A Relaxing Escape

Chico's Historic Hot Springs

Our resort’s best feature just so happens to be its most natural. Our two open-air mineral hot springs pools have been the centerpiece of our resort since its first days as a boarding house and health spa. Travelers flocked to the hot springs for the chance to soak up its restorative properties and leave feeling refreshed. Nearly a century later, little has changed; our hot springs are still exactly where they were in 1900, and visitors still flock to its curative waters, eager for a good, mineral-infused soak.

a person sitting on a mat in a swimming pool


Resort Guests

  • Enjoy complimentary access to the hot springs during your stay.
  • Hours: 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM daily.

Day Guests

  • Adults & Children (ages 7+): $14.00
  • Children (ages 3-6): $8.00
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $8.00
  • Hours: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM daily
  • Towel Rental: $1.00
a girl jumping in a pool
a group of people in a pool

History of The Hot Springs

“I went out to the hot springs and washed my dirty duds.”

These words were the first written record of the hot springs at Chico, noted from the diary of miner John S. Hackney, dated January 16, 1865.

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History of The Hot Springs

“I went out to the hot springs and washed my dirty duds.”

These words were the first written record of the hot springs at Chico, noted from the diary of miner John S. Hackney, dated January 16, 1865.

Many gold miners, who worked claims in nearby Emigrant Gulch, utilized the springs. By the late 1890s the natural hot springs flowed into two wooden tubs, each about 4-feet deep and housed inside a small wooden building located where the hot springs come to the earth’s surface.

Of course, Native Indian tribes discovered the hot springs for thousands of years and used them frequently. Paradise Valley was a valued hunting ground for bison, elk and deer. The Crow, Flathead, Blackfoot, Shoshone and Nez Perce tribes camped and hunted in the area, using the hot springs for both cooking and preparing hides, as well as bathing.

The Main Lodge of Chico Warm Springs Hotel was opened in 1900 by Bill and Percie Knowles. With the hotel came a larger hot springs pool. The pool was 44 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep; there were also private baths and baths for ladies only.

By 1902 the “Plunge” was doubled in size to include two large oval shaped pools, one 6 feet deep and one 9 feet deep, enclosed in an expansive wooden building and declared a natatorium. Between 1917 and 1919 the “Plunge” was changed again – one large rectangular pool took the place of the oval pools, a lobby was built (the current saloon) and additional lodging rooms were built as a second floor over the top of the pool lobby.

The “Plunge” and building housing the pool went through further changes prior to the 1950s. In May of 1957 the rounded roof over the natatorium collapsed on approximately 70 swimmers. Only two swimmers had minor injuries while everyone else walked away unharmed. Moving forward, the roof was never rebuilt over the large pool and the open-air pool became popular with soakers and swimmers forever after.

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, the “Plunge” was popular not just as a swimming pool, but as therapeutic treatment for a variety of ailments in the early days of the resort. It was heralded as Wonderland and for its Healing Waters. Advertisements promoted the curative powers of the natural mineral hot springs pools for everything from kidney troubles to blood disease and skin disorders. In 1902 the Chief of the US General Survey, Professor F.W. Clark, performed an analysis of the mineral content of the hot springs water. The analysis showed the following solid contents (in 100 parts):

Calcium Carbonate 8.65
Magnesium Carbonate 2.69
Sodium Carbonate 2.74
Sodium Sulfate 4.87
Potassium Chloride .83
Sodium Chloride .58
Silica 3.17
Total solid contents 23.53

a group of people in a swimming pool
a large pool with people in it

Naturally Warm All Year Round

You might notice that our hot springs maintain their steamy temperatures around the clock, year-round. There's a simple reason for this: these are 100% natural geothermal pools.

Hot springs form when the Earth's molten rock heats water deep underground. Convection currents then force this hot water back up towards the surface through cracks and fissures. As the pressure lessens, the hot water emerges, creating the springs we enjoy.

This journey through the Earth's core infuses the water with a variety of beneficial minerals, like silica, which softens the skin. Combined with the natural buoyancy from the increased water pressure, these mineral-rich waters offer a range of restorative benefits for both mind and body.