To put it in words us non-scientists can actually understand, a hot spring is a natural pool of water that remains warm (or steaming hot, depending) thanks to the heat from the Earth's crust. While there are many breathtaking hot springs around the world, not all are safe to take a dip in. For example, most of us are familiar with Yellowstone's Morning Glory hot spring thanks to it being naturally colored with different oranges, greens, and blues. However, Morning Glory is only meant for looking at because it's about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 10 hot springs below are safe to take a dip in and can be reached by outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a hot tub without the tub. While some have been catered to, specifically to make tourists feel like they're at a spa (and may come with a fee) — others are left to nature.
10 HOMESTEAD CRATER HOT SPRINGS: UTAH
Utah is known for its gorgeous views of red rock mountains and formations but it's also home to the Homestead Crater Hot Springs — a 10,000-year-old crater.
After sow melted within the mountain, the water created a crater-like formation where it feels like you're swimming in a cave. Due to the uniqueness of the formation, Homestead Resort bought the land and charges people to take a dip if they choose to do so.
9 PENNY HOT SPRINGS: COLORADO
Colorado is a nature lover's heaven. Filled with hiking trails and ski slopes, there's something to do all year round in Colorado.
Over in Carbondale (near Aspen), you can find the Penny Hot Springs among the mountains, which are about two feet deep. Back in the day clothing was not required but over time there have been a few complaints, so be sure to don a bathing suit!
8 CHENA HOT SPRINGS: ALASKA
Just two hours from Fairbanks are the Chena Hot Springs. Once being a place of rest for Native Americans, it's now a place of rest for those visiting and exploring Alaska.
Due to its popularity, the Chena Hot Springs is owned by a resort but you don't need to stay at the resort to take a dip. There is a fee to use the springs but it's totally worth it around fall and winter when the Northern Lights can be seen come nightfall.
7 JORDAN HOT SPRINGS: NEW MEXICO
When visiting New Mexico, head over to Gila National Forest and find the Little Bear Canyon Trail — this will be the quickest (and easiest) way to finding the Jordan Hot Springs. It may look like a short pool just north of the river, but it's actually a natural hot spring that gets as hot as 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
This hot spring gets pretty popular in the warmer months when people want to be outside, but going in the cooler months will make the hot springs come alive. However, Backpackers suggested not putting your head under the water. Since the hot springs aren't really regulated or controlled, there may be organisms can be harmful if ingested.
6 MYSTIC HOT SPRINGS: UTAH
Over in Monroe, Utah, the Mystic Hot Springs can get up to 168 degrees Fahrenheit! Known as an "oasis in the desert," the springs are over 100 years old and are around two to four feet deep.
The area has added cabins to stay at nearby for camping and even created hot spring tubs to soak in. Relaxing in these springs is a great idea for tired muscles and if you soak at night you can even see the Milky Way!
5 GOLDBUG HOT SPRINGS: IDAHO
Also known as Elk Bend, Goldbug Hot Springs can be found off Highway 93; just look for the 282-mile marker. You'll walk about two miles until you reach the hot springs, which overlook the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Unlike some of the other hot springs on this list, it's not apart of a resort so it's not as crowded as the others.
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These beautiful pools are also filled by local waterfalls, giving you the perfect backdrop to soak and relax before hiking the two-mile trek home.
4 TRAVERTINE HOT SPRINGS: CALIFORNIA
Find the Travertine Hot Springs inside California State Park. Overlooking cliffs and valleys, bathers will get a stunning view of the Sierras as they soak those sore muscles in water that's around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Clothing is optional at these springs so be prepared for other hikers taking a soak on their travels as well!
3 HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK: ARKANSAS
When there's a national park named Hot Springs, you know you're in for a treat. Like many hot springs, these were discovered by tribes and became a focal point for many natives as a place to unwind and relax.
There are 47 hot springs to visit inside this park and is practically a spa town. Known as "Bathhouse Row," there are eight historic buildings visitors can view to get a little history on the land before venturing to the hot springs.
2 TRAIL CREEK HOT SPRINGS: IDAHO
Idaho may just be America's best-kept secret when it comes to hot springs. Instead of visiting springs that are professionally landscaped, head into nature to find Trail Creek in all its glory. You're going to have to hike a bit, but it's worth it.
There are two pools surrounded by trees that reach up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit. If that seems too hot to swim in, there's a neighboring river that also flows into the pool, cooling it down from time to time. Near Cascade, you can find the hot springs at the end of Trail Creek path.
1 DEEP CREEK HOT SPRINGS: CALIFORNIA
So, taking a dip in a hot spring may not sound like the most relaxing idea after hiking throughout California (one of America's warmest States), but it's a paradise when hiking in the fall and winter months.
You can find these hot springs inside the San Bernardino National Forest, about three miles from Bowen Ranch. Once you've found your way to the springs, there are about six pools you can relax in!