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Grover Hot Springs State Park

Grover Hot Springs State Park

Soak in naturally heated mineral pools

Nestled in a notch of the High Sierra about an hour’s drive southeast of Lake TahoeGrover Hot Springs State Park’s mineral springs bubble up from the earth, a testament to the geologic and geothermal forces that have shaped this landscape. (Ed. note: Due to damage from the Tamarack Fire, the hot springs pool complex is closed until further notice. Check the park website for updates.)

The springs, just west of the quiet mountain town of Markleeville, may or may not have been first observed by a non-Native American when John C. Fremont, the explorer credited as such by some, recorded his sighting of Lake Tahoe in 1844. Historians haven’t settled that debate. But no one disagrees that since the 1850s, people have flocked to “take the cure” in these restorative waters.

Swimming, Soaking, and Camping at Grover Hot Springs State Park

The park’s pools are fed from six different springs containing low amounts of sulfur. That means you won’t experience a strong “rotten-egg” smell that many hot spring pools have. The water emerges from underground at a scalding 148 degrees, but it’s cooled down before it’s piped into the park’s two concrete pools—one for soaking at a safe 103 degrees, the other a pleasant temperature for swimming and splashing.

The pools are open most of the year (hours may vary during the off-season/winter period, September through May, so call ahead; 530/694-2249). The state park also has fishing, picnic areas, and a 76-site, year-round (conditions permitting) campground with biking and hiking trails, some of them easy scrambles for the kids (don’t miss the walk to the waterfall along Hot Springs Creek). There are also longer treks into surrounding alpine regions.

Useful info: The pools are open six days a week; they are closed on Wednesdays. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance and can be made up to three weeks in advance. Make reservations at ReserveCalifornia.com (click on “Activities”). 

Things to Do Near Grover Hot Springs State Park

Thanks to its proximity to Lake Tahoe, visitors to Grover Hot Springs are just down the road from such ski resorts as Heavenly, Kirkwood, Palisades Tahoe (formerly known as Squaw Valley), and Northstar California—plus Emerald Bay State Park, and of course Lake Tahoe itself, which offers outdoor activities galore year-round.


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