late 1800s and soon thereafter became a popular destination for people looking to relax and soothe their weary bones. To get to Keough’s Hot Springs, you’ll need to drive about 32 miles west from Bishop on Highway 168. The road can be bumpy and rough at times but remains drivable with any normal passenger car. Here’s what you need to know to plan your visit.

Hot Springs, Hiking & Camping

Keough's Hot Springs – Bishop, California
Keough’s Hot Springs – Bishop, California

Keough’s Hot Springs has reopened for day use and camping. A $5 day use fee is collected onsite and some of the proceeds will go to maintenance and upkeep of Keough’s Hot Springs.

There are two rough dirt roads that lead to the hot springs, one is a 2WD road, the other is 4WD only. The 2WD road leads right to the hot springs and can accommodate any regular passenger car. There are no designated campsites at Keough’s Hot Springs but dispersed camping is allowed in the surrounding area.

Bishop Creek Canyon offers several hiking trails ranging from easy nature walks to more strenuous hikes through rugged terrain. For a complete list of trails, visit this page on the Bureau of Land Management website.

Keough’s Hot Springs has been in operation since 1919 and is known for its expansive hot springs, in addition to its provision of camping and a simple snack bar.

Hot Springs

Keough's Hot Springs – Bishop, California
Keough’s Hot Springs – Bishop, California

The resort features two enormous walled pools, supplied with natural hot spring water heated by geothermal activity. The water emerges from the ground at a scorching temperature of approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but is cooled down through a spray system, making it suitable for swimming and soaking.

The primary pool is a spacious concrete pool measuring roughly 100 by 40 feet, with varying depths of up to 8 feet. It maintains a comfortable temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for swimming and lounging. Meanwhile, the second pool, known as the Hot Pool, is a shallower and more intimate warm mineral spring pool, maintained at a higher temperature of approximately 127 degrees Fahrenheit.

Both pools are rich in 27 different minerals, providing guests with a rejuvenating and beneficial experience for their health. Water aerobics classes are available at Keough’s Hot Springs every day for a reasonable fee.

The hot springs pool area includes changing rooms, restrooms, lounge chairs, and outdoor picnic facilities. There’s even a snack bar where you can enjoy refreshments while lounging by the pool.

Keough’s Hot Springs features a Camp Store that offers a range of items for a pleasant and enjoyable day at the pools. These items include camping gear, souvenirs, and Keough’s Hot Springs merchandise.

Day use parking is available at Keough’s Hot Springs, with prices that vary depending on the season. Adult day passes are also available for purchase. Overall, Keough’s Hot Springs is an excellent destination for those looking to relax, rejuvenate, and soak in the natural beauty of the Eastern Sierra Nevada.


Campgrounds at Keough's Hot Springs – Bishop, California
Campgrounds at Keough’s Hot Springs – Bishop, California

Located in the heart of California’s Eastern Sierra, Keough’s Hot Springs is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. But, it’s not just the hot springs that make Keough’s a must-visit camping resort. The camping facilities here are top-notch and offer a range of options to suit your needs.

If you’re looking for a more rustic camping experience, Keough’s has a number of dry campsites available. These campsites are perfect for those who prefer to camp in a more natural setting, with nothing but tall shade trees and the sounds of nature to keep you company. The price for these campsites is fair, and there are plenty of camping supplies available on-site if you need anything.

For those who prefer a bit more comfort, Keough’s offers a number of campsites with water and electrical hookups. These campsites are perfect for RV enthusiasts, as they offer convenient parking right next to your campsite. The price for these campsites varies depending on the amenities you require, but they are all priced fairly.

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, consider staying in one of Keough’s cozy canvas wall tents. The tents are equipped with antique furnishings, bedding, a firepit, and a mini-fridge. They are perfect for those who want to experience camping in a more luxurious way.

If you’re just looking to spend the day at Keough’s, there is an admission fee for the hot springs. However, it’s worth noting that the hot springs have recently undergone a complete overhaul, and the degree water is now crystal clear and ready for your enjoyment. There is also day use parking available for those who just want to stop by for a quick visit.

