| | |

Spencer Hot Springs

Have you heard about Spencer Hot Springs? Nevada is rich in hot springs. It might be surprising to you, but it’s true – it has about 300 hot springs in this deserted land! So sometimes it’s hard to decide where to soak. One of them that we visited recently is Spencer Hot Springs, aka Black Mustang Hotspring at Spencer’s Springs. And this is something that we would like to present to you in this short article.

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
Agnes Stabinska, the author, in black swimsuit and red hat is relax in spencer hot springs in nevada. It is immersed in a round, small pool and overlooks the desert hills of Nevada.

What is Spencer Hot Springs?

If you like off-the-beaten-track destinations, explore lesser-known places, and enjoy soaking in hot springs, visit Spencer Hot Springs. Hot springs in the hot Nevada desert.

Spencer Hot Springs is managed by the Nevada Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which means that the land is open to the public and accessible for all and for free.

Our Experiences

My partner Chris and I had the chance to unwind and relax at Spencer Hot Springs – a lesser-known and off-the-beaten-path destination. We came across it accidentally while driving our camper truck through Nevada during our almost year-long trip from Alaska to Florida across the United States.

Exhausted from driving through the desert, I carefully examined the map of Nevada, looking for a place to spend the night, and found Spencer Hot Springs. In this article, we will share our tips, memories, and original photos that we took during our stay in this extraordinary place.

How to get to Spencer Hot Springs in Nevada?

Spencer Hot Springs lies in the northern part of Nevada, just off America’s Loneliest Highway (Lincoln Hwy – route no 50), and very close (about 19 miles) to the city of Austin, NV. Traveling route 50 to the west you must turn left ahead of Austin to route no SR376. And of SR376 you must turn left on the gravel road leading you to your destination (about 10 miles). From Spencer Hot Springs, you can also drive to Goldfield Ghost Town.

When you are close to this primitive hot spring it is easy to miss it because gravel roads are going in different directions, so please be careful and set your GPS to 39°19’36.8″N 116°51’35.3″W and drive to the springs itself – you can’t park just next to it (don’t follow the picture in the article). We recommend taking a GPS and Nevada topographic map for a road trip, as these areas are very often out of cell coverage.

Usually, you don’t need a special vehicle to get there —you can drive a regular car.

Agnes Stabinska, the author, is relax in spencer hot springs in nevada. At the backdrop is our camper truck and mountains.

When to come?

Spencer Hot Springs is one of the most reliable hot springs in Nevada – it’s equally good throughout the year. The water temperature and pressure are almost the same. The best time of the day is early in the morning or in the evening. When temperatures are more pleasant.

Camping at Spencer Hot Springs

As Spencer Hot Springs is managed by the BLM, you can camp there and stay for a night. But make sure to camp at least 100 yards from any water source. If you want to take a picture with hot springs and your car (as we did) do the photo and then immediately park 100 yards further.

Parking by the water is illegal, and camping by the water is forbidden. This is the only available water source in the area for many animals, so set up a camp at a safe distance so that the wildlife can also take advantage of this place. You are in the desert so respect these rules.

The place is rustic with no amenities. The primitive camping around Spencer Hot Springs is first-come, first-served. You can’t make fires. Also, clean up all your rubbish, leave no trace and respect this wilderness.

How looks Spencer Hot Springs?

The Hot Tube

A hot spring is very simple – there is a pipe transporting hot water to the super-steamy metal tub (water temperature here is 100-120F), and from the tub, it is leaking further to a couple of small ponds. Of course, the water in ponds is a little bit colder, so if you don’t like it very hot, try to soak it in one of the lower ponds (106F and below).

The hot spring is free and public, but usually, there are not too many people. We were alone, and we heard that it’s like 2-3 pairs maximum. The tub itself is not big, so it doesn’t fit more than 4-5 people at once. But very often people stay there overnight camping in the desert – there is a lot of space around.

What to pack for Spencer Hot Springs?

Clothing is optional in Spencer Hot Springs.
Don’t forget your quick-drying towel and camping glasses for a glass of wine or water in this desert scenery.

Agnes Stabinsa, the author, is relax in spencer hot springs in nevada where clothing is optional. She has a glass of wine and looking at the mountains.

