Friday, April 15, 2016

More Hot Springs - Bridgeport, CA

One of our destinations on the list for a while has been Travertine Hot Springs outside of Bridgeport.  Ever since Big Bend, we've been watching out for similar minimally developed public hot springs near our route, or bending our route to suit.

At Travertine, it is National Forest land, and there is BLM land for camping next door.  We drove or rode our bikes the half mile from where we camped to the springs, a couple times a day.  Hard work, soaking in the springs in this kind of scenery...

 The BLM land is on a hill overlooking the town and a reservoir, and the road continues up to the springs.  We're the tiny white camper near the middle of this picture.

looking north toward the reservoir

A Sierra for the Sierras, it's been doing some work up over the passes

There are about half a dozen little tubs at Travertine.  Large travertine ridges are built up  where the springs have flowed out and run along the ground.

This one is right by the parking area, hot water bubbles out of the ground and runs along a little channel to the concrete tub.  If the channel is not kept partially blocked, the tub gets too hot to stay in.

Further from the parking area is a group of 4 gravel bottom tubs, which are generally cooler, and fed from a channel running down the top of a travertine ridge.   Following the ridge up, the spring flows out about 30 yards up the ridge.
 A little further down the hill, (looking back toward the 4 pools at the end of the ridge),  are two more lukewarm mud pools dug into the ground.  Nice, but not warm enough when we were there.

On our last day here,  we went to the nearby spring for a soak in the morning.  Then while the kids were doing math, I hopped on my bike and went to find another spring called Big Hot a couple miles away.  We wouldn't have known about it, except I was reading a hot spring s book at the store in town.  This area used to be public land, but was purchased and became private and now is owned by some sort of conservation land trust.  The local teenager in the store said it was worth going.  He said most people don't know about it, but locals go there.

There are two big pools, the larger is about 12 by 20 foot, and deep!  The edge is travertine and slopes down at about a 45 degree angle, and goes down at least 7 feet or more in the middle.  Climbing back out can be tricky, apparently I was able to get back out...  It is not that hot, but nice enough on a cold morning.  Warm water and bubbles flow up into the middle in a couple spots.

And there's another tiny little mid pit, with warm water burbling, I just put my feet in here.

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What do you think, where should we go next?