Cheap and Hidden Hot Springs in Magnificent Mendocino
This past weekend my lady and I went to a wedding up in the Mendocino hills. The wedding was just as lovely as the surrounding scenery and the best part was that it was as far from a traditional ceremony as you could imagine. The wedding started with all the attendees standing in a circle which then led to a 30 minute hike to a glen where the actual ceremony took place. Fucking stellar. I’d post photos, but even I’m not uncouth enough to post someone else’s wedding photos online.
We didn’t have to have the Zipcar back to San Francisco the until 10pm the following day, so we decided to spend it exploring a bit of Mendocino and visiting the hot springs my friend Simon had hipped me to.
Sitting about a half hour outside Ukiah, Orr Hot Springs is so deep in the cut that they don’t even have a website. The closest thing is this dude’s write up about it, which I have to say is pretty damn thorough. I actually brought this poor business planning up to the girl at the front desk and she told me that they do it on purpose to keep it word of mouth. I’d worry about blowing up their spot, but I know most of you are too lazy to actually go there.
The resort at Orr Hot Springs as been around since the late 1850’s. The springs were first discovered by Whitey when the logging community in Ukiah needed to build a path for easy access to the coast. How they ever conceptualized this road as being an easy path, is far beyond my realm of comprehension.
As you see by the photos I’ve littered throughout this post, the grounds of Orr Hot Springs are phenomenally gorgeous and super tranquil. And the best part is, it’s only $25 to use the springs for an entire day! One thing you should note though is that it is “clothing optional”, so just like any place that allows nudity, be prepared for old balls and bush. You can also stay the night at accommodations and choose between sleeping in a regular looking cabin, or one of these things that look like a Hobbit Hole. But I don’t know how much a night costs because I don’t have the patience to wait for them to call me back (they require you to leave a message and they call you back when they feel like it).
We enjoyed the hell out of our experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a little escape in Northern California. While actually getting to the spot might cost you a little bit in gas money, it’s totally worth it considering you’re paying so little to get so much at this resort. If you go, let me know how you dig it. And if you’re wondering why there are no pics of the actual hot springs, it’s because taking photos of random naked 50 year olds while they’re sunbathing is grounds for expulsion…unless you get their written permission. I had no interest in the photos or the permission.