Grover Hot Springs State Park

UPDATE (July 14, 2020) - California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. Even though the department has increased access across the State Park System, the need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

As such, State Parks continues to ask visitors to plan ahead, avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. This means no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance. Full details on the guidelines are available at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Grover Hot Springs State Park:

What is open now?
Grover Hot Springs is open for active recreation with restrictions in place to encourage social distancing.
  • All day-use parking.  Parking is $8
  • All trail systems are available for active recreation.
  • Outdoor restrooms in the day use area.
  • Winter camping area (picnic area) on a first come-first serve basis.  For information about SUMMER camping reservations, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275.  There are no group campsites in the park.
  • Entrance station during business hours for fee collection, information, and curbside sales.  No visitor access inside building.
  • Grover Pool complex is open for reservation only, 48 hours in advance. To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com. Visitor use is limited to 1.5 hour time blocks, up to two (2) blocks per visitor, per day. Visitors must vacate pool enclosure at the end of the paid session. Session blocks are as follows:
    1. 10:00 - 11:30
    2. 11:45 - 1:15
    3. 1:30 - 3:00
    4. 3:45 - 5:15
    5. 5:30 - 7:00

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
  • Visitor Center/Gift Shop
Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain closed until further notice. Some campgrounds have started to reopen with modifications. For more information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking is very limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(530) 694-2248

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 18 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 18 Feet

Park Hours

Open year-round
Hot Springs pools have 5 sessions daily on a reservation system (RerserveCalifornia.com): 10:00-11:30, 11:45-1:15, 1:30-3:00, 3:45-5:15, 5:30-7:00.
Call for current status.
Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas day.

 

 

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
On leash only and not left unattended. Dogs are not allowed in the hot springs pool complex

Driving Directions to Grover Hot Springs SP

Located four miles west of Markleeville, at the end of Hot Springs Road, the park is in an alpine meadow at 5,900 feet surrounded by peaks that just top 10,000 feet.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Picnic Areas
Fishing
Interpretive Exhibits
Swimming
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Winter Camping: Our winter campground (located in our Day Use/Picnic Area) is OPEN for camping through April.  We accommodate tents, RVs 18 ft or less, and trailers 18 ft or less (as measured from the back bumper of the truck to the back bumper of the trailer). Fees are $25.00 a night ($23.00 for seniors over 62). Extra vehicles are $8.00 a night. Please note: 8 people allowed per campsite; Restrooms with flush toilets and sinks are available, but we have NO showers in the winter campground; The winter campground has access to drinking water, fire rings (when we allow fires) and tables.
Day Use, hiking, or using the picnic area costs $8.00 a vehicle or $7.00 for seniors 62 years and older.  Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Please clean up after your dog. Day use areas and trails remain open. Carry snow chains and a shovel.

PLEASE NOTE:
Bears are active so please store your food, drinks, toiletries and anything else with a scent in your campsite's metal food storage locker BOTH DAY & NIGHT.

Food Storage Locker Information

Metal bear-resistant food lockers are provided in each campsite. All food, beverages, and toiletries are required by law to be stored in the provided food lockers when not being actively used or transported. Violators are subject to confiscation of food and/or citation. Please remember that a fed bear is a dead bear. For more information please read the on-line pamphlet “American Black Bears in California State Parks” at the following link: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/510/files/cablackbear_web_2010.pdf.

Overview

Hidden in quiet Hot Springs Valley on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, Grover Hot Springs State Park offers alpine vistas of granite peaks and wildflower meadows. After taking a brisk hike or a scenic stroll, visitors may soak in a mineral pool fed from six hot springs. The park offers both the hot pool and a cool swimming pool, a forested 76-site campground, picnic area, hiking trails, and fishing streams.

A full range of seasons and weather offer the visitor the opportunity to experience a variety of conditions, from major blizzards to dry scorchers, from warm clear nights to intense, blasting thunderstorms. Winds of great speeds are capable of whipping through the park causing damage during any month of the year. Pristine clear, warm days can be followed by cold stormy nights.

Proper preparation for the full range of potential conditions can make a visit to the park not only safe and warm but also dry and comfortable.

Hot Spring Pool Rules

NEW RULES AND POLICIES DUE TO COVID 19

Use of the pool is by reservation only. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance and up to 3 weeks in advance. Make reservations at ReserveCalifornia.com and click on "Activities".

