Shepherd Hot Springs – Mammoth Lakes, California

If you’re in search of a natural oasis in the Sierra Nevada, look no further than Shepherd Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, California. Nestled in the Long Valley Caldera region, this small-scale hot spring pool offers breathtaking 360 views and is a must-see for any soaking enthusiast.

Unlike other hot springs in the area, Shepherd Hot Springs is an ungoverned recreational location that is maintained solely by volunteers, giving it a more natural and free atmosphere. Despite its cozy stature, this hot spring draws much attention due to its sensational views of the Sierra Mountains and its location on the border of an expansive marshland.

Experience the Magic of Shepherd Hot Springs

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

Shepherd Hot Springs isn’t known for its size, but what it lacks in magnitude it makes up for in its unique hot spring tub. This compact, artificial tub is made entirely of concrete and features built-in ledges that serve as benches for soakers to sit back, relax, and let their troubles melt away. With a depth of only two feet, the tub can comfortably fit up to four people, or six if you don’t mind getting up close and personal with your soaking buddies.

The water in the tub is naturally sourced from the ground at a piping hot 135°F, but cools down to a more comfortable 100°F range once it reaches the tub. There’s also a valve to help adjust the temperature to your liking, so you can have the perfect soak every time.

But what really sets this hot spring tub apart is the mineral-rich water that is believed to have therapeutic properties. Many people come to Shepherd Hot Springs for its natural healing properties, and some even claim that the water has helped to alleviate their aches and pains. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, rejuvenation, or simply a chance to unwind in the great outdoors, Shepherd Hot Springs is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Escape to the Wilderness in the Heart of California

Escape to the wilderness in the heart of California by following these directions: start on the US-395 S, turn left onto Benton Crossing Road and continue for 1.1 miles, at the fork turn left onto Whitmore Tubs Road and continue for 2 miles, and take a right onto the dirt road until you find the parking lot and hot spring tub. Just keep in mind that the roads may be closed during periods of heavy snowfall.

Find Your Perfect Camping Spot Near the Hot Springs

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

If you’re planning on camping during your visit to Shepherd Hot Springs, there are plenty of options to choose from. The hot spring is surrounded by dispersed campsites, offering a more rustic and secluded camping experience. Keep in mind that not all areas allow camping, such as on delicate marshland or in the parking lots, so be sure to check for signs before setting up shop. Additionally, there are no facilities for campers, so be sure to come prepared with everything you need for a comfortable stay.

For those seeking a more established campsite, there are several campgrounds located nearby. The closest campground to the hot springs is Brown’s Owens River Campground, which offers sites for tents and travel trailers. Another popular choice is Mammoth Mountain RV Park, which is also located nearby and has sites for both tents and RVs. Both campgrounds offer amenities such as restrooms and showers, making them a convenient and comfortable choice for those looking for a more traditional camping experience.

For a more luxurious experience, Shepherd Hot Springs is located just 20 minutes from Mammoth Lakes, where you’ll find plenty of snazzy and laid-back accommodations to suit your fancy. No matter how you choose to experience Shepherd Hot Springs, one thing is for certain: you’ll leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world.

Hot Springs Day Trip

If you’re short on time but still want to experience the magic of Shepherd Hot Springs, a hot springs day trip is the perfect solution. Located just 20 minutes from Mammoth Lakes, the hot spring is easily accessible and offers a convenient way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

To make the most of your hot springs day trip, be sure to come prepared with everything you need for a comfortable soak. Pack a towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, and a change of clothes, and don’t forget to bring water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized. And if you’re planning on camping, be sure to check for signs and follow Leave No Trace principles to protect the natural beauty of the area.

Exploring Sierra Nevada, the Hikers’ Paradise

No visit to Shepherd Hot Springs would be complete without exploring the stunning Sierra Nevada region. From the breathtaking views of the Sierra Mountains to the expansive marshland that surrounds the hot spring, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to take in.

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.

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Local information

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