“It is with greatest pleasure that I contribute an article in your valuable paper in regard to Walley’s Hot Springs, situated one and a half miles from Genoa, Douglas County, Nevada. These springs, without a doubt, have no equal on this coast for the cure of rheumatism and all afflictions that necessitate me visiting them. I now leave without crutch or cane, entirely well, not only relieved from pain but gained in spirit.”
–Mark Twain, 1887
A HISTORIC LOCALE
Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-packed adventure, a luxuriously therapeutic getaway, or a solid dose of history, 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort & Spa seems to have it all. Located a stones throw from Genoa, Nevada’s Oldest Establishment, it’s no wonder this unique destination is chock full of some of the Silver State’s most long-standing history. During this time, the American West promised a fresh start and fortune, persuading thousands to make the trek to this neck of the woods. A young New Yorker named David Walley was no exception, and moved to Genoa in search of his own prosperity. BUT, the fortune he found did not lie in the gold fields of California, or even in the nearby Comstock Lode of Virginia City, but in water.
Walley was employed in the Genoa area, and tasked to dig a tunnel directly across from the natural hot springs that sit just 1.5 miles from town. After taking advantage of a nice soak after a days work and experiencing the springs’ therapeutic value first hand, Walley purchased the hot springs and surrounding property, charging 50 cents a bath. The springs soon became quite a success, and Walley eventually bought out his partner and, along with his wife, set out to expand the property.
Interestingly enough, during this same frame, the legendary Pony Express was still in operation and utilized a route that abutted Walley’s hot springs. The town of Genoa was an established station on the trail, and riders who stopped here for a rest made use of the natural hot springs to soothe their aches and pains.
By 1862, an opulent resort was built, which was comprised of a 40-room hotel with 11 bathrooms, a grand ballroom, a large stable, a swimming pool, and several bathhouses with a resident physician and masseur. From that point on, David Walley’s became well known for its famed baths, and became a regular stop on stage routes and a daily stage met the Virginia & Truckee train in Minden. While David Walleys was a place for weary miners to relax, it soon became an icon of affluence, drawing high society from near and far, including famed writer Mark Twain, movie stars like Clark Gable and Carol Lombard, and a handful of United States presidents.
Since opening pre-statehood, 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort & Spa has gone through a multitude of owners and a devastating fire. But, several original buildings remain on site, as does one of the original stone soaking tubs. Despite a few setbacks, the present-day resort has kept Walley’s legacy alive by hosting guests from round the world in a modern and relaxing getaway.
1862 DAVID WALLEY'S SPA
For the ultimate Nevada-style spa getaway, you’ve got to get David Walley’s Spa on the list. Masters at combining health, beauty and vitality, the resort-style hot spring experience found here is unlike any other in the Silver State. After discovering an oasis of natural hot springs near Nevada’s First Establishment, the resort opened in 1862, offering unmatched soaking opportunities.
Hot springing enthusiasts will be delighted to find a large heated swimming pool, and five separate mineral spas with their own differing temperatures, ranging from 98 to 105 degrees. All of the hot springs water being funneled into these pools is geothermal water naturally produced from the Earth’s mantle, that’s filtered and cycled through every 2-3 hours.
Many restorative properties are found in natural hot springs, including potassium and sodium, which are known to eliminate toxins, alleviate arthritic symptoms and promote healthy skin. But, of all the enriching minerals found in natural hot springs, perhaps the most impactful is sulfur, which just so happens to be the main mineral found at David Walley’s. The scent of sulfur alone has been medicinally used for thousands of years, but is more popularly found in keratin, which has been associated to strong hair, nails and skin.
As if the boundless soaking opportunities found at David Walley’s aren’t enough, the property features a complete day spa, offering an array of luxurious amenities, including a dry sauna, steam baths and a full locker room. Elevate your visit with a specialty spa service, like a full body massage, facial, body scrub or manicure.
Hot Springs Day Use Pass: $50 per person. Free admission for children ages 4 and under.
Includes access to eucalyptus steam baths, dry saunas, hot springs and pool. Lockers and towels are included.
High Season Day Rate: $55 per person on Saturday and Sunday
Local’s Days: $35 per person on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s with presented local ID. To qualify for this rate, guest must be located within a 50-mile radius of the resort. This includes Reno, Sparks, Virginia City, Carson City, South Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley.
MAKE IT AN OVERNIGHTER
Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada, 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort & Spa is less than 13 miles from South Lake Tahoe and operates as a year-round retreat offering the perfect getaway for all ages. Comfortable accomodations and attractive furnishings can be found at David Walley’s resort. Each one and two-bedroom suite offers full or partial kitchens, fireplaces, balconies and more, making your stay feel like an authentic home-away-from-home.
On-site attractions include an exercise room, billiards, badminton, volleyball, horseshoes and board games. See the front desk for equipment checkout. Movie rentals are available for a small fee. Also, take advantage of the business center, free Wi-Fi, and two on-site restaurants.
David Walley’s Restaurant & Saloon
At the new 1862 Restaurant & Saloon you can enjoy a casual fine dining adventure while you entertain your palate with gourmet wild game and a little southwestern flare. Your hunger will be demolished with ample portions for every meal of the day. After dining, enjoy a cocktail in this historic landmark and create a legacy of your own.
Nightly 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Reservations suggested, (775) 782-6602
Food served nightly 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Happy Hour Monday thru Friday from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Live Entertainment Friday & Saturday from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Located next door to the spa, Harriett’s Café offers Breakfast, lunch, favorite beverages. Food and drink purchased at the Café is allowed near the hot springs pools, but please use plastic containers only.