Although most people are familiar with man made hot tubs or “Jacuzzis,” even many hot tub aficionados are unaware of another option in the world of hot tubs – the natural or spring-fed hot tub.

There are natural hot springs and the attendant earth source hot tubs in many places throughout the world – within North America, the states of Arkansas, California Idaho, Montana, Texas, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming all have hot springs which have been developed into tourist attractions. Further north, there are natural hot springs in British Columbia and even Alaska!

A natural hot tub is a very different experience from a backyard Jacuzzi. Aside from the reduced maintenance involved, there are a variety of little-known non-commercial natural hot tubs which have been assembled near rivers in the semi-wilds of Idaho. There is typically a long hike through winding trails and scenic forest in order to reach a site unlisted on any maps. The hot tub is usually comprised of gravel and cement with rubber or PVC hoses which divert geo-thermally heated water from the natural hot spring to the hot tub.


Some of the better-engineered of these locations include fittings and hoses to allow the redirection of cool river or stream water, as well as the hot water from below the Earth’s surface to create the same level of comfort as one might find in a backyard spa.

This decidedly rustic experience is not for everyone, however – in some cases, there is nothing more than a bucket as a means for hauling cool water from a nearby river or lake in order to lower the temperature of the tub water. Such exertion can allow natural hot tubbing to become an endurance building exercise as well as a relaxing escape. For those who would prefer uninterrupted relaxation in a variable massaging jet of bubbles at a preset temperature, natural hot tubs may seem the stuff of nightmares; chance encounters with wildlife are not uncommon, and the remote access is often the best guarantee of exclusivity.

Although not as accessible for any but a hermit, a natural hot tub is certainly an experience worth having, particularly for those with affection for the out-of-doors. Thanks to the communication offered by the Internet, the locations of many of these spring-fed hot tubs are now available for all. Thankfully, the remoteness of their locations prevents lines from getting too long – so if you’re interested in driving down a rocky trail, search for an all-natural hot tub location in your next vacation area!

Terri Greene writes for – a resource for anyone interested in Nordic Hot Tubs, Baja Spas, HydroPool Hot Tubs and more.