Located just off Highway 395 in Reno, Steamboat Hot Springs was built on an enormously active geothermal area known as Steamboat Springs. Steamboat Springs is a volcanic field with a lot of hot springs, fumaroles, and steam vents. Previously, there were a few facilities with hot spring baths in the area. Nowadays, only one of them is available for bathing and spa treatment.
A Brief History
The Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center & Spa has an extensive history going all the way back to the 19th century. Like other hot springs of the United States, mineral-rich waters were used by Native Americans. They believed in spiritual and healing properties of the Steamboat Springs geothermal water.
Early settlers compared the area with a steamboat. According to Diaries of early emigrants, it was boiling and sometimes puffing up and out of the ground like a steamboat and Indigenous Americans had thrown rocks in the hole and steamed it up.
Numerous online sources claim that the location was named by famous writer Mark Twain. However, this statement is hardly true. When Mark Twain stayed at the site in August 1863, it already bore the name “Steamboat Springs Hotel”. Mark Twain in his “Early Tales and Sketches” wrote, “The devil boils the water, and the white steam puffs up out of crevices in the earth, along the summit for more than a mile".
The property has experienced a variety of uses over the years. It has been the settler’s rest area on their route to California, hospital, post office, hotel, stage-coach station, and even a railroad station. In the 1920s the property became a hot spring spa destination.
Given such a long history, Steamboat Hot Springs has been designated as a state historic landmark.
Steamboat Hot Springs Features
Steamboat Hot Springs is a volcanic hot spring, the only volcanic hot spring in the area. Being volcanic in origin, geothermal water here contains a wide variety of minerals including calcium carbonate, magnesium, sodium sulfate, sulfur, soda, lithia, and silica.
Private indoor tubs, an outdoor communal tub, and infrared sauna are available for visitors’ convenience and enjoyment. Also, spa treatment packages can be purchased at the Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center and Spa.
Steamboat Hot Springs | Facts
Location: South of Reno • Nevada • USA
Clothing: Required in public places
Amenities: Massage, detox, ayurveda, cancer care, sonatherapy
Hiking distance: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle
Day-use fees: Reservations are suggested
Elevation: 4,800 ft (1,463 m)
N 39°22.704' W 119°44.553' | 39.3784,-119.74255
From Highway US-395 (I-580) in Reno,
- Take exit 25B for Old Highway US-395 Alt toward Carson City
- Drive 1.9 miles south on US-395 Alt to S Virginia Street
- Turn left onto S Virginia Street and continue 0.3 miles to the destination.