Shepherd Hot Springs – Mammoth Lakes, CA

A natural wonder located in Mammoth Lakes, California, Shepherd Hot Springs is a hidden gem that attracts visitors looking for a peaceful escape. This undeveloped hot springs is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and boasts therapeutic properties due to its high mineral content.

Discovered by settlers in the late 1800s, Shepherd Hot Springs contains minerals like sulfur, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium, which are believed to have a calming effect on the body and mind, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. The water temperature is perfect for a soothing soak, ranging from hot to warm, depending on the location.

To get to Shepherd Hot Springs, visitors can take the unmarked dirt road off Benton Crossing Road, which leads to a dirt parking lot. From there, it’s a short hike to the hot springs, which are located on public lands. Alternatively, visitors can use Google Maps to find the hot springs or ask locals for directions.

While visiting Shepherd Hot Springs, visitors can also check out other natural hot springs in the area, such as Hilltop Hot Springs, Buckeye Hot Springs, and Wild Willy’s. Most of these hot springs are accessible via dirt roads and require a short hike. Visitors are advised to bring water shoes, as the terrain can be rocky and slippery.

Overall, Shepherd Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the therapeutic benefits of natural hot springs while enjoying the beauty of Mammoth Lakes. The area is also a popular spot for hiking, biking, fishing, and camping, with several campgrounds located nearby, such as Juniper Springs Resort and the Green Church. So, pack your bags and head to Mammoth Lakes for an unforgettable experience.


Shepherd Hot Springs – Mammoth Lakes, California
Shepherd Hot Springs – Mammoth Lakes, California

Nestled in the beautiful mountain views of Mammoth Lake, Shepherd Hot Springs offers geothermal waters to make it a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate after a long journey.

To reach this oasis of tranquility and relaxation, you will need to turn off the dirt road and pass the green church. Shepherd Hot Springs is easily accessible from any direction, and you’ll find parking lots just outside the entrance.

As you prepare for your experience, don’t forget to bring water shoes and check on cell service before entering. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by the warm temperatures ranging from 104-108°F (40-42°C) of the numerous springs. You can explore the area as far as you want, but be sure to observe safety precautions!

The hot springs camping area offers tent camping and larger pools to soak in. You can also enjoy a relaxing soak in the rock tub while taking in all of nature’s beauty around you. The water temp is perfect for a soothing and calming experience.

Shepherd Hot Springs is a perfect retreat for anyone seeking a natural and serene environment. It’s a great place to unwind, relax, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. So, pack your bags and head to Shepherd Hot Springs for an unforgettable experience!

Accessing The Hot Springs

Shepherd Hot Springs, located just 20 minutes from Mammoth Lakes, is an easily accessible natural hot spring. Although the final 0.5 miles is on a dirt road, it doesn’t require a high-clearance vehicle or four-wheel drive.

Here are a few key points to bear in mind when planning your trip:

  • Shepherd Hot Springs can be accessed from several nearby campgrounds and RV parks, including Mammoth Mountain RV Park, McGee Creek RV Park & Campground and Owens River Campground.
  • The hot springs feature several tubs of varying temperatures that offer amazing mountain views.
  • The water source for the hot springs is actually underground thermal springs that have been naturally heated by the volcanic activity of Long Valley Caldera which lies nearby.
  • Accessing the hot spring requires a short hike from the parking lot down to where it’s located.
  • There are no facilities at Shepherd Hot Springs; visitors should bring their own supplies such as towels, chairs and refreshments.

The experience of visiting Shepherd Hot Springs is not one to be missed. From its peaceful location surrounded by lush greenery to its healing waters with natural volcanic minerals, it’s an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Hot Tub And Hot Water Temperature

Brown's Owens River Campground
Brown’s Owens River Campground

Shepherd Hot Springs is like a hidden oasis in the wilderness of Mammoth Lakes. It’s a small hot tub, made entirely of concrete, that can fit up to four people comfortably and its water temperature is naturally sourced from the geothermal source beneath it.

The water reaches 135°F at its hottest but cools down to a pleasant 100°F once in the tub, allowing bathers to relax and take in the stunning views of the Sierra Mountains and the expansive marshland surrounding it.

The primitive parking lot on West End Road provides easy access for visitors who want to experience the healing power of this geothermal wonder. They can bring their own reusable water bottle and fill it with Shepherd Hot Springs’ mineral-rich drinking water which is safe for human consumption.

And for Spanish Español ES speakers, there are also plenty of educational resources available near Mammoth Village that offer helpful information about enjoying this unique hot spring experience.

