Known as an oasis in the desert, the commercialized Benton Hot Springs promises a clean, rejuvenating soak with incredible views on a well-kept family-run site. Feel the ancient volcanic waters bringing back your energy as you absorb the lovingly restored “silver rush” mining surrounds, 19th century to 1960s decor, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and the night stars bright above you.
|Address||555137 Hwy 120, Benton, CA 93512|
|Location||Benton, Just off Highway 6|
|Open||Open for night stays only, no day visits|
|Clothing||Optional, but preferred|
|Road Access||Easy. All vehicles|
|Admission||No day use. Overnight stays only. Prices here.|
What To Expect
The Inn at Benton Hot Springs offers 12 commercialized and beautifully kept hot springs pools in a copse of scrubland in the California desert. The water source is 140°F but cools to 102°F by the time it reaches the well-maintained tiled tubs, and can be adjusted in each tub using the tap.
The real beauty of this place is its desert locale, boasting incredible views of the snow-capped mountains, and, at night, the stars out in their billions, uninterrupted by ambient light. Sunrise and sunset also promise their own magic as you soak.
Summer can be too hot for soaking, and winter too cold for camping, so choose your timing based on your taste and stamina.
The private hot tubs at each campsite make this campground one of a kind, each with a fantastic vantage point overlooking the mountains across the desert. The employees empty and refill the tubs between guests, so you know your soak is clean.
Campsite numbers 1, 2, 3, and 11 each have a 1 – 3 person above-ground hot tub, while campsite numbers 4 through 10 are larger, with tubs that can accommodate 4-8. Trees, fences, or other subtle barriers separate the bathing/camping areas to give some privacy.
Guests staying in an Inn suite have access to three semi-private hot tubs with part-enclosed seating areas, also with incredible views. The bonus comes with a delicious breakfast included in the cost of your stay in the Inn Suites!
WiFi is available.
The first hot springs soakers here were the indigenous tribes of the Paiute, who used them to stay warm, keep clean, and heal.
After the California Gold Rush of 1849 came the search for other mines nearby, and the 1862 discovery of silver ore in the mountains of Benton. The area grew rapidly, seeing numerous miners settling nearby and making use of the hot springs. In 1883, the Carson and Colorado Railroad built a stop four miles from Benton, making the town a hub for travelers heading west. While the silver profits eventually began drying up, interest in the hot springs didn’t. The Bramlette family, big investors in Benton town, began converting the Benton Hot Springs into a hotel, campground, and resort in the early 1900s. During the 1940s, a new structure was built to provide lodging and offered three hot tubs. The whole complex was renovated in the 1990s by today’s descendants of the original owners.
How To Get There
The Inn at Benton Hot Springs is 38.8 miles (45 minutes) north of the town of Bishop and 79 miles (1 hour 15 minutes) from Mammoth Lakes via US-395 S and US-6 E. The Inn is located on Highway 120 just 3.8 miles (5 minutes) from the junction of Highway 6 at Benton.
Can I Stay There?
Yes. Benton Hot Springs is a historic resort owned by the Inn at Benton Hot Springs, offering a seven-room bed-and-breakfast inn, a miner’s cabin for glamping lovers, and dry campsites for RVs (no hookups) and tents. Campers have access to tables, hot tubs, tents, fire pits, chairs, and barbecue grills (bring your own firewood and food!) They also have use of well-maintained and clean restroom units (porta potties) boasting flush toilets (supplied from the springs!) and solar lighting.
This is a quiet, relaxing site that is well-maintained. Loud music and partying are not allowed and generator use is permitted from 8 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm only.
The site is pet friendly, but more than two animals per site are NOT allowed and you will be charged $250 and asked to leave if you go over that limit!
Husband and wife team Bill and Diane, the current owners, say: “If you value open spaces, western history, hot springs, and remote settings with uncompromising dark skies; we invite you to visit our family-owned and operated 1,255-acre ranch of more than 95 years.”