In addition to the campsites and hot springs, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Keough’s. The resort has an RV park, fairgrounds camping, and even a Browns Town Campground. If you’re looking for campsites for tents, there are additional campsites available for your use.

Explore Nearby Attractions and Activities

Rock Climbing Half-Day in Mammoth Lakes
Rock Climbing Half-Day in Mammoth Lakes

Keough’s Hot Springs in Bishop, California, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking relaxation and adventure. But don’t stop there! The surrounding area is filled with exciting activities and attractions that cater to a variety of interests. Below are the top ways to enhance your visit to this beautiful region:

  1. Rock Climbing Half-Day in Mammoth Lakes Get your adrenaline pumping with a half-day rock climbing adventure in Mammoth Lakes. This experience is suitable for beginners and experienced climbers alike. Prices start at $450 per group (up to 2 people).
  2. Private Yosemite & Glacier Point SUV / Van Tour Explore the majestic Yosemite National Park and Glacier Point with a private guided tour. Enjoy the convenience of hotel pickup and personalized service. Prices begin at $975 per group (up to 4 people).
  3. Private Family Hike in Yosemite Bring the whole family along for a memorable hiking experience in Yosemite National Park. Tailored to your family’s preferences and skill levels, this adventure starts at $166.67 per adult.
  4. Jeep 4×4 Yosemite Park Tour with Hotel Pickup Discover the wonders of Yosemite National Park in a 4×4 Jeep tour. The tour includes hotel pickup and offers an exciting way to explore the park’s scenic routes. Prices start at $1,228 per group (up to 4 people).
  5. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park Self-Driving Audio Tour Experience the beauty of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks at your own pace with a self-driving audio tour. This affordable option costs $14.99 per group (up to 4 people).
  6. Private Guided Hiking Tours – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Embark on a private guided hiking tour through the breathtaking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Prices begin at $400 per group (up to 1 person).
  7. Private Guided Hiking Tour in Yosemite Explore the magnificent Yosemite National Park on a private guided hiking tour tailored to your preferences and skill level. Prices start at $250 per adult (price varies by group size).
  8. Yosemite Valley Private Hiking Tour Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yosemite Valley with a private hiking tour. Experience the best of the park’s scenery with a knowledgeable guide. Prices begin at $350 per adult (price varies by group size).
  9. Full-Day Small Group Yosemite & Glacier Point Tour Join a small group tour for a full-day excursion to Yosemite National Park and Glacier Point, including hotel pickup. This is an excellent option for travelers looking to meet new people and explore the park together. Prices start at $169 per adult.
  10. Semi-Private Yosemite Tour with Ahwahnee Lunch Experience Yosemite National Park in style with a semi-private tour, including lunch at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel. Enjoy hotel pickup and personalized service for a memorable day in the park. Prices begin at $250 per adult.

Make the most of your visit to Keough’s Hot Springs by exploring the many exciting attractions nearby. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or just want to relax and unwind, there’s something for everyone in Bishop, California.

Getting There

Keough’s Hot Springs is located along Highway 168, about 32 miles west of Bishop. The hot springs is located at the end of a short spur road off of Highway 168 and has ample parking in a gravel lot.

The hot springs has been around since at least the mid-1800s when miners first discovered the area. At that time, it was a simple bathhouse with a kitchen and accommodations for overnight guests. In the 1950s, the bathhouses were destroyed in a fire but were promptly rebuilt.

Keough’s Hot Springs remained in operation until 2014 when it closed down for repairs after a major storm caused heavy damage to buildings and trees. It reopened for day use in 2018 and is now open for visitors, though overnight stays are not available.

The hot springs remains rustic and unadorned but the buildings appear to be up to code and have been repaired from storm damage. Trees have been trimmed away from the buildings and fencing has been erected to protect visitors from wildlife wandering too close.

What to Bring

Keough’s Hot Springs has two pools, a large one and a small one, that are each fed by natural hot water rising up from the ground. The pools are open to the sky, so weather can affect your comfort level. If you plan to visit Keough’s in the winter months, bring a warm layer because temperatures can get below freezing.

