Mercey Hot Springs –  Re-Find Yourself In This Off-Grid Natural Hot Springs Oasis

California’s Mercey Hot Springs is a magical place in which to unwind, heal and get back to nature. Between soaks, explore the 144-acre property on foot or by mountain bike – check out the wildlife and birds, then head back to your personal hot tub for more mineral heaven! And if this little slice isn’t enough, when you’re done reading and soaking here, head on over to our list of other great hot springs in California!

What To Expect

Mercey Hot Springs is an eco-friendly, solar-powered hot springs resort some 30 miles from the nearest town of Los Banos, California, and 60 miles from Fresno. It’s set on a stunningly green 144 acres in the Little Panoche Valley and offers a wide choice of pools and hot tubs to soak in, as well as sustainable camping areas and cabins separated by trees, which at night play host to owls – another cute highlight of this particular resort.

Loved and much-used by locals for many a year, the well-cared-for Mercey Hot Springs is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, surrounded by a vast expanse of open farmland. It is a hot springs resort that you can see the owners have invested in to make it clean, safe, and all-inclusive – with a soaking zone for naturists and handicap accessibility.

Address62964 Little Panoche Rd, Firebaugh, California 93622
LocationNear Los Banos, California
Open12 pm – 5 pm, year-round
ClothingRequired, except in designated areas
Road AccessEasy
Water Temperature102-106°F
Admission$50/person (12 pm-5 pm)

What we love best about Mercey Hot Springs is its individual hot tubs – baths in fenced and partly shaded areas that you can fill and adjust to your temperature taste, and step out of when you want to rehydrate at the complimentary water dispenser. The mineral water here runs at a natural 102 to 106°F, flowing from a toasty 127°F source.

There are also bathhouses with their own private indoor tubs, a conventional chlorine-treated swimming pool, and a dry sauna. The pool is free-form and comes in at around 90°F. Pool noodles and floats are allowed, but large pool toys are not.

You will need to wear swimsuits while soaking in and walking around most of this property, though they do offer a special adults-only soak zone where you can let it all hang out.

The Mercey Hot Springs geothermal water is rich in a variety of minerals, the top of the list being sodium chloride (salt). After soaking, salt on your skin helps prevent sweat from evaporating, meaning you stay warmer and thus your muscles naturally relax. Salty soaks are great for those suffering from muscle or joint pain, who are sensitive to the cold, and reputedly have beneficial effects in the treatment of chronic women’s diseases and infertility. For the full list of Mercey Hot Springs mineral goodness, click here.

Opening Times

All Pools (day guests)12 pm – 5 pm
Outdoor Hot Pools (overnight guests)8 am – 11 pm
Swimming Pool (overnight guests)9 am – 9 pm
Review on Tripadvisor

Important To Know

Mercey Hot Springs is a 100% pet-free zone (aside from service dogs)- you can’t even have them on a leash or in your vehicle, so keep this in mind when planning your visit.

The property also quietly encourages its guests to go “digital free” – there’s almost no cell service, and while there is Wi-Fi, why not let those calls go to voicemail for a while, and grab a book to read while you soak instead?

On that theme, quiet and calm are important here, so be sure to come with the policies in mind regarding loud conversations, music, and other noise. This is all about relaxing in nature- so go with it and enjoy!

There are a lot of other things that grab us about these hot springs too, aside from how well the site is organized and kept. First is the nightlife: Mercey Hot Springs has little to no light pollution, giving guests incredible star-gazing opportunities. They also offer massage services (call 209 826-3388 to book in advance) and yoga classes in the Pavilion Tent which are complimentary for overnight guests (aged 16+) – be there at 11 am Saturday and Sunday and be sure to bring along your own yoga mat and towel. The resort also boasts its own 9-hole disc golf course- simple, fun, and free to use, and has numerous trails for eager hikers to follow, both on the 144-acre property and in the Bureau of Land Management surrounds – pick up a BLM trail map from the Mercey Hot Springs registration office.

Hungry? There’s no restaurant on the property, so it’s best to come prepared, though there is a nice selection of snacks to buy in the registration office. Los Banos has a grocery store and a choice of restaurants if you’re not in the mood to cook and are happy to make the drive.

The Mercy Hot Springs vision:

“While utilizing as many of nature’s own renewable resources as possible, Mercey Hot Springs will be a full-service resort that is peaceful, tranquil, pollution and toxin free, that focuses on the natural, geo-thermally heated mineral-rich water that has been used by native visitors for thousands of years.”


