How To Visit Travertine Hot Springs In Bridgeport, California


Women standing on the edge of travertine hot springs looking at mountains in the distance

Travertine is a group of hot springs located along scenic US highway 395 outside of Bridgeport, California. These geothermal mineral springs cascade down travertine terraces and feature stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

In this guide, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about visiting Travertine hot springs.

Our Travertine Experience

Women in robe with hat dipping toe into a pool
Kristen enjoying the views at Travertine Hot Springs

We visited Travertine as part of a west coast road trip in November 2021. During this trip, we visited many of the best northern California hot springs. We drove between several hot springs in our bath robes and it’s been one of our favorite travel memories to date. Read more about us.

There are several hot springs in this region of California and you can visit many in the same day. This guide is filled with our best tips for making the most of Travertine.

What Are The Travertine Hot Springs?

  • Location: About 2.0 miles southeast of Bridgeport
  • ParkingGoogle maps
  • Price: Free
  • Open: Year round
  • Clothing: Optional
  • Features: Many different pools, closest hot spring to Yosemite National Park
  • Services: Drop toilet
  • Temperature: Varies depending on the pool

Travertine hot springs are a collection of primitive geothermal springs featuring half a dozen pools with epic views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. There is one man made tub located directly next to the parking lot and the other pools are located within a half mile walk from the parking lot.

Large travertine terraces guide the warm mineral water through deep channels into the surrounding pools which make this an incredibly unique place to visit. Because there are multiple pools in the area, several groups can visit at the same time.

Travertine is one of the best road trip stops you can make in northern California, but clothing is optional. During our visit, there were both nude and clothed bathers. If nudity makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this one.

How To Get To Travertine Hot Springs

hot water running through travertine terraces
Close up view of a Travertine hot spring bed

The Travertine hot springs are located about two miles from Bridgeport, California. This is about an hour north of Mammoth Lakes and an hour north of Yosemite National Park if you leave from Tioga Road. It’s also near Bodie State Historic Park which is an old ghost town.

Most of the drive to Travertine will follow the well maintained Highway 395, but the last mile on Jack Sawyer Road will lead you to an unpaved road. This does not require a high clearance vehicle but you may experience large potholes.

For the sake of this guide, we’re going to assume you are coming from nearby Mammoth Lakes or Bridgeport, California for these driving directions.

  • From Bridgeport follow US-395 S for about 1.0 mile and turn left onto Jack Sawyer Rd.
  • From Mammoth Lakes follow US-395 N for about about 50.0 miles and turn right onto Jack Sawyer Rd.
  • After about 0.2 miles, the road will intersect with Travertine Rd. Look for a wooden sign saying Travertine Hot Springs and take the left to continue along Jack Sawyer Rd.
  • Follow Jack Sawyer Rd for another 1.1 miles and the road will terminate directly in the parking lot.
  • You will see a small man made tub to your immediate right and then follow the wash just a short way to the main triple pool after parking your vehicle.

Parking at Travertine hot springs is free. There are many spaces available at the end of Jack Sawyer Road. A drop toilet is also located right near the parking lot.

Travertine Pools

view of the parking lot and ada accessible pool at travertine
Travertine parking lot with ADA-accessible tub

There is no entrance free for soaking at Travertine hot springs and they are completely free to visit. But depending on your source, there are 5-7 different pools.

We think the hot spring at Travertine is the triple pool because it’s the most unique and one of the hottest pools. However, this is also one of the most popular pools and it can be extremely busy.

An ADA-accessible tub and the triple pool are located a short walk from the parking area. If the triple pool is occupied when you first arrive, there are a few other smaller pools located in the same vicinity. Look for well beaten paths leading to other single pools.

During our visit, we found that many of the other pools were not as warm as the triple pool and some of them had very gritty bottoms.

Travel Tip: Stay on the well beaten paths when looking for springs at Travertine. This helps to preserve the area for future generations.

Here are the pools at Travertine:

Parking Lot Hot Spring

ADA accessible pool at the Travertine hot springs
The ADA-accessible tub with a picnic table

The very first pool you will see is located directly next to the parking lot. This hot spring features a man made ADA-accessible cement tub next to a picnic table.

