Paso Robles Hot Springs


History of Paso’s Hot Springs

Long before pioneering wineries set up here, Paso Robles was famous for natural mud baths and hot sulfur springs. Native Salinan residents introduced Spanish padres to the local pools, and the town was called Hot Springs before being renamed Paso Robles. Today’s downtown structures grew up around the natural springs that were early tourist attractions. 

Local landowners like Drury Woodson James and brothers Daniel and James Blackburn aimed to create a spa community in the late 1800s. They advertised “El Paso de Robles Hot and Cold Sulphur Springs and the Only Natural Mud Baths in the World.” The hot springs bath house they built is gone, but their adjacent Hotel El Paso de Robles operates today as the Paso Robles Inn.

Paso’s economy changed over the years, and many downtown hot springs were capped. But the scent of sulfur again drifted through downtown after a 2003 earthquake stirred water sources near the Paso Robles library. It’s located on Spring Street, named for the waters below, and it’s set right where the old Springs Bath House once stood. Experience local history and sample the mineral-rich waters for yourself at these hot springs near Paso Robles.


Franklin Hot Springs

Paso Robles Hot Springs

In the early 1950s, Texaco crews surveying for oil south of Paso Robles got a surprise: They found natural mineral waters bubbling underground. Wesley Franklin owned the farmland, and he spent a decade digging canals and lakes to channel the water. Before reaching these Paso hot springs, the mineral waters travel from Thermopolis, Wyoming, and wind through a channel that’s 800 feet below the ground.

The family opened Franklin Hot Springs and a surrounding wildlife reserve to the public in the 1980s. They add no chemicals to the water, which flows from the ground rich with minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium. The pool here hovers around 97 degrees, and hot tub waters stay at a steady 100.1 degrees. 

A day pass for this hot springs Paso Robles experience includes opportunities to go boating or try license-free fishing. The natural sanctuary is teeming with other wildlife, too, including blue heron, red-winged blackbirds, rabbits and monarch butterflies. Families love the destination’s ping pong table and lawn games, and Franklin Hot Springs also hosts outdoor movie nights and community events.


River Oaks Hot Springs

hot springs

One of the best hot springs in Paso Robles provides a luxurious experience with panoramic vineyard views. Rolling hills surround hot and cool mineral tubs at River Oaks Hot Springs, where you can enjoy a comfortable dip at any time of year. Themed packages make the experience extra special, pairing time in the artesian waters with tub-side wine, sparkling wine or chocolate. River Oaks Paso Robles also offers spa services like facials, body wraps, waxing, and massages ranging from Swedish to hot stone to deep tissue.

This Paso Robles hot springs favorite is adjacent to the six-hole River Oaks Golf Course. The par-19 player development course has three tees for each hole. Guests can tackle different challenges for an 18-hole round, or just stop by for some quick practice swings. The Peruvian restaurant Mistura operates here, serving a modern Peruvian menu shaped by multicultural influences. Top dishes include steak, seafood, and salads made with local, seasonal ingredients.


Paso Robles Inn Hot Springs

hot springs

Paso Robles Inn occupies the site of the Hot Springs Hotel, a late-1800s property that opened its mineral baths exclusively to guests. Early Paso entrepreneurs the Blackburn brothers and Drury James owned the property. Legends suggest that James’s nephew, the outlaw Jesse James, hid out at the hotel and used an underground tunnel to escape from the law.

Fire destroyed the original bath house, but the Paso Robles Inn honors the site’s heritage with 18 well-appointed spa rooms. Outfitted with art and amenities inspired by local wineries, the spa rooms have large mineral tubs built for relaxation. Each is set on a balcony or garden patio overlooking flowers, greenery, koi ponds and century-old oak trees. 

The inn’s original ballroom survived the 1940s property fire, and its oak floors and beamed ceilings have been beautifully restored. Guests can fuel up at the Steakhouse at Paso Robles Inn, which earns accolades for its signature prime rib and house-made sauces. The hotel’s Cattleman’s Lounge recognizes the region’s cowboy roots while serving classic cocktails, hearty pub food and live music.