Hilltop Hot Springs.
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Hilltop Hot Springs Near Mammoth Lakes

Tucked away near Mammoth Lakes, just a stone’s throw from the more frequented Wild Willy’s Hot Springs, Hilltop Hot Springs offers an escape with breathtaking views.

Here’s everything you need to know before heading here for a soak!


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Hilltop Hot Springs: Getting There

Finding Hilltop Hot Springs is really easy; it’s right off Benton Crossing Road. There’s a tiny dirt parking area big enough for a handful of cars.

Two vans parked in the tiny Hilltop Hot Spring parking lot.
Hilltop Hot Spring parking lot.

You can route yourself here to get to the springs.

The Trail

The trail to the springs is short and sweet, a mix of dirt path and boardwalk.

As you walk, keep an eye out for wisps of steam rising up—nature’s way of letting you know you’re getting close. If you’re here on a frigid morning like we were, you’ll probably have an extra pep in your step to get there!

A gravel trail lined with rocks leading into the distance.
A very recognizable trail.

The walk to the hot springs is only about five minutes from the parking lot.

Hilltop Hot Springs

Arriving at the spring, you’re greeted by a singular, man-made cement pool that’s as inviting as it is intimate.

It’s deep enough to let you soak (2 feet) but small enough (fitting 4 to 6 people) to keep the experience personal. The water temp is around 100 degrees (38 Celsius) year-round.

Garrett in shorts, a jumper and a bean standing in Hilltop Hot Spring with a mountain view on a sunny day.
Garrett taking a foot bath in Hilltop Hot Spring.

In fact, you’ll be able to see the piping bringing in the hot water. We didn’t mess with it, but it looks like you can adjust the water flow and temperature, too.

We landed here at the crisp hour of 7:00 AM, finding the spot all to ourselves before a couple more early risers joined.

A view over Hilltop Hot Spring and the surrounding area of fields and mountains.
Hilltop Hot Spring and the surrounding area.

This pool isn’t just a place to warm up; it’s a vantage point. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains on all sides, it’s a 360-degree panorama of nature’s finest work.

The Best Time to Visit

Fall and spring are the ideal months to visit simply because the weather is still chilly, and a nice hot tub soak cures all, right?

Winter soaks sound sublime, and you should certainly make it out here in winter if the road isn’t closed due to too much snowfall.

A beautiful scene of steam rising over a stream in a geothermal activity in the area.
Steam rising from the surrounding area.

Summer is still a great time to visit if you’re here early or late, so you’re not soaking at the peak of the heat. We were here in June, and it was still quite cold in the morning.


  • Hilltop is as rustic as they come. There’s no restroom or other facilities, so come prepared.
  • There are no camping signs around here, so don’t come looking to pitch your tent for the night. However, there are public lands nearby.
  • There are no trash cans, pack it out and respect the public lands.
  • This hot spring is often frequented and can get busy, so come early.
  • This hot spring is clothing-optional.
  • Hilltop Hot Springs is sometimes called “Pulkey’s Pool.”
  • This spot may be closed off in winter simply because the road to get here becomes impassable.
  • Don’t forget to bring water, a dry bag, a towel, proper shoes that can get wet, and, of course, a swimsuit.
  • And oh, the mosquitos! There were tons, even on a brisk morning.
A step into Hilltop Hot Spring with a view over a field and the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Soaking with these views?!

Final Thoughts

Hilltop Hot Springs is an awesome place to pop by and have a nice soak while taking in the insanely beautiful Sierra!

However, this spot is far from a secret, so don’t be surprised if others are here. We arrived very early, but people came by just 10 minutes after us.

Where to next?

We hope this helped you plan your visit to Hilltop Hot Springs!

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