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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8 responses

  1. Patty Bell

    I take a great dislike to inferring you have to be out there!!This area is an exploration of nature and the deserts beauty.If one can’t appreciate that then don’t go!!

    June 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

  2. Patty Bell

    I take a great dislike to inferring you have to be out there!!This area is an exploration of nature and the deserts beauty.If one can’t appreciate that then don’t go!!Apparently,whomever is writing this has not been!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm

  3. The “out there” portion of the post was a literal meaning due to the remote landscape. I am happy to be out there where average folks will never tread, alive with the beauty of the natural world all around, to a degree that totally infuses the senses with wonder and peace. I suppose that it could be inferred by the majority of people who will never venture into this marvelous countryside that “out there” may indicate an instability issue of some sort, but that is not something that I have ever worried about during my 55 years of exploring and enjoying this grand territory. I am a naturalist at heart, and the Saline Valley, along with many other secluded locales of the region, allow the harmonious melding of nature and my spirit. Yes, I may well be “out there” in more ways than one, but the great diversity of travelers to this neck of the woods is yet another aspect that makes things all the more interesting. – Steve, “The Old Trailmaster”

    June 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

  4. Pingback: Saline Valley

  5. PATTY NEEDS TO MELLOW OUT JUST A BIT. TRAILMSTR – YOU’RE OK. I HAVE BEEN GOING TO THE SPRS FOR 35 YRS AND IT IS A GREAT PLACE. WAS MORE FUN B4 IT BECAME PART OF DV NAT MON. THE PEOPLE ARE GOOD FOR THE MOST PART. OUT THERE WOULD BE A GOOD WAY TO DESCRIBE QUITE A FEW OF THEM THOUGH.THE CHINA LAKE JETS MAKE IT GR8. THE POOLS BEING KEPT UP AS WELL AS THEY ARE MAKE IT GR8. BEING REMOTE KEEPS SOME OF THE CROWD AWAY – WHICH IS GOOD TOO. EXPLORE THE WHOLE AREA & READ UP ON THE HISTORY OF CERRO GORDO & THE SALT TRAMWAY. THAT IS JUST A TINY PART OF THE BIG PICTURE. IT IS WORTH GOING & DOING !

    May 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm

  6. I’ve been OUT THERE since 2005 for Thanksgiving and the people who come don’t always come for the food , there is a whole world out there in that valley but be ready it is not you’r regular day trip.

    October 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

  7. Is there an airstrip there? And is it okay to camp? How are the night temperatures in the winter?

    December 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

  8. There is an old airstrip there, but I would seriously suggest checking on its usability if you are considering a land there. Yes, you can camp at the hot springs. Winter temperatures can be cold at night, but often pleasant during the day. Of course, this can vary widely depending on local weather conditions. Snow is possible if a cold front comes in. The upside, of course,is the luxury of hot water springs you can enter anytime day or night!

    December 12, 2012 at 7:52 am

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