This week I am traveling to Mammoth Lakes in Eastern Sierra to enjoy some hiking and watch some fall colors. Here is the Mono Lake which is famous for Tufa Towers. Here are some gorgeous fall colors. By the way this is how we enjoy it Japanese style. This is an instant miso soup with rice ball wrapped in a seaweed. And this is the yummy hot pot for dinner time.
In this trip for the first time I got to experience this natural hot springs in the middle of nowhere so I’ll share my experience. I went to the one called Hilltop Hot Springs also known as Pulky’s Pool.
To get there you drive on highway 395 with the views like these and you turn on Benton Crossing Road and go towards the mountain about three miles and turn left onto a dirt road. Once you park just follow this walkway. As you can hear it was a very windy day. Once you get up the small hill be careful not to step on the cow droppings on the way. And there’s the tub.
There are some mats which is nice when you change your clothes. This place has this valve to control the hot water flowing into the tub which is very nice. The tub is big enough to hold about eight adults. The inside was very slippery with mold so you have to be careful when you enter the tub and while you are sitting.
As you can see there is 360 degrees of nothing. Just pure nature. It was very windy day but the water temperature was very nice around 104 degrees Fahrenheit or around 40 degrees Celcius we think. The way back can be very cold if you stay wet especially on a windy day.
Besides having to walk between the parking and the tub there are three caveats. Number one: You cannot tell if the tub is full from the parking. So you have to walk all the way to the tub to see if you can fit in the tub. But the good news is there are several other hot springs in the area that you can try. Caveat number two: Since you are sharing the tub with complete strangers and some people go butt naked and skinny dipping both men and women so it could be very awkward. And caveat three: The smell. Having been to many hot springs in Japan I’m very used to the sulphur smell but the sulphur smell here was very distinct. I couldn’t really notice it while I was in the tub but I started smelling it after I dried myself and my nose couldn’t take it so I had to take a shower right away.
This was my very first time trying the natural hot springs in the middle of nowhere without having to pay for it at an establishment but I really enjoyed it and I would definitely try it again.
Massage Monday #310 – Hilltop Hot Tub (Pulky’s Pool) by Mammoth Lakes, California http://bit.ly/mm-100316