Hilltop Hot Springs in Mammoth Lakes, CA is a hidden gem of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This remote natural hot spring not only a offers a unique experience with it’s concrete tub, but adds scenic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The Hilltop Hot Springs are well known for California’s therapeutic minerals, allowing people to come and soak in the waters to help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Details about Hilltop Hot Springs – Pulkey’s Pool
The pool is an ancient hot spring that was formed thousands of years ago when a large volcanic eruption occurred in the area. The heated water from the underground magma created this deep blue-green pool that can reach temperatures up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 Celsius). This concrete formed tub can comfortably accommodate 5 people (6 if one is a kid). Because it can get busy at certain times of the year, don’t be surprised if you have to wait a bit for jumping in.
The mineral waters are pumped in by tube that runs roughly 50 feet to the source of the springs. It’s easy to spend hours soaking in Pulkey’s Pool while admiring views of Long Valley Caldera. This destination spot has become increasingly popular among locals and tourists in the last several years so make sure you get there early.
Directions about Hilltop Hot Springs – Pulkey’s Pool
Address: M676+H6, Mammoth Lakes, California
From Fresno – Map
Start on US-395 S, making a left onto Benton Crossing Rd. Travel 3.5 miles and make another left onto a small dirt road. Continue until you see the parking lot for the hot springs.
Camping Near Hilltop Hot Springs
There are also plenty of campgrounds nearby that offer visitors the chance to explore all this area has to offer.
Convict Lake Campground is one of the closest campgrounds near Hilltop Hot Springs / Pulkey’s Pool. Located just 15 miles away, it offers stunning lake views and easy access to Convict Lake itself, which is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The campsites here range from primitive tent sites with no amenities other than fire rings and picnic tables, up to full hook-up RV sites complete with water and electric hookups as well as sewer connections. Other amenities include flush toilets, showers, drinking water spigots, and boat ramp access.
Rock Creek Lakes Resort & Campground is about 35 miles away from Hilltop Hot Springs / Pulkey’s Pool. This resort features cabins in addition to camping spots along two alpine lakes that are perfect for swimming or fishing (with valid license). Amenities here include firewood bundles available for purchase at their general store as well as flushing toilets and cold running showers (in summer months). There’s even a small cafe serving breakfast items like pancakes and dinner entrees.
Fish Creek Group Campground about 40 miles away from Hilltop Hot Springs / Pulkey’s Pool. Here you’ll find group campsites suitable only for tents with no electricity or running water, but they do have vault toilets available.
Hiking Trails Near Hilltop Hot Springs
The most popular trail at Long Valley Caldera is the Mammoth Mountain Trail. This 4-mile loop takes you up close to the caldera’s rim, giving you stunning views of the surrounding landscape as well as glimpses of volcanic activity below. Along this route, you can also see obsidian flows from past eruptions that are now covered in lush vegetation.
Red Cones Trail which climbs over two thousand feet up an old lava flow. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Mono Lake and other areas within Long Valley Caldera, plus some fascinating geology along the way!
Hot Creek Trail which winds through meadows filled with wildflowers before leading down into Hot Creek Gorge where hot springs bubble beneath your feet while colorful trout swim above them in clear pools.