Sunday, February 05, 2012

In hot water: the mineral springs of Desert Hot Springs (and photos of others we've visited--Breitenbush, Sol Duc, Esalen, Fairmont, Gold Fork, and The Boiling River)

By Jack Brummet, Geothermal Editor

The Hacienda Hot Springs

Over the years, I've written about some of our visits to hot springs, like Esalen, the Boiling River, Fairmont Hot Springs (one in B.C., and one near Butte, Montana), Sol Duc, and others, mostly on the west coast, Idaho, and Montana, but also one we visited in Turkey (an amazing Olympic-size pool that they opened up just for our family that night).


This map shows the locations and temperatures of the underground mineral springs in Desert Hot Springs.  The Hacienda, where we stayed, is in the 150 degree zone, and allegedly has the best water, because the hotter water dissolves more minerals as it rises to the surface.  They add water from a nearby cold water mineral spring to cool the water down to 100 for the pool, and around 106 or so for the hot pool.  It was some of the silkiest mineral water I've ever felt, with virtually no sulfur smell (which I actually don't mind).

My son Del, and nieces Mackenzie and Melanie in the Boiling River at Yellowstone


the beautiful pools at Esalen, on a cliff over the Pacific

We met a woman, Anne, at The Hacienda, who was looking to buy an old spa, or a piece of property/house in the spa zone (it costs around $30,000 to drill down to the hot springs and create a pipe and valve for on demand hot mineral water). 

Chico Hot Springs in Montana

At Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon, where Keelin goes twice a year for retreats, they also sit on top of a hot springs.  They have tapped into the springs and use it to heat their entire complex--via radiators and in floor piping.  I don't know if they also use the hot water to generate electricity. . .

The hot springs at Sol Duc, on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State

Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon

Fairmont Hot Springs

Gold Fork Hot Springs near McCall, Idaho
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