Hilltop Hot Springs


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    Mammoth lakes of Mono County, California is home to a lot of natural hot springs that are accessible throughout the year. If you are moving to California just to spend a vacation or to reside, we will recommend you have a hot spring spa at the Hilltop hot springs. 

    Hilltop hot springs, otherwise known as Pulky’s pool, are one among many natural hot springs present in the long valley caldera near the mammoth lakes.

    This elevated plateau offers excellent soaking moments along with stunning 360° panoramic vistas of the nearby meadows and snow-capped east Sierra mountain ranges.  


    In this article, we are going to discuss why should you visit Hilltop Hot Springs, the best time to visit Northern California, best hot spring landscape, Hilltop Hot Springs, and more. Read on!

    Are there springs in Southern California?

    Southern California is a place for a lot of natural hot springs cabins with hot tubs, known for relieving and therapeutic properties.

    These hot pools are found throughout the region scattered from the desert areas to the forested mountain ranges of the state. 

    How to visit Hilltop Hot Springs in Mammoth lakes

    While many people think they can’t find Hilltop hot springs near mammoth lakes, it’s actually easy to locate through Google maps. Issues happen while driving the end part to the springs as you have to drive through potholes, dirt, and bumpy road,

    while the major driving portions are covered with main roads. Driving a four-wheeler with high clearance is not that necessary but going slow is what the end 0.3 kilometers requires. 

    Hilltop Hot Springs Statistics

    Temperature100° to 110° F 
    EnvironmentA steamy hot tub with stunning views of Eastern Sierra. You can take 20+ all-inclusive bathing experiences that include a cave pool, sauna, Hmam, cold plunge pools, etc. 
    Opening SeasonAny time of the year
    Coordinates37.66° N, 118.78° W
    Best Time To VisitEarly fall or late spring, early in the morning
    Swimming Yes

    Best time to visit Hilltop Hot Spring

    The best time to visit the hilltop hot springs is in the morning, at the time when sunrises during early autumn or late spring. The calm and pleasant weather during this time is the best time to have hot springs all by yourself. 


    Best Season to visit Hilltop hot spring 

    Are you wondering which season is the best for soaking yourself in the hilltop hot tub? Hilltop hot springs remain open throughout the year but the best season to visit hilltop hot springs is during the late spring or early autumn. 

    The climate in these two seasons is perfect to dip in yourself without feeling too warm or cold. Summers are not the right time as the hot temperature makes the tub too warm making it uncomfortable to enjoy the soak. 

    Although the US-395 route remains in good condition during winter, the roads remain full of dirt and completely obstructed. So, make sure to choose a chilly time and an appropriate vehicle during your visits in the winter months. 


    Hilltop Hot springs are situated approximately 65 kilometers north of Bishop and 20 kilometers east of mammoth lakes. You have to take a drive of about 559.40 kilometers north via US-395 from Ojai hot springs to reach Hilltop Hot springs. 


    If you drive from mammoth lakes, turn left heading to Benton crossing road crossing the green church. There you have to go through a dirt road for 4 kilometers until you reach the first cattle grate.

    Take the first left and follow the unnamed unpaved road for 0.33 kilometers to reach the end of the road and Hilltop’s parking area.


    This map provides you with the driving and walking directions from Mammoth lakes, Bishop, and the parking area to the hot spring.

    The hot spring is open throughout the year but the parking area remains closed in the winter. If you arrive and see the parking area is closed, park your vehicle alongside Benton Crossing road, and walk the 0.3 kilometers (5 minutes) road to the Hilltop tub hot springs.

    Tips for visiting Hilltop Hot springs

    • Reach early in the morning to avoid crowds and enjoy the beauty of this natural place.
    • Throw trash out of the place, even if it’s not yours. It’s our responsibility to keep natural places neat and clean.
    • Invite people to join you in the tub. Just because you arrived first doesn’t mean you will hog there for hours.
    • Keep away the bath products. This is because natural hot springs don’t drain easily. Bath products can demineralize the naturality of the hot spring.
    • People visit there to relax and reduce stress. So, avoid using loud music, partying, and playing around in the hot spring. They might get disturbed. 

    6 Things you should carry


    Here are some essentials to consider while visiting Hilltop hot spring:

    • Towels: Take a towel to dry off yourself after you soak.
    • Swimsuit: You probably don’t want to soak yourself in your casuals, so wear a swimsuit instead.
    • Hat and sunglasses: The place is located at a higher elevation where sun rays will be strong, so hats and sunglasses will help you protect from harmful UV rays. 
    • Bathrobe: The bathrobe will keep you warm and covered before and after soaking yourself.
    • Eatables: Snacks, fast foods, beer, and water are a must for a memorable time there with your group.
    • Trash bags: Don’t forget to pack out the leftovers or trash in the trash bag. 

    Nearby Places to Stay

    The best place to stay while visiting Hilltop hot springs is in the heavenly ski resort town – The Mammoth lakes. The town is about 24 kilometers away from the Hilltop hot springs. You can choose any traditional alpine resort as per your budget and stay in. 

    Some of the best hotels near mammoth lakes are as follows:

    • McGee Creek Lodge: 4.7/5
    • Convict Lake Resort: 4.8/5
    • Alpenhof Lodge: 4.5/5
    • Village Lodge: 4.1/5
    • Innsbruck Lodge: 4.2/5

    Hilltop hot springs FAQs

    Are dogs allowed at hilltop hot springs?

    Yes, dogs are permitted at the Hilltop hot springs. But it’s advised to clean up the place after use. 

    Can you camp at Hilltop hot springs?

    Camping is not allowed at the Hilltop hot springs as it is owned by the Los Angeles Water and Power Company which prohibits camping. But you can in the nearby areas.

    What to expect at Hilltop hot springs?

    You can expect a relaxed, stress-free hot bath and spa while enjoying the panoramic scenery of the Mammoth lake area and Eastern Sierra in the Hilltop tub hot springs.

    Are Hilltop hot springs free?

    Yes, visiting the Hilltop Hot Spring is free of cost. 

    Can you swim in the Hilltop hot spring?

    Yes, you can swim a bit at the hilltop hot spring but it depends on the number of people you are with. The pool can accommodate 5-7 people and is 2 feet deep. 


    A sunrise or sunset visit to the Hilltop Hot Springs is a must to experience a relaxed mind along with the body through the naturally heated spring water. This will surely make a highlight for the entire week in this golden State. 

    We hope that we have provided everything you needed for a relaxed and enjoyable visit to the Hilltop hot springs. In return, we hope you will make everything possible to protect this natural gift by keeping it clean and as it is. 

    Before you go, check out some best restaurants in Ontario and local treasures in the neighborhood!