This hot spring produced the building materials for San Francisco City Hall.
It is well worth seeing and is one of California's most famous wild hot springs.
Tub next to the parking lot
Access to Travertine Hot Springs was easy.
I took the dirt road a little south of where Route 395 turns in Bridgeport.
One mile of a dirt road in good condition.
As long as it is not muddy, normal cars should be able to drive on it.
The area around the hot springs was managed by the BLM and included a picnic area and a pit toilet.
Adjacent to the parking lot was this concrete tub that can accommodate about three soakers.
From a minuscule source, the water gushed out bubblingly on its own, and it poured into the tub through a narrow channel.
Given that Travertine Hot Springs is often featured on Instagram, expect it to be basically crowded on holidays.
The only hidden spot where you might be able to avoid the crowds is this pool.
I found it a short distance down the hill I drove and into the grass on the left.
The water temp was lukewarm and there were soft mud deposits at the bottom.
There were a few pools scattered around the area, but they were shallow and no other places suitable for soaking could be found.
Mystical travertine dome
This is the travertine, a long, narrow hill that lies dividing the gentle slope.
Travertine is a type of limestone that accumulates around mineral springs and is formed by the rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate in the water.
San Francisco City Hall - Dale Cruse (2022)
CC BY 2.0
In the 1890s, 60 tons of travertine was mined here and used for the interiors of magnificent buildings, including San Francisco City Hall.
The Paiute tribe of Native Americans considered the area sacred, and although it was destroyed, the hot springs still flow.
The elongated shape of this hill is due to the fact that as the geothermal water flows over the surface, the components accumulate on both sides of the flow path.
There was a fissure at the top of the hill, through which the hot water flowed.
The water temp at the gushing point was 151 degrees F.
The hot water cooled naturally while flowing along the fissure.
At the end were four artificially created pools, three of which were kept at a comfortable temperature.
The water was accompanied by a weak metallic smell.
I soaked while admiring the mystical travertine dome.
It was no wonder that soakers and spectators came incessantly.
Travertine Hot Springs, Bridgeport, California, U.S.
Rule: Clothing optional
Water temp: Up to 151 degrees F