Outdoor Hot Tubs + Swimming Pool$50/person (5 hours – 12 pm – 5 pm)
Under 2sFREE
Towel rental$2

This facility has an extensive list of changeable rules, policies, and pricing that is far too detailed to go into here. Please check the details before you go to ensure a comfortable arrival, soak and stay.

Interesting History

Mercey Hot Springs is located on the Little Panoche Road, which was originally a stagecoach route used by early California pioneers, especially those invested in the New Idria Quicksilver mine.

The Mercey Hot Springs bottling factory.

The hot springs themselves were used by native Indians for centuries until John N. Mercy bought the land for sheep-rearing. Frederick Bourn, a real estate developer from San Francisco, in turn bought the property from him in 1912 and began construction of many of the buildings you can see there today – including a “Mercy Hot Springs” hotel and cabins. The bathhouse was built in the 1930s and the tubs moved inside. Other developments back then saw a restaurant and swimming pool added and an RV Park set up.

Early 20th century guests at Mercey Hot Springs

Bourn decided to capitalize on the medicinal qualities of the natural flowing mineral water and changed the spelling of the name to Mercey so that it could be copyrighted. He then began bottling it at his chapel-like “Springhouse” bottling plant and selling it at Owl & Liggett pharmacies.

How To Get There

From Fresno, it will take you one hour and 14 minutes (68 miles) to get to Mercey Hot Springs. Take the CA-180 W to Mendota, then come off it onto the J1 (Belmont Avenue). Turn right onto N Fairfax Avenue, then left three blocks North onto W Shields Avenue. You’ll cross the West Side Freeway (I-5), at which point (the 55.6-mile mark), the road changes name to Little Panoche Road and you should stay on this for the next 13 miles to get to Mercey Hot Springs.

From Los Banos, take the CA-165 S (Mercey Hot Springs Road) and join the I-5 S heading toward Los Angeles. After 12 miles, come off at exit 379 and head along  Little Panoche Road you should stay on this for the next 13 miles to get to Mercey Hot Springs. You’ll see a sign on the left pointing to Mercey Hot Springs. The parking area is two miles in, on the right.

Can I Stay There?

Yes! There are nine campsites and 10 RV sites with hook-ups, as well as a choice of cabins, a lodge, a group house, and, for those who like something different in their stays – two converted airstreams.

Although the RV sites have electric hookups, the eco-conscious resort does not allow guests to use air conditioners or heaters as the majority of the facility’s power comes from solar panels.

Review by Mikaela L.

The Mercey Hot Springs RV Sites are within 3-minutes’ walk of all hot springs facilities and restrooms, while the campsites are within two minutes of all the facilities the hot springs has to offer. All campsites have running mineral water, a seasonal fire pit, a picnic table, and parking.

Guests can bring camping stoves or small barbecues to cook their meals. There are two free-to-use propane grills next to the Phoenix (common area), available 24/7. Campfires are seasonal for safety, so please check with the office before you light that fire, and note you’ll have to bring your own firewood as they don’t sell it on site.

Review by Amelia M.

The two-bedroom group house offers a full kitchen, and a bathroom with a bathtub and shower, and can accommodate up to six people, including children.

Couples may enjoy the two fully-furnished Airstream trailers, equipped with kitchens and toilets, as well as a mounted flat-screen TV. Outside each, you’ll find a propane barbecue and a seasonal fire pit.

Campsite at Mercey Hot Springs.

The simple but cozy cabins, built in the early 1900s, but since renovated, have queen-sized beds and basic furniture. They are heated by propane heaters, and have fans for the hot summer months – alternatively, make use of the front porch of a warm evening! Bathrooms are not included in the cabins, but communal bathrooms are no more than 75 feet away. Although guests can drive to all the cabins to load and unload, overnight parking is only allowed next to cabins 5 and 10. All other guests have to re-park their cars in the parking area.

Cabin kitchenette.

The latest addition to the Mercey Hot Springs accommodation family is “Tiny Hideaway,” which features a spacious deck with a private soaking tub, compact complete kitchen, gas grill, queen-sized bed, and a restroom with a shower.

Accommodation Rates (Includes Tub/Pool Access)

CabinsFrom $240/night (2 person)
AirstreamFrom $365/night (2 person)
Camping (tent)From $150/night (2 person)
RV (hookups +$10/night)From $150/night (2 person)
Walkabout houseFrom $535/night (2 person)
For the latest rates and availability, click here.

