Desert Hot Springs, California

by Anne Dimon

Located about 16 km (roughly 10 miles) north of Palm Springs in Southern California, the aptly-named city of Desert Hot Springs, sits on a bed of mineral hot springs. According to the destination’s promotional material, it’s “the only place in the world with both hot and cold mineral spring aquifers.”

The city of about 25,000 residents is one of nine cities nestled in the windy Coachella Valley at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. The region is also known as a “desert vortex” where sun meets strong winds and mineral waters.

The Miracle Springs Resort & Spa and sister property Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel are two of many local properties that offer mineral pools and spa facilities. Between these two budget hotels (three-stars), Mineral Springs and Desert Hot Springs, there are 16 mineral pools of varying shapes, sizes and temperatures.


Hotel manager Reggie Bickford tells me there is an ongoing cycle of hot mineral-rich water being pumped from underground springs into the pools on a 24/7 bases. And, for hotel guests the pools are open 24/7.

I love that guests have access to the pools round the clock. There is something calming and grounding about soaking and relaxing in these hot mineral pools while staring up at towering waving palms and the night sky.

Additionally, the waters are deemed award-winning for drinking right out of the tap.

At Miracle Springs Resort & Spa, the 14-treatment room Miracle Springs Spa offers a full menu of services including a Tween menu, as this is a family-friendly property. Next door, Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel offers the same spa services.

Miracle Springs has also recently introduced a smoothie bar with all-organic smoothies and fresh pressed juices. The menu is slowly moving toward a healthier focus and now there are more fish, gluten free and vegetarian choices available.

For visitors and locals, the Desert Hotel Springs Hotel offers a day pass – just $7 per person for access to the mineral pools for the full day.

Other attractions in the immediate area include Joshua Tree National Park (local hiking guides are available) plus the Cabot’s Pueblo Museum early 1900s homesteader Cabot Yerxa who dug a well with pick and shovel and discovering the now famous hot mineral waters.

Take the waters in Desert Hot Springs, but for the best restaurants and retail therapy you’ll want to head to neighbouring Palm Springs.