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Desert Hot Springs is a town in Riverside County in the California Desert. Most visitors are here to chill in the desert, and relax at one of the many hotel/spas. The naturally hot mineral waters flowing into the soaking pools is heated by the earth's magma and is unusual that it contains no sulfur smell and is tasteless.

The hot water table is actually above the cold water table and in some places is so near the surface it leaks out of the earth. Soaking in the naturally hot mineral waters proves therapeutically beneficial to those suffering arthritis, bursitis, muscular fatigue or damage and is generally healing to the body. In some places the wells measure temperatures as high as 140 degrees requiring cooling of the waters before they flow into the soaking pools.

The waters that flow into the pools also flow out of the pools into retention basins that allow the waters to slowly soak back into the earth. By this method the pools are constantly refreshed with new waters flowing in, so less chlorine is required.

The city of Desert Hot Springs, once known as Spa City, was founded by Cabot Yerxa and came into being in the 1950s due to the hot mineral springs. This makes it a unique destination among all cities of the Coachella Valley. Nearby cities of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indio do not have hot mineral springs.

Get in[edit]

Map of Desert Hot Springs

Having a car is definitely the easiest option.

From Los Angeles take the I-10 East, exit Palm Drive, and head north.

From Palm Springs, take either Indian Canyon Drive north, or Gene Autry Trail north, which turns into Palm Drive. Either route will take around 30 minutes.

Get around[edit]



  • Mission Creek Preserve.
  • Cabot's Pueblo Museum. 100+ year old native-style home and museum of city founder Cabot Yerxa.



  • The Capri Italian Food and Steakhouse.
  • South of the Border.
  • 1 Thai Palm Restaurant, 12106 Palm Dr, +1 760-288-3934. A decent little Thai restaurant, with a traditional menu accompanied by a not-so-traditional specials menu. Mains $8-15.


  • Escapades Bar, 12347 Palm Drive. Friendly, neighborhood bar. $.


Most of the hotels double as spas.

Go next[edit]

  • Joshua Tree National Park – Stunning landscapes and home to two desert ecosystems and is a favorite for campers, hikers, and rock-climbers. The western entrance is about 30 minutes drive north on CA 62 in Joshua Tree Village.
Routes through Desert Hot Springs
Ends at Palm Springs  W  E  Yucca ValleyJct N S

This city travel guide to Desert Hot Springs is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.