Remington Hot Springs, CA: The Complete Guide

Remington Hot Springs is one of several undeveloped hot springs situated along the picturesque Kern River. This river can be found southeast of Isabella Lake and adjacent to State Route 178 in California.

This post contains all the necessary information about this hot spring location. You will read a detailed description of the hot spring pools as well as important things to consider before leaving town. In addition, you will learn what to bring on your trip and how to make the most of your time at the Remington Hot Springs.

Lastly, you will be provided with information regarding camping and other hot springs along the Kern River, as well as the most efficient route to this location.

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    QUICK FACTS
    • Location: 35° 16′ 4″ N, 119° 18′ 25″ W
    • Closest town: Bakersfield
    • Address: California 93518, United States
    • Type: undeveloped
    • Temperature: Between 85°F abd105°F
    • Fee: None
    • Hike-in access: Yes
    • Number of pools: 4
    • Rule: Clothing optional

    These rustic hot spring pools were built and are also maintained by the local volunteers. The pools are open year round and are free to use. This place brings to mind the Verde hot springs site in Arizona. Sitting right next to the boisterous river, it offers an opportunity to relax, take in the great view and listen to the sound of the river as it rushes by while soaking in the hot tubs.

    Hot spring pools at Remington Hot Springs

    Remington Hot Springs

    There are 3 main pools sitting on the river bank. The smallest pool is closest to the geothermal water source and is the hottest, with a temperature of about 105°F. The other two pools get their water through connecting pipes from the first pool and have lower temperatures. The water in the pools eventually drains out into the river and is replenished from the source at a rate of a few gallons per minute. It is typically a low flow spring.

    The man-made pools were built with concrete and stone. The pools are about 3 feet deep, comfortable enough for half body soak. The water in the pools is clear and you can see the bottom of the pools.

    On a grassy area next to the river, approximately 50 feet away from the main concrete pools, there is a smaller pool that is referred to as “the miner’s tub.” This is the very first tub that was ever installed at this location, and it is still in good working order. The temperature in the tub is approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is shallower than the others. This is also the first pool you will see on your approach to Remington Hot Springs.

    Remington Hot Springs tub

    The Smell

    In these hot spring pools, there is one component of the water that does not require a chemical test in order to determine its identity. Sulfur! This gives off an odor that some have likened to that of a sewer or rotten eggs. At first, you might suspect that the odor is caused by the dirt that is present in the pools. However, this is not the case. The cleanliness and maintenance of the pools are consistently very good.

    The presence of sulfur in hot springs water is a natural occurrence, and research has shown that it may provide a number of advantages to one’s health. Therefore, you will have a relaxing soak if you are able to look past the odor. If, on the other hand, the smell of sulfur makes you nauseous, you should probably reconsider going to this site.

    Before you go

    It is important to note that:

    • If you are looking for solitude, then this hot springs site is not for you. This location is busy year round.
    • These pools are communal and there may be little or no privacy. The best time to visit to avoid large crowds is early in the morning or late evening if you plan to camp nearby.
    • Due to the fact that the hot springs are located on land owned by the Forest Service, bathing naked in these waters is done at your own discretion and risk. Forest Rangers who are out patrolling the area may issue you a ticket if they see you.
    • There is difficult hike-in access to this site.
    • This location lacks any sort of cover or shade. You will be exposed to the elements, so make sure to pack appropriately for the forecasted temperature and precipitation.
    • During the hike, you ought to keep a sharp eye out for rattlesnakes. I strongly suggest that you carry a stick with you as you walk along the trail. When you get to the parts of the trail that are steep and slippery, the stick can also assist you in maintaining your balance.
    • This is a free public pool that is located in an isolated area. This indicates that nobody monitors or restricts the items that swimmers may bring into the pools with them. People are typically required to take a shower before entering soaking tubs at resorts, but that is not the case here. It is possible for the water to become contaminated with both organic and inorganic matter during times of high usage. Bacteria such as E. coli and Fecal Coliform are frequently found in public pools. On the weekends and holidays, the levels of bacteria here may reach an unsafe level. Although regular tests are run to check for the presence of contaminants, and warning signs are typically placed near the trail to alert the public when it is unsafe to use the springs, you should still exercise caution at all times.
    • When you see warning signs about the pools or when you personally observe the state of the water and determine that it is not safe for soaking, you need to have the courage to turn around and go in the opposite direction.

