AN ECLECTIC RESOURCE FOR DEATH VALLEY KNOWLEDGE, ODDITIES, STORIES, and MOVIES

Saline Valley Hot Springs Campground

Right in the middle of the very secluded Saline Valley are wonderful soaking springs, complete with campground, lush lawns, palm trees, and water temperatures in the low 100s. Several hot tubs are built into the ground. This has become a popular recreational locale since the second world war. Records of earlier usage are vague.

Although the scorching summer months may not be the time of year that most would envision such a relaxing activity, these springs may be just the ticket in the middle of cooler winters, where snows blanket the surrounding mountains. The formal outhouse way out here in the middle of nowhere can be a lifesaver for brave travelers in such remote territory.

It seems strange to find this hot spring oasis in such otherwise barren country. These springs are a long way from anywhere, and roads can range from wide graded dirt to horrible 4wd nightmares depending upon which entry point we use, or if the weather of the moment or recent past has been wet and snowy.

There are four roads in, and two are usually easy, but washboarded (North Pass and South Pass), and the other two are for experts only (Steel Pass and Lippencott). Please also be advised that you may well see unclothed humans strutting about in this realm, as clothing is optional. Your first clue to this is a large posted sign that reads: BARE CROSSING.

You have to be a little “out there” to enjoy this campground area to the fullest. One thing is certain, the views of the natural world are great, especially if you gaze westward towards the Inyo Range at sunup!

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