If you visit in the summer, you’ll want to bring sunscreen, hats, and any other protective gear you need for hot springs. Be aware that Keough’s is a clothing-optional venue, so if you don’t feel comfortable disrobing in front of others, this may not be the place for you.

The pools are fed by natural hot water that is piped into a series of pipes and then overflow into the pools. You’ll need to adjust the flow by turning knobs at each pool to get just the right temperature for your liking. You’re free to bring your own towels or rent towels for a few dollars if you don’t want to leave yours behind.

Getting In

The hot springs are open 24 hours a day and are available for day use. A $10 fee is charged per person and includes use of the hot springs and river, access to the picnic area, as well as parking.

During the day, you can enter via the River Access Area or by driving to the Hot Springs Bathhouse. The River Access Area is open from 8 am to sunset and is located about half a mile downstream from the Bathhouse. During daylight hours, it is staffed by an attendant who checks in guests and collects fees. The Bathhouse is open from 8 am to 5 pm and you can check in at the front desk to pay fees.

If you’re planning to spend a night at Keough’s Hot Springs during your visit, you’ll need to drive another 2 miles north along Highway 168 to the BLM’s Keough’s Campground. There are no utilities at this campground but it does have potable water, outhouses, fire rings, and picnic tables. Reservations are highly recommended as sites fill up quickly during peak season; call (559) 565-4400 or email [email protected]

Exploring the Hotsprings

The main area of Keough’s Hot Springs is a large pavilion with ramadas, fire pits, picnic tables, and a large central hot pool. There is a smaller hot pool located upstream and downstream of the main pool. The springs are open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (9 p.m. in winter) from mid-May to mid-October and weekends only the rest of the year.

The springs can be accessed by either hiking or driving to the site. Driving is a better option for those with mobility issues or who have children or heavy coolers or bags to carry. It’s a bumpy dirt road that can easily be damaged by off-road vehicles, though it seems to be holding up well despite its rough condition.

While you’re here, don’t forget to explore the surrounding area and make sure to take a hike on the Keough’s Hot Springs Trail up Mt Abbotsford, which provides spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and valley below.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Keough’s Hot Springs is from June through September. During this time period, the temperature at the hot springs is perfect for soaking. Also, the best time to visit is after a big storm when the river levels are high and the water feels extra warm.

That being said, Keough’s Hot Springs does occasionally close for repairs, so it’s always a good idea to check before you head out there.

Keough’s is also a popular place for fishing and swimming in the summer months and accessing the surrounding trails for hiking and exploring in the fall months. Be aware that Keough’s is not open during winter.


There are several ways to enjoy Keough’s Hot Springs. You can rent a cabin, camp out, or visit during the day for a dip in the hot pools and a picnic along the river.

Keough’s has two campgrounds—one for RVs and the other for tents—as well as seven cabins that sleep two to eight people. Both the campground and cabins are open year-round and have pretty much everything you’ll need, including electricity and hot water. You’ll have access to the hot springs during your stay, as long as you don’t mind getting there before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

If you want to visit during the day, you can do so during Keough’s limited hours of operation. During summer months (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day), they’re open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. The rest of the year (September through March), hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday only. Admission is $15 per person, plus camping fees if you wish to spend the night, and children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult member of their immediate family (no maximum on children).

Bottom line

In conclusion, Keough’s Hot Springs is one of the most beautiful and serene places in the world. It is an oasis of relaxation and a place to connect with nature. With its hot springs, hiking trails, camping sites, wildlife viewing opportunities, and stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Keough’s Hot Springs has something for everyone.

Whether you are looking for a tranquil getaway or an adventurous outdoor experience, Keough’s Hot Springs should be at the top of your list. With its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere, it is sure to provide you with a unique and unforgettable experience.

Weather forecast for next 5 days

[simple-weather latitude=”37.25416″ longitude=”-118.376537″ days=”5″ night=”yes”
units=”imperial” text_align=”right” display=”block” style=”large-icons”]

Local information

Address: 800 Keough Hot Springs Rd, Bishop, California 93514
GPS: 37.25416,-118.376537
Phone: 760-872-4670
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.