Nestled east of the Sierra Nevada National Forest among the lush landscapes of pine trees is Grover Hot Springs – later on turned into a state park –, a well-loved small hot spring establishment that has a long history of operation and many recreational opportunities ready to tend to your rejuvenating requirements.
All You Need To Know
Grover Hot Springs is located around 55 miles from Tahoe City in Markleeville, CA. It’s the rare thermal gem of this small and relatively unknown town that prides itself on housing a hot spring with such a long history of operation. It’s also the pride of the whole of Alpine County.
|Address||3415 Hot Springs Rd, Markleeville, CA 96120|
|Location||an hour and 20 minutes away from Tahoe City|
|Road Access||Easy. You’ll have to hike after a certain point.|
|Open||Everyday from June – August. Vary on other seasons|
|Temperature||102 – 105℉|
This soaking area is tucked at the heart of an open valley and encircled by endless canopies of pine trees, giving visitors quite a sight to behold and relax in. Grover Hot Springs is not just a collection of thermal pools. It’s a stunning state park stretching for over 500 acres that gives us numerous opportunities to engage in our favorite recreational activities and form a bond with nature – be it hiking, camping or birdwatching. On top of that, a refreshing thermal soak in the park’s green-tinted mineral pool can serve as an unmatched reward after a day of exploring and adventuring.
Grover Hot Springs boasts two pools, one of which is a standard swimming pool whereas the other one is a concrete-walled thermal bath.
The soaking pool is fed by six mineral springs which is later on filtered and cooled down to make the temperature more tolerable for its guests. Right now it sits somewhere between 102 – 105℉ with one of the pools taking on a greenish color due to the abundance of minerals but despite the tint, the pool remains odorless.
Centuries ago, this collection of thermal springs was one of the secrets of the Washoe Tribe. Hot springs have always been of great value for Indigenous Americans. They used these mineral waters for spiritual reminiscence and the Washoe Tribe was no exception. The secret was revealed around the Silver Rush period when settlers decided to live in the areas that today’s Markleeville belongs to.
One of the settlers, Alvin Grover, bought the hot springs in the late 1800s and also built a motel nearby that’s still operational, even after so many years.
The hot springs were in his family ownership for years until it was sold in the 1900s. Fast forward to the back and forth between random owners over the decades, Grover Hot Springs was finally purchased by California State Parks.
Descendants of Alvin Grover still regularly visit the hot spring despite not being active owners of the place anymore.
Can I Camp There?
You most definitely can camp there. Much to campers’ pleasure, Grover Hot Springs complex itself (not the entire State Park) is home to 74 campsites that come with picnic areas and some necessary amenities for your outdoor comfort.
The campground operates from mid-May through September and only shuts down every September for a two-week period of maintenance. It’s an extremely family and dog-friendly campground. You can take your furry and four-legged family with you but remember to keep them leashed and under supervision at all times.
How Do I Get There?
From Tahoe City, California, take CA-88 E/CA-89 S for another 5.8 miles and then turn right onto CA-89 S. In 6.4 miles, turn right onto Montgomery St. and stay there for only 0.1 miles. After that turn right onto Hot Springs Rd and in 3.8 miles, you’ll see your destination on the left.
What To Take Into Consideration
- Clothing is required.
- Pets are not allowed anywhere near the pools.
- Pets are allowed on campsites but need to be leashed and supervised all the time.
- Grover Hot Springs comes with showers, restrooms and changing rooms.
- It doesn’t operate all-year-round. Double check before heading out.
What Are The Accommodation Options in Markleeville, California?
You actually won’t find many accommodation options in Markleeville itself, but everything that’s available there has great reviews like Creekside Lodge and Desolation Hotel Hope Valley.
You can find accommodation options near Markleeville here.
What Else Can I Explore In The Area?
Despite being a small town, there’s actually a lot that you can explore and do in Markleeville or in nearby areas.
- You can visit Markleeville Art Gallery if you’re an art buff!
- You can go golfing at Carson Valley Golf Course.
- Going on a scenic drive through the gorgeous Carson Pass is also an option.
- If horseback riding is your thing, visit Sheridan Creek Equestrian Center and discover your favorite equestrian trails.
Tahoe city is located only an hour and 20-minute-drive from Markleeville so if you want more options for having fun and making discoveries, try visiting Tahoe City instead.
Every hot spring has its own quirks. They all have a set of rules that visitors need to follow regardless of what kind of spring you’re visiting. Visitors need to be extra conscious of their time in free and natural hot springs destinations seeing as they get no constant maintenance the way commercialized springs do.
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 “do’s and don’ts”. And always, always respect our nature – pack out what you pack in and LEAVE NO TRACE. Leave No Trace policies extend to all destinations in state parks.
The Final Takeaway
Grover Hot Springs is an ideal apres-hiking/camping destination. As we’ve already covered and you probably see for yourself, it can serve as a reward for a long and energy-consuming day of exploring the area of Markleeville and even Tahoe City. Let this be your sign to start planning and preparing for your soak in Grover Hot Springs.
The best hot springs in the US can sometimes even be synonymous with the best hot springs in California. The Golden State really houses some of the most gorgeous and high quality thermal pools in the country! If after Grover Hot Springs you’d like to visit more incredible hot springs of the Eastern Sierras, try Buckeye Hot Springs, and Travertine Hot Springs.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Grover Hot Springs is located in Markleeville, CA. around 55.6 miles from Tahoe City.
Grover Hot Springs was partially closed in 2021 due to the damage caused by Tamarack Fire but it was reopened in 2022. At the moment there are no reports of the spring being inaccessible so you can visit freely.
Yes. Grover Hot Springs is not clothing-optional.
Grover Hot Springs was purchased by Alvin Grover in the late 1800s and was in his family’s ownership for decades but right now it’s owned by California State Parks.
The distance between Grover Hot Springs and Lake Tahoe is around 40 miles.
It’s Markleeville. The town the spring is located in.