150 Years: Historic Hot Springs Reach a Milestone

Mono County's Benton Hot Springs keep a-bubblin' into the future.

HISTORIC HOT WATER: It's true that the Golden State and Yellowstone National Park are a good distance apart, but believing that there are not plentiful thermal features dotting California is not correct. Hot springs burble up in pockets throughout the 31st state and all, of course, boast their own stories, town-centered histories, and fables. Benton Hot Springs of Mono County marked its 150th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 6, but the sesquicentennial didn't go to the area's head. That's because Benton Hot Springs isn't a place known for putting on airs but is, rather, rustic, chill, remote, down-to-earth, and pretty unfussy. That charms bone-weary travelers looking for a deeply unfussy experience, but one that comes with some epic mountain vistas, some far-off-the-beaten-track peace, some probable cell-phone-spottiness, and some time spent deep in one of the state's most storied mining areas. Looking for a hot tub, fed by springs, next to an old-school inn, that's away from everything? "Everything"=stress, traffic, neighbors who like different tunes than you (and like 'em loud), general life challenges? Yep, then...

MEET BENTON: The seven-room inn "is housed in a 1940s historic building" with a trio of private houses with tubs and ten more private tubs on top of that. We unleashed the word "unfussy" earlier and we stand by that compliment: You're in Benton to catch up on your magazines, read up on local history, and sit in the "(n)atural mineral water that rises to the earth's surface at 140°" for a good long spell. Want to eye what each tub looks like (as they're all a bit different)? Click. Want to know more about the history of the inn and the hot springs? Towel off and head this way.

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