When it comes to hot springs near San Jose, you can't go wrong with Mercey Hot Springs.
Both the outdoor and indoor baths are small, one-person tubs, so you can enjoy the thermal water while it is still fresh.
Casa de Fruta
It takes less than two hours to drive from downtown San Jose to Mercey Hot Springs.
Casa de Fruta is located halfway between the two and is a good place to take a break.
Locally grown vegetables, fruits, and nuts are displayed throughout, and even wine tastings are available.
Leaving Interstate 5, I thought I saw an oasis in the desolate desert, and it was the Mercey Hot Springs.
The San Andreas Fault, which forms the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates, runs nearby.
Originally known to the Native Americans, the hot springs did not appear in history until 1848.
During the pioneer days of the West, it was a stronghold of outlaws known as the Five Joaquins Gang.
The spa resort was built in 1912 after John N. Merci sold the land to a San Francisco real estate agent.
Some buildings remain as they were and have been renovated and used.
The hot springs had camping sites and cabins for overnight stays.
The cabin I stayed in was modest, just barely fitting one bed, like this.
In the first place, there is not even electricity in the area, and since the area is self-sufficient in solar power generation, we cannot afford to be extravagant.
First, let's take a look at the areas where swimsuits are required.
The swimming pool can be seen as soon as you enter.
The water was lukewarm, with no features that can be felt, as if no thermal water was used.
There was also a smell of chlorine, which was not recommended for hot spring enthusiasts.
The sauna building was located beside the pool.
If this were all, it would be a typical spa, but the real value of Mercey Hot Springs lies in the personal tubs.
Many sunshades lined the space elevated above the pool.
Small one-person tubs were lined up under sunshades.
When I twisted the faucet, the thermal water came out of the red hose and cold water came out of the blue hose.
The spring water was clear and colorless, but the sulfur smell rises softly, giving a sense of a great hot spring.
For those who feel that wearing a swimsuit is not very elegant, no matter how good the water is, I recommend the clothing optional area.
This one was on a wooden deck, fenced in behind the cabins.
Even though it was clothing optional, it was separated into individual tubs, so you don't have to worry too much.
The water temp was 118 degrees F at the gushing point.
By the time the tab was filled, it was at the right temperature, but I had the impression that it warmed more than the temperature.
This was probably due to the high salt content.
It is best to avoid visiting during the hottest part of the year.
On the other hand, the temperature drops dramatically at night in the desert, making it very comfortable to soak while gazing at the starry sky.
Guests may use the private indoor baths at a specified time (no additional charge).
The historic bathhouse.
The floor in front of the two bathrooms had a beautiful pattern that resembled a lizard.
This tiled bathroom looked like it had been recently renovated and smelled like brand-new wood.
The other bathroom had a slight oriental flavor, with a rock wall near the water outlet.
Look at this!
The elaborate decorations on the benches in the bathrooms and the lizard pattern mentioned earlier suggested that this was once an upscale spa resort, even though it now has the atmosphere of a rustic campground.
The pipe protruded near the surface of the water and drained well from the tabs, even when left running.
It was a blissful moment for hot spring enthusiasts to enjoy the excellent quality of water in a small tub.
Mercey Hot Springs, Firebaugh, California, U.S.
Type: Lodging, Walk-in
Rule: Clothing optional, Clothing required, Private pool
Chlorination: Yes (Large pool), Not detected (other)
Water temp: Up to 118 degrees F