The 10 Most Amazing Natural Springs in the United States And Where To Find Them

Written by Luke Stevens
Updated: July 17, 2023
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10 Most Amazing Natural Springs in the United States and Where to Find Them
Springs form when rainwater creates pressure in an aquifer that pushes groundwater to the surface.

Introduction

The United States contains amazing natural beauty and geographic diversity. Spanning almost four million square miles, the country is home to beautiful beaches, enormous mountains, grassy plains, and sandy deserts. Every corner of the United States has something to offer, and millions of people visit each year to experience the massive country for themselves. Aside from oceans, ponds, lakes, and waterfalls, there are other fascinating water features to explore. While many people know little of them, springs are prominent throughout the United States. Across the country, many beautiful natural springs offer a place to relax, swim, and learn more about the geography of the area. Springs form when rainwater creates pressure in an aquifer that pushes groundwater to the surface. While many springs form all around the globe and vary greatly in size, the United States houses some truly special ones. Keep reading to discover the ten most amazing natural springs in the United States and where to find them.

1. Hot Springs National Park

Hot Water Cascade, Hot Springs National Park

The springs emerge from the ground in a gap between Hot Springs Mountain and West Mountain.

©Bram Reusen/Shutterstock.com

The Hot Springs National Park is located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Established in April of 1832, the area is the nation’s oldest national. First discovered by Spanish explorers in 1541, native tribes referred to the area as the “Valley of the Vapors.” In addition to its beauty, the water in the springs is believed to have medicinal properties. For centuries, people have traveled from far and wide to take a dip in the waters and experience the benefits for themselves.

47 thermal springs make up the area, 33 of which are currently flowing. The springs emerge from the ground in a gap between Hot Springs Mountain and West Mountain. When the water emerges from the ground, it is a piping 143 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the water cools before reaching the baths that visitors flock to.

2. Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone caldera

Bands of vibrant colors surround the vibrant blue water at the spring’s center.

©Busara/Shutterstock.com

The Grand Prismatic Spring is located in the Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. This natural phenomenon is the third largest spring in the world, measuring 360 feet in diameter. The Grand Prismatic Spring is also incredibly deep, with its deepest point situated 121 feet below Earth’s surface. However, the size of this spring is not what makes it stand out. Bands of vibrant colors surround the vibrant blue water at the spring’s center. These orange, yellow, and green waters are a result of thermophiles. Thermophiles are heat-loving bacteria that thrive at different temperatures, creating a spectrum of colors as water temperatures decrease towards the spring’s edge.

3. Kitch-iti-kipi

Kitch-iti-kipi (Big Spring) Michigan Winter

Algae in the area cause the captivating green and blue coloring of the crystal-clear water, making Kitch-iti-kipi a unique sight.

©KyleHohler/Shutterstock.com

Located near the town of Manistique, Michigan, Kitch-iti-kipi is a breathtaking sight. Also referred to as the “Big Spring” and the “Mirror of Heaven,” this spring is extremely popular, attracting 60,000 annual visitors. Kitch-iti-kipi is the largest freshwater spring in Michigan, measuring 40 feet deep and 200 feet wide. Similar to the Grand Prismatic Spring, living organisms contribute to the vibrant colors of the water. Algae in the area cause the captivating green and blue coloring of the crystal-clear water, making the spring a unique sight. A limestone fissure beneath the surface pumps 10,000 gallons of water into the spring every minute. This constant flow of water kicks up sands and sediments, creating an ever-changing series of shapes and activities that is fascinating to observe.

4. Kirkham Hot Springs

Kirkham hot springs in Idaho

Nestled among mountains located at the edge of a river, these hot springs are extremely beautiful.

©Emily Augustine/Shutterstock.com

Kirkham Hot Springs is located in Lowman, Idaho. Nestled among mountains located at the edge of a river, these hot springs are extremely beautiful. Many soaking pools and waterfalls comprise the area, making it an extremely popular spot year-round. The hot springs are set at an elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level, providing stunning views of the wilderness that surrounds them. While a small fee is required to enter the springs, the natural beauty of the area is unmatched. The water contains many dissolved minerals believed to have beneficial properties, which draw thousands of visitors into the warm springs each year.

5. Wakulla Springs

Several underwater caves that pump more than 250 million gallons of water into the spring each day comprise the area.

©Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock.com

Wakulla Springs is located near Tallahassee, Florida in the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. Several underwater caves that pump more than 250 million gallons of water into the spring each day comprise the area. The spring measures 315 feet in diameter and 185 feet deep, making it one of the largest in the state of Florida. Crystal blue water and fascinating wildlife draw visitors to the spring. Manatees, alligators, and many more creatures make the spring their home. Visitors enjoy viewing these animals on a boat tour that ventures to the deepest parts of the spring. Near the banks, there are plenty of recreational opportunities including scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming.