Spencer Hot Springs Rules

As we mentioned above Spencer’s is a cluster of natural springs on public land, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, so follow all BLM rules. Sitting in the pool, you will have spectacular views of the Toiyabe National Forest in the middle of the Nevada desert.

Sometimes wild mules come and drink the water, so let them do it, please. If you see any animals in the area, stop bathing, and get out of the hot springs. Step back to the car 100 yards away and let the animals use this place.

Of course, share this place with other guests as well. You can talk and arrange the bathing order so everyone can use this place, take photos, and have a bath for a while.

Attractions nearby Spencer Hot Springs

If you are a hot springs fan like us, you should also check two nearby hot springs – Smith Creek Valley Hot Springs and Diana’s Punchbowl. Unfortunately, you can soak in the recent one, but it’s worth seeing it.

You can also visit the city of Austin. It looks like a living ghost town; however, it has a few cafes, hotels, and shops. In 2010 it had a population of 192. We believe now it’s much less, unfortunately. The city is interesting from a photography perspective.

Austin, Nevada

The city was named after Buell’s partner, Alvah Austin, during a silver rush. The valued metal was reputedly found when a Pony Express horse kicked over a rock and observers noticed the silver. In 1862, it was designated as the county seat of Lander County.

Today Austin is a “living ghost town“, a well-preserved example of an early Nevada mining town. It contains four churches; both the Catholic church and the Austin Methodist Church were built in 1866. The Methodist Church is now used as a community center.

The Catholic Church, St. Augustine’s, has been purchased and is being restored as a cultural center for Central Nevada. The Episcopal church, dedicated to St. George and considered by some to be the prettiest frontier church still standing, was built in 1878 and is still in regular use. These three churches are listed as Nevada Historical Marker 67.

Are you a fan of hot springs? Maybe you will be interested in Oregon & Arizona hot springs?
So, check out our posts about Umpqua Hot Springs in the dense forests of Oregon and Alvord Hot Springs hidden in the Oregon desert.
We also recommend the gorgeous Arizona Hot Springs, which is only 40 minute’s drive from Las Vegas, so it’s worth going there for a hike to get a break from Sin City.

old buildings in Austin, Nevada.
Old buildlings in Austin Nevada: entrance to the mercantile and drygoods.
Old buildlings in Austin Nevada: entrance to the Silver State Cafe and Restaurant.
historic buildlings in Austin, Nevada.


  1. I always thought of desert when I thought of Nevada. But it would be great to find the hot springs too. Spencer Hot Springs looks like a great spot to start our discovery. Great to have the GPS coordinate to help get there. We have wandered down wrong roads before.

  2. I love hot springs – and everything SPA-ish, for that matter. It’s interesting that you are taking your bath in this barrel. I imagine a bath in springwater taking place in some sketchy-looking pond 😀 Nevertheless, this looks like a great find 🙂

  3. I’d love to visit Spencer Hot Springs! It’s definitely my kind of trip, and the surroundings are beautiful and relaxing too. Now on my list!

  4. I am a big fan of Hot Springs! I lived in Japan for several years and the hot spring culture there is amazing. Recently we traveled through Iceland and discovered the hot springs there. Spencer Hot Springs looks very relaxing and also lonely. I like that!

  5. Spencer Hot Springs is like a hidden gem during a road trip. I will make sure to stop and soak in here for several minutes when we are crossing the area. It surprised me that Nevada has around 300 hot springs!

  6. Even though I love hot springs, I have not visited too many of them. I have just been to a few here and there. I would love to explore more of them. So I will surely visit Nevada if there are so many of them. And Spencer hot springs look stunning with such amazing views. I like the fact that it has no people around.

  7. I have actually never visited a hot springs before, but this looks like a nice opportunity to have. I would love the chance to get to explore more of them as I love being outdoors as much as I can when traveling. The views look so great there!

  8. Spencer Hot Springs looks like a great stop on a road trip. That view looks amazing and like it would compliment a relaxing soak in the tub. II never knew Nevada had so many hot springs!

  9. Oh wow, that place is a gem!

    We’ve traveled to a lot of (natural) hot springs in South America and Northern Europe, but this one makes us wanna travel to the US soon – the landscapes are just incredible 🙂

    Love your article,
    Laura and Jens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *