Mono County: Hot Springs Ahoy

It's a nice place to soak after a day of road-tripping around the Eastern Sierra.

RELAXING ON A ROAD TRIP... can take on many forms, but total, put-the-feet-up wind-down time typically comes at the end of each day, and not in the middle, when you're busy sightseeing/driving/going/doing. Whether that feet-putting-up happens on your friend's couch, or in a hotel room, or outside, in a park, at your last destination of the day, just depends, but a lot of travelers can agree on one thing: A soak, one with body-easing warm water, can be a pleasurable thing, indeed. And if it happens outdoors? Under the sky? In a hot tub? Lovely. But what if you could make your way to a hot spring, the kind with vast vistas, in a county known for plenty of road-tripping sights? Well, you don't need to daydream this fantasy out of thin air, for it actually exists, in Mono County, home to Mono Lake, and Devils Postpile National Monument, and the other road-trip must-sees. Call upon...

BUCKEYE HOT SPRING, located near Bridgeport (on the west side), or Travertine Hot Springs, which is "(o)n the eastern edge of the valley," or Benton Hot Springs, to get your H2O on. Each has a different vibe — the road to Travertine "can be bumpy," and low clearance vehicles are probably not the way to go, while Benton Hot Springs is described as "...a more refined hot spring experience." As for Buckeye Hot Spring? There's a stream nearby, giving soakers the chance to dip hot, then dip cool, then dip hot again. Because there's never a one-size-fits-all approach to hot springs, and all have their own character, you'll want to study up, and get directions, before foreplanning that relaxing, end-of-the-road-trip soak. Or at least the end of a single day of the road trip, for after an afternoon in a hot spring, you'll likely feel invigorated and ready to roll again the next day, in search of fresh adventure.

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