A reserved session includes 1.5 hours of access to the pool complex, including any restroom or shower time. You may not enter the pool complex before your session begins, and you must exit the pool complex when your session is over. If you arrive late for your session, you still must exit when your session ends. Please arrive at the park at least 15 minutes before your session to allow time for check-in and for possible lines of vehicles. Available sessions are: 10-11:30, 11:45-1:15, 1:30-3:00, 3:45-5:15, 5:30-7:00.

Fees for ONE SESSION are $10 for adults, and $5 ages 0-16.

Maximum capacity of the entire pool complex is reduced to 25 people per session, regardless of age.

You may reserve up to 2 sessions per day, if available. Up to 8 people are allowed per reservation. If you reserve back-to-back sessions, you must exit the pool for the 15 minutes between sessions while lifeguards are disinfecting the facility. Visitors may not remain in a pool unless a lifeguard is monitoring.

We will do everything in our power to honor your reservation, but please note that your reservation may be cancelled at any time due to unforeseen issues such as: staff illness, re-imposed restrictions, equipment malfunction, contaminants in pool, power outages, lightning storms, and other circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes these circumstances require closure of the pool in the middle of a session, and everyone must leave the pool. If this occurs, visitors will be issued a full refund.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARRIVE

The way you drive to the pool area has changed. Arrive at the park at least 15 minutes before you plan to enter the pool complex to allow time to check-in and for any lines. Check in at the park entrance station to confirm your reservation and to receive a parking pass. If the entrance station is closed (mid-week in Winter), then proceed directly to the pool complex and check in with the lifeguards when your session time begins. Display your parking pass on your vehicle’s dash.

When you arrive at the pool complex, observe posted signage to ensure at least 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and others. This includes markings on the ground while waiting to enter the pool complex, and separate areas for those exiting the pool complex and those waiting to enter.

Inside the pool complex, please maintain at least 6 feet of distance between your household and everyone else.

The changing rooms are closed. Please arrive wearing your swimsuit.

There are men’s and women’s restrooms available.

Staff will disinfect surfaces in between each session, including: door knobs, toilets, sinks, handles, latches, and other commonly touched surfaces.

There is an OUTDOOR shower, visible to others, for rinsing off. No detergents are allowed.

Hand sanitizer will be available.

Please wear a mask before and after using the pools and anytime you pass within 6 feet of others. Use of a mask while in the pool is not required.

The symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat, fever, chills, nausea, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, repeated shaking with chills. Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? Do you have a sick family member at home with COVID-19?

  • If after making a reservation a visitor can answer yes to either question, the visitor must cancel their reservation for a full refund.
  • Visitors will be asked the same 2 questions upon arrival, and will be denied admittance if so. A full refund will be issued.
  • Staff members will be screened at the start of each shift, and will be sent home if any symptoms are present.

Lifeguards will be on duty for your safety. Please follow their instructions. Please keep a physical distance of at least 6 feet from lifeguards when possible. Lifeguards will be wearing masks unless in the water.

In order to provide for a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors at the hot springs pools, these common rules are in effect:

  • No running or diving.
  • No smoking, including e-cigarettes (“vaping”), inside the pool complex.
  • No food or beverages, other than plain water allowed inside facility.
  • Swimwear or cutoffs are required (no underwear, street clothes or nudity).
  • Children under 12 yrs. old must be accompanied by an adult. Groups of children under 16 years of age must have at least one adult supervisor per 5 children.
  • No person shall play loud or rough games and/or use radios or tape/CD players with external speakers.
  • For safety reasons, flotation toys, such as water wings, are not permitted.
  • Children ages 6 and under may wear a properly fitting United States Coast Guard approved Type II or Type III life jacket, under the immediate supervision of an adult.
  • If there is a waiting line to enter pools:
    • Holding places in line is not permitted.
    • Line cutting is not permitted.
    • All members of your group must wait in line.
    • If you leave the line, you must re-enter at the back of the line.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the pool complex and may not be left unattended. Do not leave your dog in a car on a warm day.

Pool Reservation Refund Policy:

If you need to cancel your pool reservation, call the park at least a day in advance to request a refund or go to ReserveCalifornia.com.

Same-day refunds will only be given if you or someone in your household has a symptom of COVID-19, or if the pool closes for at least 30 minutes of your session due to lightning, contamination, power outage, or emergency. No refunds for late arrivals or no-shows.

Hot Spring Prices

Fees for the hot spring pool use are $10 per adult and $5 per child (ages 0-16) and are paid online when you make your reservation.

When are the Hot Springs Closed?