    What to bring along?

    • A good attitude and respect for the other soakers
    • Drinking water and snacks. The water in the river next to the pools is not drinkable. 
    • Bathing suit (if you prefer not to bathe in the buff).
    • Hiking shoes with good grip
    • Towels
    • Water shoes or sandals to protect your feet while soaking.
    • A trash bag to take out your trash.
    • Your favorite beverage.
    • Your camping gear if you plan to stay overnight.

    When you get there,

    • First, check the condition of the water to make sure there is no algae bloom in it. This is the very first action to take whenever you get to any hot spring site. The presence of large algal growth provides a conducive environment for bacteria.
    • Douse yourself with the spring water, starting from your feet up to your shoulders. Don’t jump in immediately. This is done so that you can get used to the temperature before you dip.
    • Don’t submerge your whole body in the pool at once. Start with a half body soak to get your body used to the water.
    • Don’t soak for too long. Get out of the hot pool the moment you begin to sweat on your forehead and at the tip of your nose. Heat exhaustion can occur as a result of soaking for too long.
    • Wipe yourself dry with a towel once you are done soaking. If you feel itchy, then rinse off with clean water before you get a proper shower.
    • Drink lots of water during and after soaking to rehydrate.
    • Your blood pressure will change when you dip into hot water for a few minutes. So, make sure to rest at the end of your trip to the hot springs.
    • Avoid swimming in the river. The Kern River can be dangerous. If you are with kids, you have to watch them closely.
    • Don’t drink the water from the river or hot pools.
    • Keep your head out of the water. Do not submerge your head. This is to avoid microorganisms from going in through your nostrils.
    • Do not splash in the soaking pools
    • You should leave the site better than you found it. Leave no trace of your visit.

    Best times to visit Remington Hot Springs

    Remington Hot Springs tubs are empty
    Empty soaking tubs at Remington Hot Springs

    This area is a popular destination for both locals and those who are just passing by, as it is open all year round. If you want to avoid the crowds at Remington Hot Springs, your best bet is to go during the week when the site is less busy. This location has a propensity to reach its full capacity and become rowdy on the weekends.

    The months of autumn, winter, and spring are when you should go to this location if you want the ideal experience. A dip in the tub during the warm summer months might not be very soothing during the daytime hours. Nevertheless, during the warm summer nights, this place transforms into an outstanding location for camping and stargazing.

    I would suggest arriving before sunrise to have the springs to yourself for an hour or two. Alternatively, you can camp at one of the nearby campgrounds and arrive at dusk to soak under the starry sky.

    How do you get to Remington Hot Springs?

    Kern Canyon road to Remington Hot springs
    Kern Canyon road

    This hot springs site is located off Kern Canyon Road, along Highway 178.

    Take Highway 178 east from Bakersfield for 37 miles. Turn right onto Borel Road and drive for 0.3 miles up a steep hill. Then make a right onto Kern Canyon Road. At the stop sign that says “Remington Trail,” continue for another 3.5 miles to the Remington Hot Springs parking lot or trailhead on the canyon’s edge.

    kern river and US HWY 178
    The Kern River (right) running along US HWY 178

    From the parking lot, you will need to hike the 0.4 mile out-and-back trail that leads to the hot springs, which are located down a steep slope. Even though there is no sign pointing in the direction that you should go, it is impossible to miss the trail. It is the only route that can be taken from the parking lot. Depending on the state of the path, the hike should take you somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. The trail has some moderately challenging sections, particularly the climb back up to the parking lot from the hot springs. Put on hiking boots that are appropriate for the terrain, and pay attention to your footing.

    steep descent to remington hot springs
    Steep descent to Remington Hot Springs

    Remington Hot Springs camping

    Camping is prohibited in the immediate vicinity of the hot springs. However, there is no charge to camp at the trailhead or parking lot. This location does not have any amenities. An overnight stay here is similar to having an experience in the great outdoors.

    You also have the option of paying a fee to camp in one of the following campgrounds, each of which offers a limited number of amenities.

    hobo campground

    Hobo Campground

    The United States Forest Service maintains the Hobo Campground, which can be found on the Lower Kern River to the southwest of Lake Isabella. It is approximately 1.7 miles away from Remington Hot Springs, and getting there will take about 5 minutes if you are traveling by car. but it will take about 35 minutes if you are traveling on foot. There are vault toilets. and 23 individual campsites for families, but there is no running water at this campground. Campfires are allowed, but you will need a permit for that.

    Hobo Campground

    Camping in RVs is permitted at this campground. However, the maximum length for such vehicles is limited to 22 feet. There is a strict prohibition against bringing in trailers.

    The campground is accessible at any time of the year, but its peak season is during the summer. Fall is by far the most pleasant time of year to visit this location.

    Please be aware that in order to accommodate the high volume of users, the campground requires that you make reservations in advance.

    The following is a breakdown of the fees: 

    • $28 per night for a single unit, 
    • $7 per night for any additional vehicle(s), and 
    • $30 per night during holiday weekend stays.

    Reservations can be made here:  http://www.recreation.gov/

    Sandy Flat Campground

    A seasonal camping area, Sandy Flat Campground, can be found along the lower Kern River to the southwest of Lake Isabella. It will take you about 8 minutes to drive to this location, which is located approximately 2.8 miles away from Remington Hot Springs.

    sandy flat campground

    This site, in contrast to Hobo Campground, is not as popular and is only accessible from April through November. It provides 35 camping spots, of which 6 are walk-in sites, as well as water, bathrooms, and toilets.

    Before arriving, you are required to make a reservation, and the following are the rates available: 

    • $32 per night is charged for a single unit, and 
    • $8 per night is added for each additional vehicle.

    Reservations can be made here:  http://www.recreation.gov/

    Old Isabella Campground

    The Old Isabella Campground is situated on Lake Isabella’s southern shore, off of Highway 178. The distance is 9.4 miles from Remington Hot Springs and it will take 15 minutes to drive there.

    Visitors can find a vault toilet, trash pickup, a visitor information desk, and campsites above the high water mark at this campground. Additionally, visitors are permitted to drive their vehicles up to the water’s edge and set up camp there.

    A public boat launch and courtesy dock with a sizable, paved parking area for cars and boat trailers, flush toilets, and drinking water are close to the camping area.

    Old Isabella Campground

    The Forest Service operates this campsite. Although reservations are not necessary to utilize this location, each vehicle must have a Southern Sierra Pass, which costs $10 per day or $50 per year.

    You can buy a Southern Sierra Pass at Golden State Surplus in Lake Isabella, Riverside One Stop in Kernville, Red’s Marina in the South Fork Recreation Area, or local offices of the United States Forest Service.

    It is important to keep in mind that permits are necessary in order to use campfires, barbecues, and camping stoves, and camping is allowed for a maximum of 14 days out of every 30 day period.

    Rivernook Campground

    Along the banks of the Kern River is a privately owned campground called Rivernook Campground. The distance to Remington Hot Springs from this campground is 19.3 miles, and it will take approximately 28 minutes to drive there.

    Several creeks can be found winding their way through this lovely and peaceful campground, which is open throughout the year.

    This location features a large riverfront campground that is equipped with hot showers, a convenience store, tent campsites, RV hookup sites, and free Wi-Fi access.

    Rivernook campground

    The following is a breakdown of the daily rates for camping, which accommodate a maximum of eight people per site:

    • Camping in a dry tent is available for $45.00 USD per night.
    • The cost of a night at a tent site that has both water and electricity is $60. 
    • A nightly rate of $65.00 is charged for partial hookups, which include RV/Trailers with 50 amp service and riverside access. 
    • Creekside camping with partial hookups costs $60 per night for RVs and trailers with 30 amp service. 
    • Price per night for full hookups is $75.00.

    Other hot spring sites close to Remington Hot Springs

    Remington Hot Springs is part of a group of hot springs known as the Kern River Hot Springs. These hot springs, located along the shores of the Kern River, share the same geothermal system.

    Kern River hot springs

    Let us examine these thermal springs, shall we? For the sake of completeness, I’ve decided to include those that are no longer in operation.

    Miracle Hot Springs

    The Miracle Hot Springs can be found on the Lower Kern River in California’s Sequoia National Forest, approximately 10 miles west of Lake Isabella. It is only a short distance away from Remington Hot Springs (1.5 miles; 5 minutes by car). This site is located very close to Hobo Campground. 

