Hot springs in Northern CA via motorcycle
May 1, 2009 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Hot springs within 2-3 hours of San Francisco, preferably north? Taking a motorcycle daytrip one day next week, hot springs would be a good destination.

I'm a newbie motorcycle rider. Next week I'm looking to take a day trip with a close friend who's an experienced rider. We're hoping to go north from San Francisco. I'm thinking hot springs would be a good destination. I'm trying to convince him that staying gone a few days is a good idea (neither of us are working next week, and we could both use a few days out of town), but that's not necessarily going to happen.

Hiking more than a mile or so is unlikely to happen. Neither of us have any sort of luggage carrying capabilities on our bikes, so overnight stays would have to have roof/bed available. No camping.

Any ideas? I'm really into the hot springs idea, but other awesome destinations would be great.

PS: First question, I'm sure I'm leaving information out.
posted by mollymayhem to Travel & Transportation around California (12 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked into Harbin?

That's perhaps the default answer, but on the off chance that you hadn't...
posted by darth_tedious at 8:32 PM on May 1, 2009

Mercey Hot Springs, not fancy but there's a certain charm to the place. Also, it's south, not north.
posted by lannanh at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2009

posted by LionIndex at 9:14 PM on May 1, 2009

Orr hot springs, east of Ukiah. Nicest place I've been, apart from Tassajara (four hours south of SF.)
posted by anadem at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you are feeling ambitious, in Sierraville is the Sierra Hot Springs. The Meditation Pool is the loveliest hot spring I have ever been in. Failing that, seconding anadem on Orr Hot Springs.
posted by jet_silver at 9:42 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another delightful place is Hot Creek. After a few days in the Ansel Adams Wilderness it is very much like heaven.
posted by jet_silver at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2009

It's a tad farther than you asked for (4.5h from SF), but for future reference, Big Bend, CA has some really amazing hot springs. I'm referring to the "publicly-used (but on private land)" ones. There's a few man-made tubs right next to a bend in the river. When I was there a few years back someone had balanced ~100 rocks with the pointy side down in the shallow part of the river.
posted by mqk at 10:22 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another ambitious option is Benton Hot Springs (also a B&B) in Benton, CA. I've stayed there a couple times after backpacking in the Sierra and Death Valley. Not much going on in Benton. I'd love to ride my motorcycle out there someday, via Highway 120.

There's also Vichy Springs, only a couple hours north of SF in Ukiah (near Orr Hot Springs).
posted by amb at 11:38 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Boyes Hot Springs in Sonoma. The wiki link will give you some spa destinations. As a newbie rider, you won't mind taking the slab (hwy 101) for a straight shot north from SF for about 1.5 hours. Or take Hwy 1 for a more scenic carve up the coast (but add another hour).

Jet_silver: Hot Creek is more than a 8 hour ride from SF, since the passes are closed at this time of year. But I agree it's a great place. Bring a fly rod.
posted by artdrectr at 12:23 AM on May 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Orr hot springs!

I couldn't find a website for them, so I think you may need to read a few message board entries. Great, though. Get a cottage. Love it when it's cold and rainy.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:34 AM on May 2, 2009

Vichy Springs aren't hot - they're more like room temperature to cool. Wilbur Hot Springs is a little far, but awesome. The ride would be beautiful but the last mile or so into the resort might be a little rough.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2009

I've only been to Harbin (which has a certain vibe), but I hear from friends that have been to both that Wilbur and Orr are much better.
posted by poissonrouge at 9:34 AM on May 3, 2009

« Older 3 hour cruise?   |   A hip hop spoofish song that played on alternative... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.