Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs
January – February 2016
Soak in Serene and Scenic Nevada Hot Springs.
BY ERIC CACHINERO
Bathtubs are overrated. Bubbles, smelly soaps, and candles are nice for some people, but here in Nevada, we like our baths all-natural. We like feeling silt between our toes; gazing upon snow-kissed peaks as our bodies are heated. We love nature’s most precious element as it flows from the crust earth’s crust, heated to perfection by rocks and magma sometimes miles below the surface. And we crave seeking out the most comfortable, scenic, and secluded soak. Natural hot springing is an addiction.
Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs (sometimes called Fish Lake Valley Hot Well) north of Dyer feeds the addiction. Though not nearly as secluded and private as many hot springs in Nevada, the location warrants a visit from seasoned hot springers and rookies alike.
Located in Fish Lake Valley and within view of the Boundary Peak Wilderness, the springs are scenic, surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges and endless miles of open spaces. The area surrounding the soaking pool is large with many free camping areas to park trailers or pitch a tent. The site is primitive, but does include several small barbecues, fire pits, and a pit toilet. With miles of ATV and horse trails surrounding the springs, the area is a popular destination during the summer months.
A concrete soaking tub, about three- or four-feet deep, has been constructed. The soaking tub contains water between 104 and 105 degrees, and is surrounded by cinderblocks, giving soakers a bit of privacy. The water in the soaking tubs flows out and down a small embankment before reaching a small pond and reducing in temperature. Though temperature is reduced, the pond stays a bit warm and provides nice summer swims. Several more ponds surround the warm pond, and typically remain cold throughout the year.
From the intersection of State Route 264 and 773, head south on State Route 264 for almost 6 miles. There will be a well-maintained dirt road on the east side of the road, which leads to the springs. Follow that dirt road for exactly seven miles, and the springs will be clearly visible just off the road. Keep an eye out for the pit toilet, and you know you’ve found it. The springs are labeled “The Crossing” on some maps.
Though trash cans do exist at the site, please follow pack-it-in, pack-it-out and leave-no-trace practices. Please do not camp directly next to any hot spring. Camping a short distance away allows other visitors to enjoy the springs. And though many hot springs in Nevada are clothing-optional, Fish Lake Valley is fairly well used, so it’s probably best to bring some swim trunks.