6. Fifth Water Hot Springs

AERIAL, TOP DOWN: Flying above tourists taking a relaxing bath in hot springs in Utah. Hikers exploring Utah stop and take a therapeutic bath in the hot river running across the rugged snowy landscape

The brilliant milky blue color of the water makes the springs incredibly unique.

©Flystock/Shutterstock.com

Fifth Water Hot Springs is located off of a five-mile trail near Spanish Fork, Utah. The area is made up of two waterfalls and several soaking pools that visitors can enjoy. The brilliant milky blue color of the water makes the springs incredibly unique. This color is due to the presence of sulfur in the water, giving it a foggy, translucent appearance. While the area smells strongly of sulfur, the water is safe to enter as sulfur has many health benefits including being good for the skin. The water in the pools has an average temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfectly comfortable and enjoyable for all.

7. Blue Grotto

Sunlight illuminating the underwater cavern entrance in the sinkhole at Blue Grotto, Florida

A large sinkhole created the spring, revealing several underground caverns.

©Erin Westgate/Shutterstock.com

Blue Grotto is a popular diving spot located in Williston, Florida. A large sinkhole created the spring, revealing several underground caverns. Visitors can swim in the main basin and dive to depths of 40 feet below the surface. More experienced divers will enjoy exploring the main cavern of the spring, reaching depths of up to 50 feet. While another cavern in the spring is as deep as 100 feet, only expert divers are allowed to explore it. The crystal blue waters of the grotto allow divers to see many different types of freshwater fish and aquatic life.

8. The Homestead Crater

Guardsman Pass views of Panoramic Landscape of the Pass, Midway and Heber Valley along the Wasatch Front Rocky Mountains, Summer Forests, Clouds and Rainstorm. Utah, United States.

The Homestead Crater is located in Midway, Utah.

©Jeremy Christensen/Shutterstock.com

Located in Midway, Utah, the Homestead Crater is an extremely unique spring. A 55-foot tall, 10,000-year-old limestone formation hides the crater. Unlike many other springs, melting snow seeping into the ground and then rising after being heated by the Earth’s core formed this crater. The water remains at a constant temperature of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit year-round and is a popular spot for tourists and scuba divers. The crater has a depth of 65 feet and a 400-foot wide base, making it large enough for plenty of visitors to enjoy.

9. Goldmyer Hot Springs

A Bridge and Lush Forest Near The Snoqualmie River. North Bend, Washington

Goldmyer Hot Springs is located 25 miles from North Bend, Washington.

©Tobin Akehurst/Shutterstock.com

25 miles from North Bend, Washington, visitors will find Goldmyer Hot Springs. This spring is located at the end of a five-mile hike, so visitors should be prepared for the walk. The spring has a 20-person per day limit, ensuring that it does not get too crowded and disturb the natural peace. Three hot pools and one cold pool make up the natural springs, and water in the pools can be as hot as 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot geothermal water emerges from an old mine shaft and cools slightly before reaching the pools.

10. Travertine Hot Springs

Travertine Hotsprints outside Bridgeport, California seem like an Islandic escape.

These geothermal pools are unique because they were formed by a buildup of limestone sediment over many years.

©jared ropelato/Shutterstock.com

Travertine Hot Springs is located near Bridgeport, California. These geothermal pools are unique because they were formed by a buildup of limestone sediment over many years. The water in the spring emerges from geothermal fissures at a piping 180 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the water cools to a temperature of between 70 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit as it travels to the pools. Local earthquakes caused by underground movement are the cause of the great fluctuation in temperature.

Summary of the 10 Most Amazing Natural Springs in the United States And Where To Find Them

Natural SpringsLocation
1Hot Springs National ParkHot Springs, Arkansas
2Grand Prismatic SpringYellowstone National Park, Wyoming
3Kitch-iti-kipiManistique, Michigan
4Kirkham Hot SpringsLowman, Idaho
5Wakulla SpringsTallahassee, Florida
6Fifth Water Hot SpringsSpanish Fort, Utah
7Blue GrottoWilliston, Florida
8The Homestead CraterMidway, Utah
9Goldmyer Hot SpringsNorth Bend, Washington
10Travertine Hot SpringsBridgeport, California

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Flystock/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

My name is Luke, and I currently a student at the University of Southern California. I love the outdoors, learning, and writing. I am also involved in several groups focusing on the entertainment industry and business administration. My favorite animals are dogs, koala bears, and dolphins.

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