Ever been in “hot water?” It can be a very welcome thing when the northern wind is blowing and snow is falling. You don’t have to visit the casinos to end up in hot water in Northern Nevada. The ground under the Sierras is full of the remnant steam of volcanoes and it comes to the surface as hot water in many places. Five local developed resorts are highlighted below.
Northwest of Reno is the close by California oasis of Sierra Hotsprings in Sierraville. A clothing optional resort, surrounded by pastures and wide open skies exhibits creative architecture and promotes free spirits and stargazing. There are indoor, outdoor and private pools. Hiking, food and lodging is available. (530) 994-3773. http://www.sierrahotsprings.org
At the south end of Reno is Steamboat Hotsprings, a healing spa, which offers private tub rooms, a communal hot tub in the pasture, massages and other body treatments. The building is an historical landmark. (775) 853-6600. http://www.steamboatsprings.org
In Carson City, you can find Carson Hotsprings, a family style resort with a swimming pool and private tub rooms. (775) 885-8844. http://www.carsonhotspringsresort.com
The Carson Valley, south of Genoa is home to David Walley’s Hotsprings which is now a timeshare resort, but you can buy a day pass to visit the pools or spend the night in one of the timeshare rooms. There is a very nice restaurant and spa services are available. The pool area contains a swimming pool and several smaller pools of varied temperatures. The views are of the Sierras rising almost right in front of your nose and of adjacent wetlands. (775) 782-8155. http://www.davidwalleys-resort.com
Just a bit to the south of Gardnerville in Markleville, CA is Grover Hotsprings, run by The California Parks Department. It contains two large pools; one hot and one warm. This is also a family resort and splashing children can be entertaining or annoying at times, but the setting is spectacular. It draws a large number of “Russians” who appreciate the steaming water. I like to listen and pretend I am on a European vacation. There is a campground (not open in winter), a picnic area and hiking/biking trails adjacent. A great place to take the cross country skis or snowshoes for a winter workout before a hot soak. No spa or massages here; this is a rustic place. (530) 694-2249. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=508
Look these up and visit all. So much better than soaking in a chlorine laden tub at the local health club.