Hiking Trails

Shepherd Hot Springs located near several trail heads
Shepherd Hot Springs located near several trail heads

The pleasure of exploring Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California extends beyond the comfort of the hot tub and its pleasant water temperature. The area is home to hiking trails that offer spectacular views and are suitable for a variety of skill levels.

The gravel paths and trails that run along the edge of the lake provide a great opportunity to explore the local wildlife and vegetation.

Depending on the weather conditions, visitors may find themselves walking through cold or windy weather, or may be able to enjoy pleasant temperatures with stunning views of the scenery.

In the summer, the Sierra Nevada is a hiker’s paradise, with trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging backcountry routes. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely walk, you’ll find a trail that suits your needs. Mountain bikers will also find plenty of challenging terrain in the Sierra Nevada, with trails ranging from smooth, flowy singletrack to rocky, technical descents.

In the winter, the Sierra Nevada transforms into a winter wonderland, with ski resorts such as Mammoth Mountain offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. From groomed runs to backcountry powder, there’s something for every level of skier and snowboarder in the Sierra Nevada.

No matter what time of year you visit, the Sierra Nevada has something for everyone. From hot springs and hiking in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, you’ll find endless ways to explore and enjoy the great outdoors in this stunning region of California.

Accommodations Nearby

Juniper Springs Resort, just a short drive
Juniper Springs Resort, just a short drive

The range of accommodation options near Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California, is dizzying. From excellent resorts to lush meadows and springs accessible from parking lots, the region offers something for everyone.

Take Juniper Springs Resort, for example; an oasis of tranquillity surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a romantic getaway.

Alternatively, the Mammoth Lakes Hot Springs provide a stunning view of the valley and a chance to relax in soothing mineral waters. If you’re looking for something more rustic, consider one of the nearby campgrounds such as Convict Lake or Owen River Campground.

For those looking for a budget-friendly adventure, there are often great flight deals available to the area and camping can be an inexpensive option for exploring Shepherd Hot Springs geological site and its environs.

Whether you’re looking for luxury or serenity on your journey to this beautiful corner of California, there’s something here to suit every taste.

Camping Options

Mammoth Campground
Mammoth Campground

Campers wishing to explore Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California have a few options available.

A dirt parking lot near the spring is located off Benton Crossing Road, as well as another dirt lot located off Whitmore Tubs Road.

Both locations are accessible by most clearance vehicles and provide no-frills camping opportunities perfect for those looking for an adventure.

For a more immersive experience, Wild Willy’s campground is only a short distance away in Malad City, Idaho.

The campground offers Spanish (español) translation services and provides a comprehensive guide to the nearby Shepherd Hot Springs Geological Site Mammoth Lakes, California.

With its stunning landscapes and proximity to nature, Shepherd Hot Springs provides campers with the opportunity to explore and reconnect with the outdoors.

Interesting Facts

Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California is a location full of interesting facts and figures. One of the most impressive is that it is over 250 feet deep, making it one of the deepest hot springs in the area.

Located at an altitude of 8,150 feet, this site offers a wide range of activities in both summer and winter. It’s also the perfect place to get away from cell phones and other electronics, as there are no offline maps available. Altitude sickness may present itself when visiting Shepherd Hot Springs due to its high elevation.

However, visitors can find plenty to do in the area such as exploring nearby Benton Crossing or Hot Creek. In addition, there are several hot pools that beckon travelers to take a dip and enjoy some relaxation time.

During the winter months, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing or skiing while taking in some amazing views. All these activities make Shepherd Hot Springs an ideal spot for a weekend getaway or longer vacation.

Nearby Attractions

Glass Mountain Ridge, a near by attraction for climbers and hikers
Glass Mountain Ridge, a near by attraction for climbers and hikers

Experience the exhilarating adventure of exploring Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California. Nestled in the Eastern Sierra, this destination offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a scenic road trip from San Francisco and discover the natural beauty of this undeveloped hot spring.

Soda Springs is a must-see attraction for those seeking to connect with nature. Accessible only via a dirt path, this hidden gem is perfect for smaller groups or families with vehicles that fit 5-7 people. The journey to reach the springs is an adventure in itself, complete with cattle guards and unpaved roads.

While the hot springs are a year-round destination, winter unveils its true beauty. The snow-capped Sierra mountains provide a stunning backdrop for camping, surrounded by breathtaking views of Glass Mountain Ridge. Visitors can take advantage of the nearby ski resort town of Mammoth Hot Springs, or explore the historic lodge and Hot Creek Hatchery.

