Mercey Hot Springs serves one of the best qualities of water among hot springs close to San Jose.
Both outdoor baths and indoor baths consist of small tubs, so that water remains super fresh.
Casa de Fruta
It is less than two hours’ drive from the downtown of San Jose to Mercey Hot Springs.
Casa de Fruta is located in the middle and suitable for taking a break.
The place is full of local vegetables, fruits, and nuts; even local wines are available for tasting.
Leaving I-5, I found an oasis in the deserted area, which was Mercey Hot Springs.
It is located close to San Andreas Fault which form the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.
In 1848, this hot spring known among American Indians appeared in the history.
An outlaw gang, Five Joaquins Gang is said to be the owner during the American frontier.
In 1912, after John N. Merci sold the premises to a real-estate agent in San Francisco, the hot spring resort was constructed.
Some early buildings remain, being renovated.
Today there are campsites and cabins for lodging.
I stayed at the cabin, small enough to accommodate a bed.
I could not expect much in the off-grid living.
Let’s take a look into the clothing required area.
A swimming pool was right in front of the gate.
The water was not so characteristic.
I felt a bad smell of chlorine as well.
A sauna is next to the swimming pool.
These are typical facilities in ordinary spa in the US; however, the true worth of Mercey Hot Springs is in private tubs.
A Bunch of Tubs
On the level higher than the pool, there are several beach umbrellas.
Several private tubs are located under them.
Opening the valves, red hose provided hot mineral water, and blue hose cold water.
The hot water was clear and colorless, and smelled like rotten eggs (very nice).
For those who wants to be naked, go to the clothing optional area.
It is on the wood deck behind cabins.
Even if it was a mixed bath, I felt free because the tubs were separated per person.
The water is 118 degrees F at the gushing point.
In the historic tubs mineral water became comfortable temperature; still I felt hotter than actual warmth.
The water is high in salt.
Summer may not be the best season to visit because of extreme heat.
Meanwhile nights in the desert are likely to be cool, which makes bathing more relaxing.
Overnight guests can use private baths without additional fees.
The historic bathhouse was a real gem.
In front of the two bathrooms, the floor was nicely decorated with tiles.
This tiled bathroom looked newly renovated; full of woody scent.
Another bathroom had a quaint water outlet.
Look at this ingenious decoration on the bench!
These decorations reminded me of the luxury resort in old days.
A functional pipe around the water surface made it possible to have water free-flowing.
I realized that small tubs were suitable for enjoying the freshness of mineral water.
Mercey Hot Springs, Firebaugh, California, U.S.
- Walk-in: Yes (10:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
- Lodging: Yes (Online Bookings)