Grover Hot Springs State Park
Soaking in the natural hot spring water of Grover Hot Springs State Park is one of the sublime delights of the Byway. From immense mountain peaks and old lava flows covering hundreds of square miles in the east to the glacially-carved valley and natural hot springs, Grover Hot Springs is a testament to the ancient and powerful geologic forces that shaped the landscape that one sees today. The Park’s eight natural hot springs are a result of surface water percolating through cracks in the earth’s crust until it reaches hot rock thousands of feet below, then bubbles back up to the surface, dissolving and absorbing minerals along its way. The water is a scalding 148 degrees when it reaches the ground surface; however the Park regulates hot pool inflow to maintain a comfortable soaking temperature between 102 and 104 degrees. The water at Grover Hot Springs State Park contains little sulfur, and does not have that “rotten egg” smell so common in other natural hot springs.
The 700-acre park is open year round and features a hot soaking pool and adjacent cool swimming pool, a 76-site developed campground, picnic area, and hiking trails.
Known originally by Native Americans for hundreds of years, non-native visitors have flocked to Hot Springs Valley since the 1850s to “take the cure” in the natural mineral hot springs. Reputedly visited by Frémont in 1844, the site was homesteaded in 1854 by John Hawkins. In the 1860s, the property was leased to dairyman C.H. Kilgore, who constructed a rustic bath house, dwelling, barn, and outhouses.
In 1874 Alvin Merrill Grover formed a partnership with Hawkins and began making improvements to the property. In 1883 Grover purchased the Fisk Hotel at Silver Mountain City, moved it to Markleeville, and renamed it the Hot Springs Hotel (later the Alpine Hotel). In 1959 the property was purchased for inclusion in the California State Parks system, which replaced the old pools, but retained the historic cabins.
- Elevation: 6,000 ft.
- Mile Marker: 61/0 (turnoff)
- GPS Coordinates: 38 41 52N -119 49 50W
- Service Available: Camping, Car Clubs, HIking, Picnicking, Swimming, Accessible, Botanical, Hot Springs