Pulkey's Pool Hot Springs near Mammoth Lakes California


Pulkey's Pool Hot Springs near Mammoth Lakes California
If you're driving on 395 near Mammoth Lakes, you really should make the ten minute detour to visit a few of the hot springs. I've hiked all over America and I've never really seen anything like it. Where else can you sit in a hot tub in the middle of a meadow with a 360 degree panoramic view of snow-capped mountains? And these are big mountains. In fact, many of the peaks in this part of the Sierras are among the tallest in the continental United States.

Most of the hot springs in this area are secret spots known only to the locals. Hilltop Hot Springs, also known as Pulkey's Pool, is one of the few tubs that locals will openly discuss with visitors. If you do a little digging online, you can find directions to quite a few hot springs in the area. Pulkey's Pool also has several free camping spots nearby. This particular tub is large enough for about 5-6 people. Its actually a small concrete tub that's fed by a tube connected to a natural spring about 50 feet from the tub. I've read that it can get really busy here on the weekend. We visited at noon on a Tuesday and had to share it with two other people. I have to say, I wasn't nearly as upset as my girlfreind when two beautiful blond women walked up, stripped down to their bikinis, and climbed into the tub with us. :)

If you're on the way north to Yosemite National Park, make sure to check online before you leave because the back entrance to the park is usually closed in the winter and its a long drive to the front. The hot springs may not be worth the  hour detour if the back entrance is closed. Also, don't forget to stop in Bishop nearby and hit Erick Schat's Bakery. I'm not embarrassed to eat an eclair in a hot tub.  You may also want to drive into Mammoth during the summer and visit Devil's Postpile National Monument. Its closed in the winter, but It's definitely on my bucket list for this year. 

Directions:

Pulkey's Pool aka Hilltop Hot Springs

Hilltop Hot Springs has some of the best views of the area. Located only a short distance from Mammoth Lakes, the hot spring is quite popular so don't be surprised if you have to share a tub with someone else. Hilltop is located on the west side of Benton Crossing Road and is open to the public.
Directions - From US 395, take Benton Crossing Road (also known as Green Church Road) 2.7 miles until you see the Hot Springs on the west side of the road.

Wild Willy's Hot Springs

Also known as "Crowley Hot Springs," Wild Willy's is located just a few miles from Mammoth Lakes. There are two man-made sitting areas here, and their sides are reinforced with cement.
Directions - From US 395, take Benton Crossing Road (also known as Green Church Road). Travel east about 2.5 miles until you cross two cattle guards. Turn right just past the second cattle guard and follow the road, always taking the left fork whenever there's a choice. About a mile down, you'll reach a parking area where there's a sign and wooden boardwalk that leads about 200 yards away to the pools.


Twin Lakes in Mammoth Lakes, California

2 comments:

  1. I laughed when I saw the bit about the other two girls joining in the swim. The surrounding landscape looks amazing.

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  2. The landscape around Mammoth is incredible. If you're ever planning a trip to Yosemite from Orange County in the summer, check that the back entrance is open and drive up 395 past Mammoth. You will not be disappointed.

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