Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Whitmore Hot Tubs

The traffic noise and the lack of waterfowl at the Pahranagat NWR had made the decision to leave early an easy one.  Once again, for forecasts for further north around Ely, Nv did not appear to be too inviting.  The Sierra Nevada mountains of eastern California were also looking cool and Mammoth mountain ski area was still open, but the big attraction there is all the free hot spring pools scattered about the wide open landscape.  It was a fairly long drive over some high mountain passes, but they were all found to be bare and dry and provided no issues. We took the ‘extraterrestrial highway’ without getting abducted by aliens or buzzed by any stealth craft from Area 51.  We did get checked out by California ‘customs’, but had nothing of interest to them.


It didn’t take long to find a very scenic spot not far from Wild Willy’s hot springs.  I don’t think they are related to former blogger Wandering Willy, but you never know!IMG_2009

There are at least a half dozen free hot springs within a few miles, of various sizes and popularity.  So you may be able to choose your favourite type or view, or company.  But most of them are also well known, and within 20 minutes or so from Mammoth Lakes, so they can get rather crowded at times.


Other times, if you are lucky you might have one of them all to yourself.


Other times, you may get forced to be a photographer!


I did find myself alone at a couple of the springs, so I took advantage and took a photosphere picture to add to Google Maps.  You can see them here …

Wild Willy’s       Hilltop

Most of the hot springs are quite natural, but most have a little concrete, and some even have convenient valves so that you can control the water temperature fairly easily.  Nice!  Several also have drains to aid in cleaning.  Several have well maintained walkways to prevent trampling of the sensitive terrain.


I don’t usually plan anything much more than a day or two ahead of time, but with the cooler weather to the north, and about a month before I was to join the forest protection people up in Alberta, I had kind of envisioned a rather relaxed trip up the west coast.  Hey, if I moved slow enough, Wheeling It might even overtake me on their run north from San Diego.  I knew that Wandering Willy was already at home in BC, as well as Jean & Skip.  And the Bayfield Bunch are well on their way north east back to Ontario.

But alas, it was not to be. Fire season is starting much earlier than usual this spring due to a lack of snow cover, much of which has already melted.  So I got a call asking me to show up a month ahead of schedule to sit in a tower for a couple of weeks till the regular lookout observers get back from their winter hangouts.

Reluctantly, everything was packed up and loaded aboard in preparation for a fast run back north to Alberta.


  1. Wow, absolutely beautiful scenery and a great site you had!

  2. Wow! I didn't know there were natural hot springs in that area. We will have to go try them out ourselves next winter. Good pictures bud!

  3. It must have been hard to leave those beautiful spots. Enjoy your summer in also beautiful Alberta.

  4. Hi Ivan, I'm at home as well..
    In Ontario still very cold. Rain, windy . I have to wait at list to end of may to resume my flights with video camera. The couple of weeks ago finished my blog
    If you interesting, you can find some aerial photos I did during my trip
    Start watching here

    Don't forgot to view newer post to click on the bottom “newer post”
    I wish you safety back to home. I hope to see you again Alex

  5. Between all those choices of hotsprings, sigh, and views I'd have had a hard time hurrying north. But a tower gig sounds pretty cool. Had cold nights in so many places I went this winter and will still be like winter at the North Rim the end of the month.

  6. Aha, just when you thought I had missed your post eh...... Sure like the looks of those Sierra Nevada Mountains & those hot tubs. I'd like to try soaking in one of them sometime but not if there was a whole load of cackling people around. Your probably already back in Alberta crawling yourself up one of them there fire towers already. All the best to you & Hailey:))

  7. These hot springs are quite awesome! It’s fascinating to see that the hot springs, even though they are mostly natural, are modified and customized in order to control the temperature and the water levels. It’s a really genius concept. Thank you for sharing your experience in the Whitmore hot tubs!

    Erica Spencer @ Culligan Hot Tubs

  8. Wow nice post. Thank you for sharing it.
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  9. I'm so envious of your newly found freedom on the road. Those hot springs look amazing and it would seem that travelling's not always a solitary activity. Maybe you will bump into Wandering Willy one day. I didn't see Hailey the cat anywhere in your blog apart from the header section and wonder if he/she is sti

    Leena Wolf @ H2O Spas

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