Be aware that it can get chilly here! If you prefer to be indoors during your stay, the 1940s-styled Inn at Benton Hot Springs offers private suites with underfloor heating provided by the hot springs in winter, air-conditioning in summer, a safe, bath/shower, and free breakfast. NOTE that lunch and dinner are not provided so you’ll need to bring your own food from Benton, or drive out to local restaurants.
The rooms boast mountain, garden, or courtyard views, and all have a satellite TV, ceiling fan, seasonal A/C, refrigerator, and robes.
Inn guests share three private outdoor soaking tubs, which are always open, and cozy well-maintained seating areas.
The Inn at Benton Hot Springs also has four houses available for your stay (pictured below) at a two-night minimum rental. Sizes and styles vary, so check here for your options.
For glamping at its best, why not book a night in the Miners Cabin, moved to the Inn in the 1950s, and remodeled in a rustic theme to reflect Benton’s mining heritage?
|Rooms at the Inn||From $169/night*|
|Miner’s Cabin||From $139/night*|
|Extra guests (inn/cabin)||$15/person/night*|
|CAMPING+Tub, Sites 1, 2, 3, 11 & 12||$85/night (double occupancy)*|
|CAMPING+Tub, Sites 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10||$95/night (three person occupancy)*|
|Extra guests (all tub sites)||$10/person/night*|
|Houses||From $219/night (1-2 people)*|
Check-in: 3 pm
Check out: 11 am
For those wanting something more inclusive and luxurious out of the desert, including buffet breakfasts, heated pools, Wi-Fi, and organized tours from your own air-conditioned room, check out the Best Western Bishop Lodge in Bishop, Comfort Inn (also in Bishop), and Shilo Inns in Mammoth Lakes – the most comfortable stays in the area.
What Else Can I Do In The Area?
The Benton Hot Springs is surrounded by a plethora of natural sights for you to visit, among them the Mammoth Lakes, the renowned Sierra Nevada mountains, and the Inyo National Forest.
Check out the Rainbow Falls for hiking, white water rafting, kayaking, diving, swimming, and fishing.
Heat things up a bit with a visit to the Hot Creek Geological Site, offering geysers, heated pools, unstable ground, and creeks created some 70,000 years ago. Photos only, though – soaking here is prohibited due to the temperatures, which can lead to burns!
Also worth a visit are the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Laws Museum, Mono Lake, June Lake, and Yosemite National Park.
If you fancy upping the hot-springing temperature, try the four pools at Travertine Hot Springs (boasting a whopping 115-156°F!) or the majestic views of the slightly cooler Buckeye Hot Springs.
Truly an oasis in the desert, Benton Hot Springs promises a clean, rejuvenating soak with incredible views on a well-kept family-run site. There are strict rules to follow, but doing so, and coming prepared, will make your stay all the more comfortable and positive. This is the perfect stay for those exploring the breathtaking Californian desert and 19th-century mining era, be they singles, couples, families, or friends.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Visiting Hot Springs
Every hot springs has its own quirks. Visitors to Benton Hot Springs, for example, should respect the rules of the site, as it is definitely a place that thrives on quiet and cleanliness, and should come prepared by doing their food shopping in Benton before arriving. For more general and very important “hot springs etiquette,” we highly recommend you take a moment to check out our carefully compiled easy-to-read list of “dos and don’ts” here. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE.
Frequently Asked Questions
Benton Hot Springs is 38.8 miles (45 minutes) from the town of Bishop and 79 miles (1 hour 15 minutes) from Mammoth Lakes. The Inn is located on Highway 120 just 3.8 miles (5 minutes) from the junction of Highway 6 at Benton.
Clothing is optional but definitely preferred when using your campsite tub. Trees, fences, or other subtle barriers separate the bathing/camping areas to give some privacy.
There is no day use at Benton, so you have to stay the night. Camping is $85 upwards, and Inn rooms from $169. Check out the rates here.
Very. This is a family-run site and the hot tubs are cleaned out between guests.
This totally depends on your taste. Some have steps up, some are sunken; some look modern, some have a more rustic edge; some are fenced, and some are open. See photos and descriptions here.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!