    It consists of three man-made soaking pools made of concrete and stone, one of which is particularly large and suitable for a full-body soak. At a rate of approximately 150 gallons per minute, the water emerges from its geothermal source at a temperature of 119 degrees Fahrenheit. As the water flows into the soaking pools, the temperature of the water decreases until it reaches approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

    This incredible hot spring location was once more popular than Remington Hot Springs. However, the hot spring pools have been dismantled and the site has been closed. The reason for the closure is that the site had become too rowdy and littered, making it difficult to maintain. The water’s safety can no longer be guaranteed.

    Delonegha Hot Springs

    The Delonegha Hot Springs is a site of undeveloped hot springs on the banks of the Kern River in California’s Sequoia National Forest. The site consists primarily of the ruins of a hotel that closed in 1912. The concrete hot spring tubs are still in place and in operational condition. Here, the average spring water temperature is 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

    This location is 11.9 miles from Remington Hot Springs and 19 minutes away. The majority of the site is located on fenced private property. Access is only granted by invitation, and anyone not invited is considered a trespasser by the owner.

    Some explorers reach the location via the river and remain within 50 feet of the high water mark. This area is forest service property, but that does not prevent the adjacent landowner from threatening trespassers.

    I would advise you to avoid these incredible hot springs for now.

    Democrat Hot Springs

    It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque and serene hot springs destination than this one. This location, which was constructed in 1904, has remained unaffected by the current urbanization around us. 

    It can be found on a private property that is tucked away about twelve miles from the mouth of the Kern River Canyon. There is a distance of 15.1 miles between this site and Remington Hot Springs.

    The site features five spring water openings, from which water heated to 119 degrees Fahrenheit bubbles up into several soaking tubs and a large swimming pool. 

    This incredible hot springs resort is unfortunately private and inaccessible to the general public. As of the writing of this post, there is neither a website nor any known contact information for the owners. Access is restricted to those who know the owners or their families.

    Summary

    If you have reached this point in the article, you have a solid understanding of Remington Hot Springs and can confidently plan your trip. In the “Before you go” section, we examined crucial information you should be aware of before your trip, and in the “When you get there” section, we provided advice to help you avoid disappointment at the destination. Additionally, we examined the camping options and the optimal times to visit this location.

    If you have any questions or would like additional information, please leave a comment below.

    Remington Hot Springs Map

    Remington Hot Springs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Is Remington Hot Springs closed?

    No. This hot spring is open year round.

    Do you need to pay for parking at the trailhead of Remington Hot Springs?

    No fee is required for parking.

    How long is the hike to Remington Hot Spring?

    20 minutes.

    What are some attractions close to Remington Hot Springs?

    • Fishing in the lower Kern River. This activity is open year-round and anyone older than 16 must possess a valid fishing license.
    • Hiking
    • Motorized and Non-Motorized boating at Old Isabella Campground
    • Star gazing

    Can I swim in the Kern River?

    The Kern River is dangerous for swimming.

    Is there food at Remington Hot Springs?

    This site is in a remote wilderness. Bring your food and drinking water.

    Where to stay near Remington Hot Springs, California?

    • Hobo Campground
    • Sandy Flat Campground
    • Old Isabella Campground

     

    Is it Remmington Hot Springs?

    No, the spelling only contains one “m.”

    Can I go to this hot spring site in winter?

    Yes. The winter months are a good time to take advantage of the hot mineral water.

    Are dogs allowed at the hot spring site?

    Dogs are welcome, but make sure to keep them out of the pools and on a leash.

    What are Kern County Hot Springs?

    Kern County Hot Springs are the hot springs located along the shores of the Kern River.

    Is the Kern River closed?

    The Kern River is open year round.

    Does Hobo Campground have flush toilets?

    There are no flush toilets, only vault toilets here.

    What are Bakersfield hot springs?

    The Bakersfield hot springs are a group of hot springs close to the town of Bakersfield, such as:

    • Remington Hot Springs
    • Miracle Hot Springs
    • Delonegha Hot Springs
    • Democrat Hot Springs

    What are the Lake Isabella Hot Springs?

    Isabella Hot Springs are a group of hot springs that share the same geothermal system close to Isabella Lakes. They are also known as the Kern River Hot Springs.

    Are these hot springs near Sequoia National Park?

    Yes. All the hot springs described above are in the Sequoia National Forest.

    Is Miracle Hot Springs open?

    The hot springs pools at the site no longer exist. However, the surrounding area is open for hiking and picnics.

     

    Other Hot Springs in California

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