Be sure to check the temperature with your toe before jumping right in because this tub can be extremely hot. It’s one of the hottest springs in the region.

We like this tub because it’s one of the cleanest. But unfortunately it doesn’t have the great natural setting like many of the other pools. If the parking lot is busy, it’s hard to enjoy the serenity in this tub.

Main Triple Pool

Drone photo of the four main pools at travertine hot springs
Kristen standing in one of the Travertine hot spring pools

The main triple pool is without a doubt, the star of the show. This section is actually comprised of four pools, but the forth pool is not deep enough to sit in comfortably.

If you like your hot spring warm, the first pool on the right will be the one you want. Most of the heated mineral water runs down from the travertine terrace into the first pool which can fit about 6 people. The pools get colder the farther you get from the main terrace run off.

We estimate the second pool fits about 4 people and the third pool fits about 2 people. All the hot springs in this section have man made rock walls with a travertine mud bottom. If you plan to wear a lighter colored bathing suit, the mud may stain it.

We recommend you make a beeline for this pool when you first arrive because it’s the best hot spring at Travertine. If this pool is full, there are many other options so use your time to explore the other pools.

Additional Pools With A View

Additional hot spring near the main pool at travertine
Another smaller pool nearby

After we soaked in the triple pool, we decided to explore the Travertine region. We found a few additional springs located past the triple pool which could fit about 2 people comfortably. These pools were smaller compared to the main pool.

However, they did offer amazing views and were relatively secluded. The first pool is much hotter than the second pool in this section. We estimate these two additional pools are about 700 ft away from the main section. Even if you don’t take a dip in these pools, it’s worth the short hike to see more of this beautiful area.

More Hidden Pools

A hiking trail at travertine hot springs
A gravel hiking trail at the hot springs

As we kept hiking, we found a few more pools just by walking a little further which ranged in temperature from cold to very hot. They were located off the main wash and pretty easy to find.

However, some of these other pools had a lot of bugs either swimming in the pool or flying around. Depending on the time of year you visit, bugs might be a problem.

Travel Tip: Look for steam above the ground surface to locate other springs at Travertine.

Best Time To Visit Travertine

The view from the top of a travertine terrace with mountains in the distance
A section of the hiking trail near Travertine Hot Springs

The best time to visit Travertine is during sunrise in the late spring or early fall because this time of year has the best weather conditions for soaking and safety. Travertine hot springs is open all year, but visiting in the summer and winter can bring additional challenges.

If you visit in summer, the hot springs will be very busy. The mosquitos are also quite bad this time of year and the air temperatures will be warm which might make it difficult to fully enjoy a soak.

If you visit in winter, the roads may be impassable because the road which provides access to the hot springs is not well maintained during the snowy months. Be sure to check weather conditions and have the appropriate vehicle if you plan to visit during the winter season.

Because Travertine hot springs is easily accessible, it can be extremely crowded. For the best experience, you want to plan your trip when the crowds are minimal. We think sunrise is a better time to visit compared to sunset because there will be fewer crowds and you can watch the sun rise over the mountains.

Travel Tip: If you want a unique experience, try a night soak to see the stars on full display. This is on our bucket list for next time we visit this area.

Pros and Cons

We certainly recommend you add Travertine hot spring to your California itinerary, but here are a few pros and cons to help sway your decision:


  • It’s completely free to visit
  • Amazing scenic views
  • Hot springs have numerous wellness benefits
  • Pet friendly (but not allowed in pools)
  • Travertine is easy to access
  • Many groups can soak here in numerous pools
  • Both dispersed and developed camping nearby


  • Pools may be crowded and busy
  • Soaking for long periods can cause dehydration
  • Bugs can be a problem in summer
  • It can be very cold in winter
  • The dirt road may be difficult to drive down
  • Limited services nearby

Where To Stay Nearby

pool of warm water pooling on top of a thermal bed
An interesting hot spring pool bed with yellow bacteria

If you are looking to camp at Travertine hot springs, the land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and dispersed camping is allowed in certain areas.