Check-in: 3 pm (But you can come at 2 pm to enjoy the hot springs)

Check out: 11 am (But you can continue to use the resort facilities until 2 pm – if you want to stay longer, just pay the half-day rate).

If you’re interested in camping in the area of the hot springs rather than the resort, grab a free permit from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office. The nearest BLM office, open Monday – Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm, is in the Los Banos District Office at 1085 E. 8th Street. You can also call them at 209-826-4196 to ask for a permit.

What Else Can I Do In The Area?

Rock-Hunting – Panoche Creek, which winds through the Mercey Hot Springs resort, offers a variety of treats for rock collectors – check it out, as you may well find some beautiful jasper, quartz, petrified wood, or jade.

Mercey is known for its Long-eared Owls.

Birdwatching – A huge and diverse number of bird species migrate in-and-out of the area throughout the year, among them Long-eared owls, Great-horned owls, hawks, eagles, hummingbirds, King Birds, Orioles, Mountain BlueBirds, ravens, and vultures. Fans of birdwatching and photography pay for the pleasure of getting the best shot at Mercey, coming from thousands of miles to do so. Check the details here.

Star-gazing and Meteor Shower Spotting – With its limited light pollution, Mercey Hot Springs makes a brilliant place to enjoy the night sky. Why not plan to get there for a meteor shower to make your stay extra special? Check out the resort’s Meteor Calendar here.

Jet-Skiing and More – Further afield, at the San Luis Reservoir, you can enjoy boating, fishing, and a variety of water sports.

Pinnacles National Park.

Pinnacles National Park – Pinnacles National Park is well worth your time. Immerse yourself in nature and geological history, hiking through incredible golden rock formations on a diversity of trails that suit both families and more adventurous travelers. See if you can spot a Red-Legged Frog near the Bear Gulch Reservoir – but keep your distance to keep them safe!

Go shop! – If restaurants and antiques shopping is your thing, head around 40 miles west and check out the towns of Tres Pinos, Hollister, and San Juan Bautista. Other California hot springs we’ve discovered might also pique your interest. Check out the azure, secluded Montecito Hot Springs, reachable via a short hike from urban surrounds; Surprise Valley Hot Springs promises digital-free, adults-only relaxation, with a hot springs tub in every room; the family-owned Franklin Hot Springs offers a popular but tiny oasis next to a fishing lake in the depths of California’s wine country, while for those who love working for their soak, there’s the Sespe and Willett hot springs in the midst of the Californian wilderness, best for a long day or overnight stay. Other names we’d like to drop (so please click and explore!) are Sykes Hot Springs in the Big Sur, the spiritual haven of Breitenbush Hot Springs, and desert gem Benton Hot Springs. California has a lot to share with hot springs lovers, so be sure to search “California” in the Traxplorio search bar to see which mineral soaks land on your next vacation route.

The Takeaway

There is so much to enjoy at the inclusive and eco-conscious Mercey Hot Springs, so go, switch off your phone, and sink into a hot tub of mineral goodness. Enjoy hikes on-site and nearby, and if you time it right, you can even experience the wonders of a meteor shower or bird migration!

Check out more of California’s best hot spring soaks:




The Dos And Don’ts Of Visiting Hot Springs

Every hot springs has its own quirks. Visitors to Mercey Hot Springs, for example, should adhere to the site rules, especially with regards to noise, clothing, pets, and alcohol consumption. 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

What country is Mercey Hot Springs located in?

You can find Mercey Hot Springs on the west coast of the United States of America, in the state of California.

How to get to Mercey Hot Springs?

From the West Side Freeway (I-5) in California, turn off onto Little Panoche Road and stay on it for the next 13 miles to get to Mercey Hot Springs.

Is Mercey Hot Springs clothing optional?

You will need to be dressed while soaking in and walking around most of this property, though they do offer a special adults-only soak zone where you can let it all hang out.

Is Mercey Hot Springs pet friendly?

Mercey Hot Springs is a 100% pet-free zone (aside from service dogs)- you can’t even have them on a leash or kept in your vehicle, so keep this in mind when planning your visit.

How many pools are there at Mercey Hot Springs?

There are numerous individual hot spring tubs at Mercey Hot Springs, separated into clothed and naturist zones, and there is a communal chlorinated swimming pool.


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!

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