For those seeking a unique camping experience, the Benton Hot Springs Campground is just a short drive away. This Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land offers a tranquil setting to unwind and connect with nature. Alternatively, take a day trip to Yosemite National Park or Lake Tahoe for an unforgettable adventure.

Mammoth Yosemite Airport provides easy access to this attractive ski town, located just off Highway 395. The nearby Hot Creek Geological Site offers a glimpse into the area’s volcanic past, while the Crab Cooker provides a unique dining experience for those seeking to indulge in local cuisine.

No trip to Shepherd Hot Springs is complete without visiting the Bodie Ghost Town. This preserved gold-mining town offers a glimpse into California’s rich history. Whether you’re seeking an escape from city life or planning international trips, Shepherd Hot Springs is the perfect destination for those seeking adventure and natural beauty.

What To Pack

Exploring Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California is an adventure that requires some preparation. Packing for a trip to the springs is like packing for a winter journey – you need to be ready for all weather conditions that may arise.

It’s important to ensure you have plenty of water, as well as any extra cost items you may need along the way.

The road to the springs is unpaved and can only be accessed by passenger vehicles; it’s a dirt road that fits 5-7 people comfortably.

The drive from town takes about a minute to reach the Shepherd Hot Springs Geological Site.

Be sure to keep an eye out for any wildlife or scenery along the way, and remember to always abide by park rules for your own safety.

Tips For Visiting Shepherd Hot Springs

Shepherd Hot Springs is a geological site located in Mammoth Lakes, California. It is an international destination for those seeking the beauty of nature and a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Here are some tips to consider when planning your trip:

  1. Take a dirt road off the interstate – A great way to explore Shepherd Hot Springs is via a dirt road off the interstate. This will give you a chance to take in all the amazing views that this part of California has to offer.
  2. Visit during winter – Winter travel to Shepherd Hot Springs can be an unforgettable experience. The lake campground is only a short 10-minute drive away and there are often fantastic deals on accommodation during this time of year.
  3. Bring friends or family – Exploring Shepherd Hot Springs with friends or family can be even more enjoyable than going alone. Find a real camping spot in the area and make it an adventure you’ll remember for years to come!

When visiting Shepherd Hot Springs, it is important to be mindful of the area’s fragile meadows and wildlife. While the springs are accessible year-round, the months between December and May are considered ideal for winter travel due to the snow-covered mountains and pleasant weather. During summer months, visitors can take advantage of outdoor pools or explore nearby springs.

Wild Willy’s or Convict Lake Campground are two popular spots for campers who want to stay in the area. Wild Willy’s offers no-frills camping with access to hot spring tubs while Convict Lake Campground offers 2-3 camping spots with views of the lake. For those looking for a more out-of-the way experience , the 4th and 6th dirt roads lead to hot springs near the Mammoth Lakes Airport.

No matter what time of year you visit Shepherd Hot Springs, be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks and supplies. A 20-minute drive east will take visitors to the airport while a 25-minute drive west leads to nearby Mammoth Lakes. Exploring this area is an experience like no other and can be enjoyed in any season – from snowy winters for winter activities to beautiful views during the summer months. So come experience beauty and relaxation at Shepherd Hot Springs!


Shepherd Hot Springs, located in Mammoth Lakes, California, is a hidden gem that offers a natural and undeveloped hot spring experience. To get there, visitors must take an unmarked road off of Benton Crossing Road. This secluded location provides stunning views of the eastern Sierra mountains and a peaceful atmosphere for soaking in the hot springs.

The hot springs range in depth from ankle-deep to over six feet deep, and the water temperature varies depending on the specific spring. Visitors are advised to bring extra clothes, flip flops, and drinking water, as there are no facilities nearby. The area is also popular for camping and hiking, with nearby attractions such as the historic Tamarack Lodge and ski lifts for winter sports.

Overall, Shepherd Hot Springs is an excellent choice for those seeking a natural and undeveloped hot spring experience. The unmarked road and lack of facilities provide a secluded atmosphere, while the beautiful mountain views and pleasant temperatures make it a relaxing outdoor experience. Visitors should come prepared with the necessary supplies for a comfortable stay, and they can also explore nearby attractions for a well-rounded trip.

Weather forecast for next 5 days

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Local information

Address: Mammoth Lakes, California 93546
GPS: 37.666921,-118.805553
Open: Year-round
Clothing: Optional




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.