There are no services and you’re expected to pack out all waste since this is public land. Camping space is very limited and not permitted anywhere near the springs or in the parking lot. Pay attention to the signs indicating where camping is allowed. 

Do not camp in the meadows to help protect the environment and maintain the wild setting for others. Nearby developed campgrounds include Paradise Shores and Bridgeport Reservoir. You can also check out the Dyrt PRO for more information and reviews from previous campers around this area.

Or if you are looking for a hotel, here are a few top rated options nearby:

Further Reading: Where to stay in Yosemite

Tips For Visiting

women exploring the hot spring pools at Travertine
Kristen walking on the side of a pool at Travertine

It’s important every visitor practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace so everyone else can enjoy this amazing hot spring. Here are a few important things to consider before your trip:

  • If you plan to wear a swimsuit, avoid light colors. Between the sulfur water and the mud, wear a dark color so you don’t stain your bathing suit.
  • Pack any trash out. It’s our responsibility to keep these natural places beautiful and you should always leave the place better than you found it.
  • Be respectful of others. People visit hot springs to reduce stress and relax. This is not the place to play loud music or host a party.
  • Sharing is caring. Be considerate of others and invite them to soak if there is room. Just because you arrive first does not mean you should hog the hot springs for hours.
  • Avoid bath products. Natural hot springs do not drain and bath products can be harmful because they disrupt the balance of minerals.
  • Arrive Early. Try to visit early in the day to maximize your chance of enjoying this beautiful place to yourself.
  • Dogs are allowed at Travertine hot springs, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Please pick up after your pet and be considerate of other people in the area.

Travertine is one of the busiest hot springs near Bridgeport, CA. We visited mid-morning around 11:00am and had some of the pools to ourselves for a short period of time.

Need a campground in Northern California? Take advantage of our exclusive 30 day free trial of The Dyrt PRO to find a spot nearby or snag a reservation at sold out campgrounds with Dyrt Alerts.

Essentials For Your Visit

The four main pools at travertine hot springs
Hot spring pools at Travertine in Northern California

You won’t need much but here are a few essentials for your visit:

  • Swimsuit – If you don’t want to bathe in your birthday suit, be sure to bring a bathing suit.
  • Wallaroo Hat – This area sits at a high elevation and the sun will be strong, you may want a hat to help protect you from the UV rays.
  • Bath Robe – We used robes when we visited and everyone loved them. For us, this was a necessity because it kept us warm and helped to protect us from the wind.
  • Towels – A big fluffy towel is just what you need for the ultimate spa experience.
  • Trash bag – Be sure to carry out all trash you make including dog poop. Unfortunately, we found trash when we visited and carried it out with us.
  • Water and beer – It’s okay to drink alcohol in the hot springs, but remember to also drink water so you don’t get dehydrated.

Most pools at Travertine are only a few feet deep making them perfect for kids. However, we recommend you check the temperature of the pools before allowing kids to enter.

Keep in mind you can wear whatever you want when visiting this hot spring because clothing is optional and there may be nude bathers. If nude bathers make you uncomfortable or you’re visiting with kids, you may want to consider skipping this area.

In Conclusion

A drone photo from above of travertine hot springs
Drone shot of the triple pool

Is Travertine hot springs worth it?

Yes, we think Travertine is worth it because these hot springs offer stunning mountainous views. There is enough room for about 10-15 people to soak comfortably in multiple pools. If you are driving US-395 as part of a California road trip, we highly recommend adding Travertine to your itinerary.

Most people visit this hot spring after hiking in Yosemite National Park or exploring Death Valley. You should also check out Wild Willy’sHilltop and Crab Cooker if you want to visit several hot springs. Even if you aren’t interested in soaking in the springs, it’s worth checking out the beautiful views.

More From Mammoth Lakes

Want more California content? Head to our California Travel Guides to explore National Parks, popular road trips and things to do in major cities of the sunshine state.

We hope this guide to Travertine Hot Springs in Bridgeport, CA helps with planning your visit to this beautiful area!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the Travertine Springs or any northern California hot springs in the comments below.

Happy Soaking,

Mark and Kristen

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