It’s always an amazing feeling when you find a hidden gem you’d never expect to see in your state. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a jungle oasis at these blue hot springs in California.
You’ll find the soothing hot springs just 40 minutes outside of Santa Barbara in the little town of Goleta. To get there, you’ll take an easy 0.3-mile hike along a shaded trail. Parking costs $2 at the self-pay station.
There are also beautiful wind caves located a short distance away from the trail! So, you could grab a group of friends and make a day trip to explore. Another short drive away, you’ll find old castle ruins and a tree swing with a view of the city. Santa Barbara has so many little wonders.
During the summer, temperatures on the trail can be high. But thankfully, the dense trees provide plenty of shade. Make sure to bring plenty of water and plan accordingly. Dogs are not allowed on the hike.
Hours for the hot spring are from 8 am to sunset and swimsuits are required. Since there is a considerable amount of poison oak along the trail, we strongly recommend wearing long pants and not touching any of the plants.
When you get to the hot springs, you’ll feel like you’ve reached your own little oasis. The bright blue, milky waters are so secluded. You’re completely encircled by palm trees and there is a small waterfall trickling into one of the two pools.
The water is about 96 degrees Fahrenheit and can comfortably fit about eight people. Around it, you’ll find cooler runoff slides behind the shady palms.
The pool contains minerals that give it a bright blue and natural sulfur smell. Years ago, someone created the pool out of cement and framed it with beautifully carved stones. Now, it’s nature’s perfect oasis.
Gaviota Hot Springs
Location: Gaviota Park Boundary, Goleta, CA 93117
Price: $2 for parking.
Hours: 8 am to sunset 7 days a week
Why you should go: You can soak in relaxing turquoise blue hot springs that feels like a jungle oasis.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.