A unique oasis far away from civilization, Twelve Mile Hot Springs aka Bishop Creek Hot Springs is nestled in a scenic canyon of Bishop Creek in the northeastern part of Nevada.
Start your journey from the small town of Wells (read the direction below). If you have a low clearance car, leave your car at the cattle guard and hike for about two miles to the hot springs. There is no signs for the parking or directions to the hot springs. If you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle, during dry seasons you can drive the last couple of miles. The road may become impassable for driving during wet weather and snow. Fording the creek may be dangerous when the water level is high.
The 2-mile fantastic tour takes you along the spectacular narrow canyon of Bishop Creek. Soon, after you pass a cattle guard fence, you will reach the first spot where you will ford the creek. The first ford was shallow in September. At this point, the water of Bishop Creek was warm. This is because many hot springs emerging along the creek bank.
Drive or hike 0.3 miles to the next ford. This spot might be challenging even for high clearance car during high water. At the beginning September, it was 3 feet deep. If you are not sure that you can safely drive through the creek, leave your car here and take a short hike for the next 0.3 miles to the hot springs.
Soon, you will pass an old dam and uncrossable footbridge. After 0.2 miles and before the third ford, you will see a soaking pool located on the right edge of the creek.
A large pool of Twelve Mile Hot Springs with a gravel bottom and crystal clear water is stretching along the mountain wall and Bishop Creek. The dimensions of the pool are 80 feet by 9 feet and a depth is about 3 feet. The concrete wall separates the hot springs pool from Bishop Creek. Geothermal water at 104°F (40°C) flows out of the rocks directly to the pool and cools off a little bit. Depending on the weather conditions, the water in the pool ranges between 99°F and 103°F (37-39°C).
The road to the hot springs and the pool itself are located on private land. Please do not abuse the privilege of accessing this spot, respect the land and Leave No Trace!
Twelve Mile Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 12 miles north of Wells • Northeastern Nevada • USA
Open: 365 days a year
Amenities: No service
Accommodations: Camping is not prohibited
Hiking distance: From 0 to 2 miles
Road Access: High-clearance 4WD vehicle is required for the final 2 miles when the weather is favorable; Do not drive during wet and snowy weather conditions
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 5,800 ft (1,768 m)
From Wells in Nevada,
- On Highway I-80, take exit 351 toward West Wells and drive 0.7 miles on Humboldt Avenue to Sixth Street
- Turn right onto Sixth Street and go 0.3 miles to Lake Avenue
- Turn left onto Lake Avenue and continue 0.1 miles
- After you cross a railroad, turn left onto Eights Street
- Drive 9.4 miles via Eights Street that becomes Metropolis Road and then Country Road 754 to a dirt road on the right
- On the right you will see the cattle guard, the rough dirt road to the hot springs begins here.
If the last part of the road is impassable for your vehicle, park your car and hike for 2 miles.