Deep into the beautiful wine country of Paso Robles, CA, hides a thermal gem known as Franklin Hot Springs. This family-owned facility is almost every local’s favorite retreat spot. With its minerally abundant thermal pools of varying temperatures, camping opportunities, affable atmosphere, and budget-friendly fees, Franklin Hot Springs will not leave travelers disappointed. However, if you’re searching for either a more rustic or the opposite – more commercialized soaking opportunities, then you can take a look at our guide to the best hot springs in California.
All You Need To Know
If you’re looking for something fancy and glamorous, then Franklin Hot Springs isn’t for you. However, its unassuming appearance is made up for by reasonable fees for an incredible thermal soak and most importantly, the smiles and overall happy faces all around that prove how loved this place is by the local community. There are many people who vibe with this – wanting to chill and have a great conversation with friendly people. Franklin has numerous loyal visitors who have been frequenting this place for decades. Most of them are loyal enough to even get a membership.
One of the best things about Franklin HS is that despite how loved it is by the Paso Robles locals, it doesn’t get crowded, so you can relax knowing that you’ll have enough privacy to unwind in solitude.
Franklin is located deep in the California landscapes of Paso Robles, a famous wine country. The hot spring site is all wide and open panoramas of a little too much sun and not enough greenery but makes for great views nonetheless. The hot springs are situated next to a lake that’s great for fishing and makes for a gorgeous camping site. The facility itself boasts one large, Olympic-size pool and two smaller adjacent pools deep enough to only sit in, looking straight onto the lake.
The large pool is mud bottomed (you can rub it on your body) with a warm water temperature (80°F-90°F). Some might even consider it cold by hot springs standards. The bigger pool also has a few tall tubes situated inside. With water flowing down from the tubes and into the pools, it’s a great opportunity for a water massage.
If you’re looking for a hotter soak, you can opt for the smaller pools (100.1° F).
All around the pools, you’ll find picnic tables and chairs as well as the shack bar where you can grab a beverage. You can have a rest after your soak and perhaps engage in some chill conversations with other visitors. This is something that all guests highlight in their positive impressions – people there are extremely friendly.
Budget-friendly admission fees are one of the many perks of Franklin Hot Springs. A day pass is $10 for adults and $8 for children under 14, seniors, and military personnel. Both passes include whole-day access to the hot springs and to the lake – where you can fish. No fishing license is required.
Tent camping is $20. RV camping is $30. They both include admission and allow for a 2-night stay at most.
If you’re considering becoming a member, then your monthly fee will be $30 and your yearly membership will be $250.
You can book your soak and learn more on Franklin Hot Springs’s official website. However, you can enjoy the springs without advanced reservations too.
Additional Information To Take Into Account
- The Springs are day-use only. The facility doesn’t offer overnight accommodation.
- You can camp (car, tent, RV) and also boat, fish, and kayak in the lake next to the facility.
- You can play paintball.
- Keep in mind that there’s an intense sulfurous odor which, truth be told, shouldn’t come as news to hot springs enthusiasts seeing that most hot springs, commercialized or not, exude it.
- Note that algae covers a lot of the pool so be careful not to slip.
- Water isn’t chlorinated.
- Swimsuits are required.
Even though there is not as much to consider as you would in all-natural and outdoor hot springs when it comes to appropriate behavior, these tips are important all the same.
- Try not to stay too long in the water. It will result in dehydration.
- With that said, make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Respect the facility rules.
- This is a clothing-required establishment. Make sure to bring your swimsuits.
- Respect other people’s privacy
- Even though drinking is allowed around the pools, be careful not to spill it into the water. Keep it clean.
- Any property damage will result in a fine.
For more tips for appropriate behavior etiquette at hot springs – commercialized or not – visit our very carefully compiled list of do’s and don’ts.
How Do I Get To Franklin Hot Springs?
The road to Franklin Hot Springs is a dirt road but it’s flat and well maintained.
From Paso Robles head west through Gilead Ln/Summit onto Dr Golden Hill Rd. Then turn left onto Golden Hill Rd. and stay on it for 1.1 miles. Turn left again on Creston Rd. and head straight. In 1.2 miles, turn right and head straight. Your destination will be on the right.
If you’re on your California trip, you may be looking for places to stay overnight. Considering that Franklin Hot Springs offers no overnight accommodation, the closest lodgings are located in Paso Robles, a beautiful wine country.
The selection is vast and the properties have excellent reviews. You can find them here.
Franklin Hot Springs is one of the more popular camping sites as it is. As we have already mentioned, it has sites for car and tent camping, as well as RVs with full hookup capability (scroll up for pricing details). One of the great things about it is that it’s very accessible for people with mobility issues.
Amenities include picnic tables, phone service, WiFi, drinkable water, bathrooms, and allows pets.
If you’re looking for other camping options in or near Paso Robles, other visitors recommend:
- Cuyama Oaks Ranch (LGBTQIA+ friendly)
- Coyote Mynt Ranch
- Enney’s Ranch
- Hartley Farms Organic Orchard
- Twisselman Ranch
- Camp Arroyo Grande
- SMR Carmel Camping
These are some of the most frequently recommended camping sites near Paso Robles. Obviously, the selection isn’t limited to these options only. You can find many camping opportunities, dispersed or not, and with different price ranges.
What Can I Explore Near Franklin Hot Springs?
Paso Robles is a California town through and through, with a typical small-town cozy appeal. It has beautiful views and a great art scene. If you want to explore the area, Paso Robles should be your starting point. Here are the top attractions that you should explore in town:
- Considering that Paso Robles is a wine country, it is rich with wine cellars and vineyards. You can check out Tobin James Cellars, Austin Hope and Treana Tasting Cellar, Calcareous Vineyard, DAOU Vineyards, and many more.
- You can visit the art and science museum Sensorio.
- Estrella Warbird Air Museum, if specialty museums are your thing.
- Check out Ravine Water Park if you wanna have some summer fun.
If a stop at Franklin Hot Springs is a part of your California road trip, here are some California hot springs that you can check out on the way.
Before You Go
Franklin Hot Springs is every inch a family-friendly (or just neighbor-friendly) getaway. Behind its humble appearance hides a loving and caring community that’s all about spreading love and joy. Once you get there you’ll hear lots of laughter and the sound of children splashing around. The reasonable prices of the place are just the cherry on top. However, If you’re looking for something stylish or even a place that’s clothing optional, then Franklin Hot Springs is not for you. Instead, you can opt for one of the other options listed above.
The Final Take-away
If you’re looking for a welcoming environment with a small-town allure and ongoing development, then definitely check out Franklin Hot Springs. With its abundance of healing properties, this mineral-rich and budget-friendly facility will not leave anyone who’s looking for a good thermal soak disappointed. It’s the perfect getaway for families, friends, and even couples.
Frequently Asked Questions
Franklin Hot Springs is located in the small wine country town of Paso Robles, Ca.
Franklin Hot Springs requires all visitors to wear swimsuits.
While you can reserve in advance, it’s not a requirement. Walk-ins are allowed.
A day pass gives you access to Franklin Hot Springs for an entire day. It also includes fishing in the lake located next to the facility. No fishing license is required.
Yes, camping is allowed. In fact, Franklin Hot Springs has numerous camping sites and opportunities. Including a tent, car, and RV.
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!