Mother Nature Fuels the Numerous Hot Springs in the Kaiser Wilderness

     Lurking under the surface of the Kaiser Wilderness are active geothermal pockets. Naturally warmed waters rise to the surface through granite rock formations. This is a good thing, because they have created several natural hot springs in which you can soak and relax.
     They are located near the San Joaquin River, not far from the Mono Hot Springs campground, sitting at an elevation of 6,700 feet with many cliffs in the area. Most of these hot springs were cemented in and made much more comfortable by men working on the early Florence Lake Dam in the 1920s.
     You can reach these rustic hot by traveling over 9,100 ft. Kaiser Pass. After nine miles of paved but much of it one lane road, turn onto the well-marked Edison Lake Road dropping down and crossing the San Joaquin with the turn off to the campground just past the bridge.
     The following will list the most popular hot springs in the region.
     Old Pedro - Cross over to the south side of the
river and make your ascent up the hill about forty feet to “Old Pedro” – one of Mono’s hottest springs averaging around 106-107 degrees with daily variations.
     The two cement lined pools are the remnants of a bath house built by the California Conservation Corps in 1934. It is an in and out pool – you can’t continuously stay in it without having to get out and cool down after ten or fifteen minutes.
     Reed Pools - Climbing another 100 yards above Old Pedro, you find Reed Pools. They are cooler and refreshing on hot days. Behind the circular cement water tank are remnants of the old bath house.
     At times a hot spring outflows from a pipe with a tub beneath it. This is a perfect place to sit and let the hot water pour over the top of your head!
     From the hot springs in the vicinity of Old Pedro, you have three alternates for reaching the other hot springs. You can walk about 300 yards east through a muddy meadow with stepping
stones on which you can hop on to keep from sinking into the mud to the Iodine Springs.
     With a more strenuous hike one can reach “Little Eden”, a swimming pool size hot spring perched high on the ridge through the steep meadows.
     To avoid a steep climb to reach Little Eden, return across the river to your vehicle. Drive back across the bridge. Park at the trailhead on the south side.
     About 100 yards down the path heading west along the river you will see water crossing the footpath. Look up to your left to water source and you’ll see a large granite outcropping with a pool called the Rock Garden beside it.
     It is a warmer hot spring, big enough for several folks with beautiful maiden hair ferns tumbling into the pool above the bubbles which is the hottest part of the pool at about 104 degrees.
     Mud Baths is 30 yards uphill and over the rocks. It is a cooler pool. The soft clay lining makes for excellent facials! Another 140 yards down the path from Rock Garden and the Mud Baths are Iodine Springs. These cement lined tubs are deep enough to stand in. The easy way to get to Little Eden, a hot spring big enough to
swim in, is to drive up Edison Lake Road one mile and cross a small grated bridge. Park in recessed area just above the bridge.
     Walk out onto the rocks below the road overlooking the basin, When you see the resort below, look to your left and discover a beautiful pool perched on the very top of a ridge – the last place you would expect to find standing water! Its easiest to circle around to your left from this vantage point and reach Little Eden going down the path on the west side of the boulders to reach the pool below.
     Rose Garden is nearby. It is another of the cooler pools where you can sit without having to get in and out.