The pool complex is generally open every day from June through August. From September through May the pool hours and days of operation vary. Please check ReserveCaliforia.com for reservations or call ahead for current operating hours (530) 694-2249 – this may save you an unnecessary trip. 


The pools are closed for facility and pool maintenance during two weeks in September each year. Please call the park for closure dates.

The pool complex is also closed for Thanksgiving day and Christmas day.

Finally the pools must close during nearby thunderstorms due to the possibility of lightning striking the water. Thunderstorms usually occur during the afternoon hours in the summer months of July and August. If thunderstorms are predicted by the National Weather Service for the Northern Sierra Nevada, then Grover may be affected.

During the winter, when snow is covering the ground, the pool complex will usually remain open. It may be closed during severe snow storms, and high accumulations of snow on the roads. The roads are generally plowed during the winter, but always carry snow chains and a shovel when traveling in the Sierras during the winter. Contact a weather service and Caltrans for conditions before departing.

Campground

Camping is generally available year-round, conditions permitting. Our campground has 76 family sites and is on a reservation system typically from mid-May through mid-September. After the reservation period is over, camping in the campground is first-come, first-serve until October. In October winter camping moves to picnic area near the park entrance, and the max length of trailers changes to 18 feet.

In addition to the food storage regulations described above, here is some helpful information when planning your camping trip:

  • Quiet hours are 10pm - 6am. Excessive noise disturbing others, including amplified sound such as radios, are not allowed anytime. Generator hours are 10am - 8pm.
  • Eight people are allowed per campsite. There are no group campsites at the park.
  • The max length is 27 feet for motorhomes and 24 feet for trailers measured from the rear bumper of the tow vehicle to the rear bumper of the trailer.
  • Campsites are $35 and include one vehicle. Additional vehicles are $8 / night. The wheels of all vehicles must fit on your campsite's paved parking pad. There is an overflow vehicle lot.
  • Wildfires are always a concern. Never leave your fire unattended and douse your fire before leaving. Do not gather downed wood.
  • Hot showers are operated with tokens. A token is $1 and gives 5 minutes of hot water.
  • Firewood, ice, and shower tokens are usually available for purchase at the campground kiosk during the summer months.
  • Games such as horseshoes are not allowed in your campsite to avoid damaging the vegetation.
  • All bicycle or scooter riders under 18 must wear a helmet. 
  • Dogs must be on leash at all times and cannot be left unattended. 

Location/Directions

Located four miles west of Markleeville, at the end of Hot Springs Road, the park is in an alpine meadow and pine forest at 5,900 feet surrounded by peaks that just top 10,000 feet.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing

The temperature can vary greatly over the course of a year and even during the course of a month.

Winter months generally fall into three types of weather patterns.
Clear and very cold: -5 to 20 degrees F.
Light to very heavy snow storms: 22 to 34 degrees F.
Sleet and rain at higher temperatures and clear or partly cloudy and rather warm: 35 to 50 degrees F.

There may be one to four feet of snow on the ground.

Late Spring and early Summer are the best weather months with very clear skies and warm to hot days, 66 to 95 degrees F., with cool to cold nights 24 to 45 degrees F.
Later Summer features very warm mornings, 68 to 83 degrees F., with afternoon thunder storms and comfortable to slightly cool evenings, 31 to 45 degrees F.
Fall is progressively cooling with mildly warm days, 45 to 77 degrees F., and freezing nights 20 to 36 degrees F. and increasing storm activity towards winter.
Early Fall storms are can be rain, turning to or snow later in the year.

Why are the Hot Springs Green?

The main reason for the color is the mineral deposits on the bottom of the pool. These mineral deposits are laid down on the surface of the paint by an oxidation reaction between the mineral salts in the water and the sanitizing agent (Bromine) used. 

When the pool is viewed from some distance, rather than from directly overhead, the light that is reflected from the bottom loses certain wavelengths that are absorbed by the various color patterns on the bottom. The remaining light waves then pass back up through the water and are reflected at the surface. This reflected light is in the yellow-green wavelengths of the spectrum.

Grover Hot Springs State Park
Grover Hot Springs State Park is treasured for its beautiful alpine setting and alleged restorative and refreshing natural hot springs. For more than 100 years nature lovers have been drawn to the springs to bask in the warm mineral waters and absorb the pleasant views of the tranquil peaks surrounding the hot springs meadow.

Grover Hot Springs State Park image(Photograph by Mike Fuller)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

Social Feed