Orr Hot Springs Resort – Ukiah, California

When it comes to natural hot springs in Northern California, Orr Hot Springs is one of the most popular destinations for soaking in the tub. Orr Hot Springs has been around for a very long time and has seen many changes over the years (both good and bad).

When you first arrive at Orr Hot Springs you’ll be greeted by a large wooden sign that says “Orr Resort.” This is somewhat of a misnomer as the hot springs are not technically part of the resort, but rather a free public hot springs that is on the property.

A word of caution: Don’t be fooled by the sign that says “Orr Resort.” Yes, there is a resort on the property, but these springs are free to visit and not associated with them (though they’re open 24/7). There is plenty of parking and you can walk right up to the tubs. If you go, just be respectful to their rules (which aren’t too strict).

The Orr Hot Springs Tub

Orr Hot Springs Resort | Northern California
Orr Hot Springs Resort | Northern California

The Orr Hot Springs Tub is a large concrete pool that is fed by a hot spring. The pool is 7 ft deep and features a small waterfall, multiple faucets for adding water, and a raised bench that allows you to soak without having to bend over (very nice!).

The pool is large enough for several people to soak at once, but if you want the pool to yourself, it’s best to visit early in the morning or late at night. The hot springs are also frequented by locals who come to swim in the river, so you may end up sharing the space with other people.

There’s no charge for soaking in the Orr Hot Springs Tub and it’s open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Make sure to bring some flip-flops with you as there is no way to keep the tub clean if everyone walks around barefoot. There are also no towels available, so be sure to bring your own or plan to get wet.

The Hot Springs Tub With Rocks

Hot Springs with Rocks at Orr Hot Springs Resort
Hot Springs with Rocks at Orr Hot Springs Resort

The second hot springs tub is known as the rocks tub, and it is located on the other side of the large open grass area. The rocks tub is fed by a smaller spring that emits a temperature of 104-108 degrees (Fahrenheit) and is a bit larger than the first tub.

This hot springs tub also has a rock wall built into it with stairs leading up to the hot water. This tub is not as popular as the first because it isn’t fed by the large main spring, which means the water doesn’t stay as hot for very long. During off-peak times you can usually find a spot here, but during prime hours you will want to visit the first tub.

If you do visit this soaking spot I recommend bringing your own mat since there are no mats provided here and there aren’t any stairs or seating that are very easy to access. You can also access this tub through the Orr Resort, which has its own private entrance to it.

Trees Growing Over the Hot Springs

Big trees at Orr Hot Springs Resort
Big trees at Orr Hot Springs Resort

One of the most interesting things about Orr Hot Springs is that the hot springs are so large and have been around for so long that the surrounding redwoods have grown directly over the springs. The trees literally grow right out of the springs and it’s an amazing sight to see.

If you’re lucky (or patient), you’ll get to see a few people climbing around in these massive trees. These adventurous souls have attached ropes to the trees, secured them to their harnesses, and are able to climb around in them like it’s no big deal.

The trees that surround the springs give an unrefined, rustic feel to the area. There are no manicured lawns, no concrete walkways, and no buildings. The hot springs are surrounded by dirt and trees, and you’ll likely be sharing the grounds with deer, bunnies, and various birds.

Orr Hot Springs is one of the few places where you can observe nature while soaking in a natural hot spring. It’s a unique experience that is unlike visiting any kind of resort spa.

The tub itself has a large wooden deck around it with some benches. There’s plenty of space to spread out your towel so you can get settled in comfortably. Also, there are plenty of trees around the tub area so you can set up your towels without worrying about sun exposure (though much of the area gets some sun during the day).

Be aware that there’s a small amount of poison oak around the hot springs (as it is in many places in Ukiah). It doesn’t grow right up to the tubs, but rather is off in the distance along the edges of the property. So if you’re one who likes to soak in your birthday suit, be sure to cover up with a towel or two. You can also soak with your swimsuit on and then just dry off before putting your clothes back on.

Orr Hot Springs From Above

Orr Hot Springs is located in Ukiah, California, just a short drive from Willits on the property of Orr Meadows Resort. The resort features a large RV park and cabin rentals, as well as numerous lakes for fishing and hiking trails.

There is no fee to visit the hot springs at Orr Meadows, though there are some rules that you should be aware of before you go. The most important rule is to be respectful of the springs and other guests by not bringing alcohol or glass containers. Additionally, bathing suits must be worn at all times (though this rule is mainly for men).

Orr Hot Springs is a great place to relax and unwind with your friends and family members. There are no lifeguards on duty, so it’s up to you to watch out for yourself and those around you (which can actually be a good thing, as people tend to be more careful when they aren’t being watched over).

Orr Hot Springs has three soaking tubs in total. The largest tub is a large metal tank that can hold several people at once. This tub also features an electric heater that makes the water quite comfortable during both summer and winter months. The other two tubs are smaller wooden structures built above the large tank. These smaller tubs have no heaters, but they are still quite relaxing with natural soothing hot water coming up from below.

Lodging & camping

The Property - Orr Hot Springs Resort
The Property – Orr Hot Springs Resort

At the Orr Hot Springs Resort, guests have the option of either camping or staying in one of the various rooms. On the premises, visitors have the option to rent one of several sleeping accommodations, including yurts, cabins, rooms, campsites, and even The Creekhouse.

Each one requires a minimum stay of multiple nights, in addition to having expenses associated with bathing and the usage of communal facilities. Campers have until 6 o’clock to check in and begin setting up their sites for the night.

There is also room for one vehicle to camp close to the restrooms at this location. In the main parking lot, sleeping in vehicles is not permitted at any time.

Side notes

As you pull up to the hot springs, you’ll see a small parking lot on your right. There is no fee to park here, but only a few spots are available. The majority of the parking is found down the road at the Orr Resort.

If you do park here, be sure to be respectful of their rules as stated on the sign. The sign is there to protect the hot springs so please follow their wishes.

You can either walk down a short dirt road or walk down an old gravel road that’s now overgrown with grass. Either way, it will lead you to an area where several private tubs are surrounded by a wooden fence.

The hot springs are about 20 yards away from the road and fence, so privacy is limited. This doesn’t mean it’s not a beautiful area as there are plenty of trees and vegetation that surround the springs.

You may notice there is a large blue tarp covering one of the spring areas. There was some flooding in 2017 that caused some damage to the area and it has not been restored yet, but everything else is still usable (there are 8 different areas in total).

Bottom line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for something more upscale with hotel amenities, then this isn’t the place for you. However, if you love being outdoors in nature and soaking in a natural hot spring surrounded by trees and wildlife, then Orr Hot Springs Resort is one of the best places to visit in Northern California

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Local information

Address: 13201 Orr Springs Rd, Ukiah, California 95482
GPS: 39.229961,-123.366378
Phone: 707-462-6277
Season: Year-round
Website: orrhotsprings.org