A tranquil hot springs oasis in the high desert of the Eastern Sierra, Benton Hot Springs is located about 4 miles away from the town of Benton near the California-Nevada border. Operated almost a hundred years, the 1,225-acre ranch is a large open area with the White Mountains in the background; 70% of the land is under a conservation easement with Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Bramlette Trust, and Mono County to preserve it for future generations.
Benton Hot Springs is more than just a hot spring resort. Also known as Benton or Old Benton, this is a small mining town with a rich set of history dating back to the mid-1800s. There are many old ghost buildings as a reminder about once the thriving little town with up to 5,000 residents.
The old historical buildings:
- Old Bank Building was built in the 1870s
- Old House was built in the 1870s and used as Wells Fargo Agency and General Store
- Benton Jail was erected in 1875
- Wai Wera Hotel was constructed in 1904.
The natural hot springs were known and used by Native Americans for thousands of years. In 1852, European explorers discovered these isolated geothermal springs and it was only the start of its rapid expansion. Silver ore was later found near the Blind Springs Hill and the White Mountains that spurred the growth of the area.
When mining activity slowed down, the town never completely became a ghost town. Old Benton with its hot springs remains a popular destination in Eastern California.
Benton Hot Springs Features
The natural mineral water emerges from the hill at 140 degrees Fahrenheit with a fast rate of 800 gallons per minute. The hot springs water is used for drinking, soaking in hot tubs, heating systems, showers, and restrooms.
There are five houses with private hot tubs and 11 hot tub sites for overnight and day use. Each site features a private hot tub, picnic table, fire grill, and pit. Bed-and-breakfast options are available if you stay in a historic miner’s cabin or in one of the seven Inn's rooms. Clothing is optional in the private bathing areas.
If you are a nature enthusiast and appreciate a tranquil atmosphere, taste of history, and relaxing soaking experience, this should be the top spot in your traveling plans.
Benton Hot Springs is open year-round. However, before you go, check road conditions. The weather can be unpredictable and severe snow situations can happen quickly during fall, winter, and spring. Do not rely on GPS or cell phone navigator, as SR 120 from Mono Lake to Benton Hot Springs can be closed. Check directions to the hot springs below.
Benton Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 38.8 miles north of Bishop • California • USA
Development: Rustic, hot tubs
Services: Breakfast for Inn's guests
Hiking distance: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle, CA 120 from Mono Lake can be closed during winter months
Restrictions: No music or loud noises; It is illegal to collect and burn woods on-site
Elevation: 5,700 ft (1,737 m)
- Take US-6 (N Main St) and follow 40 miles north to CA-120
- Turn left onto CA-120 in Benton and continue 3.8 miles to the destination.
Phone (for reservation): (760) 933-2287
Address: 55137 Highway 120, Benton, CA 93512