• Virgin Valley Hot Springs is located in Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge
• Features the clear emerald pond with a sandy-gravel bottom
The scenic and serene Virgin Valley Hot Springs or Virgin Valley Warm Springs is located at the northeastern edge of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge near the Oregon-Nevada border.
The Sheldon Refuge is the southern part of the National Wildlife Refuge. The northern part of this refuge, called Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, is located in Oregon.
Most vehicles can access Virgin Valley Hot Springs and the parking area is near the pond. However, be advised that the road can be blocked by snow in the winter season.
The man-made swimming pool, 5 feet deep and 30 by 35 feet wide, has a sandy and gravel bottom and features clear emerald water. Depending on the season and weather, the temperature ranges from 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Partially, the water is transferred to the pond from other hot springs at the temperature of 90 degrees. Also, mineral springs come out of the ground. You can see bubbles around you while stepping in the pool.
Due to the excellent springs flow, the water in the pond is quickly replaced. For this reason, no chlorination is required.
A concrete pad and a step ladder were built and set up for visitor’s convenience and easier access to the pond.
There is a bathhouse located right by the pond with two mineral water showers running non-stop 24/7. The bathhouse can be used as a change room.
Visitors of Virgin Valley Hot Springs can stay overnight at the Virgin Valley Campground which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The campground is open all year long, but your stay is limited to 14 days.
There is no garbage disposal services or septic facilities, but pit toilets are available. Picnic tables are located on this site for visitor’s convenience. Also, there is access to drinking water.
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge also offers a number of other outdoor activities which include camping, fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, and opal collection. It is also a great place to simply enjoy nature and take pictures of wildlife.
Always verify rules and regulations of the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and the State of Nevada related to your activity in order to be compliant and avoid any administrative or legal issues.
Camping & Lodging
Virgin Valley Campground is free and open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. You can stay at the camp for up to 14 days. There are pit toilets, picnic tables, and drinking water. No garbage or septic dumping facilities. Please pack out what you pack in.
The refuge itself has 12 primitive campgrounds, two of them along Big Springs and Catnip Reservoirs that are great fishing places.
Lodging is available 90 miles northwest in Lakeview, OR and 120 miles southeast in Winnemucca, NV.
Virgin Valley Hot Springs | Facts
Location: 124 miles northwest of Winnemucca • Northwestern Nevada • USA
Amenities: Pit toilets, picnic tables, drinking water
Hiking distance: Short
Road Access: Any passenger vehicle, the road can be blocked by snow in winter
Day-use fees: None
Managed by: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Elevation: 5,100 ft (1,554 m)
Directions to Virgin Valley Hot Springs
From the Denio Junction,
- Drive 25 miles west on NV-140 to Virgin Valley Road (Virgin Valley and Royal Peacock Mine signs)
- Turn left onto Virgin Valley Road (graded dirt road) and follow about 2.5 miles to the campground.
- Head east on Highway OR-140 for 65 miles to the Oregon-Nevada border
- Drive 19.2 miles on Highway NV-140 to Virgin Valley Road (Virgin Valley and Royal Peacock Mine sign)
- Turn right onto Virgin Valley Road (graded dirt road) and continue about 2.5 miles to the campground.