Steamboat Hot Springs in Reno, NV
Does it get better than soaking in Steamboat Hot Springs, the longest-standing therapeutic hot springs resort in the state of Nevada? We’re talking about a place so historic, Mark Twain himself is responsible for its moniker. Nah, we didn’t think so, either. If you can believe it, the springs themselves have been active, and soaked in by early pioneers and those responsible for making Nevada a state, all the way back to 1857.
The hot water found in the natural hot springs at Steamboat Hot Springs is so pure that you could drink it unfiltered right out of the ground, and is loaded with anti-aging, mood-improving, chakra-channeling goodness that has kept people coming back to “America’s Greatest Medicinal Bath” for more than 150 years.
Historic Reno Hot Springs
These south Reno hot springs have been bubblin’ long before early pioneers started making their way West. In fact, though difficult to imagine, the Steamboat Hot Springs area was once home to the third-largest geyser in the United States, erupting 60 to 80 feet into the air, surrounded by open, natural pools of boiling water. American Indians would sometimes set up their winter camps here, and emigrants making their way through northern Nevada in the mid-1800s used the springs as a stopover, taking advantage of the water temperature by cooking and bathing here.
As more and more people made their way through the area and were drawn to the unmistakable billows of steam, a series of small, conservative sheds were constructed to capture the steam and artesian spring water in 1859. By the early 1860s, a hydrotherapist physician from England — Dr. James Ellis — created even more buzz about these storied springs when he created a hospital on the premises in 1861.
Later, a hotel and many other buildings were set up to accommodate burgeoning visitation, in hopes these therapeutic waters would deliver the cure-alls they boasted. The timing couldn’t have been better, either. By the 1860s, the nearby Comstock Lode silver strike was in full swing, drawing the most qualified miners in the United States, famed ladies of the night, and of course Sam Clemens, who would become Mark Twain during his time in Virginia City.
Twain himself named these very hot springs when he referenced them in an 1863 article, proclaiming, “From one spring the boiling water is ejected a foot or more by the infernal force at work below, and in the vicinity of all of them one can hear a constant rumbling and surging, somewhat resembling the noises peculiar to a steamboat in motion,”—hence the name Steamboat Hot Springs.
By the time the early 1900s rolled around, most of what historically stood here was no more thanks to a massive earthquake that caused the geyser to dry up. Even worse, a wildfire destroyed the hotel and other buildings a year later. By 1925, Dr. Edna Carver—you read right, a female doctor in the 1920s—purchased the land, and breathed new life into the property once more. Here, she opened a second hospital, the Pioneer State Health Hotel in 1937, and despite a series of fires, the property was rebuilt in the 1940s—much of which still stands here today.
Something’s in the Water at Steamboat Hot Springs
The natural spring water at Steamboat Hot Springs is geothermal mineral water, loaded with all the good stuff. Most mineral water from natural springs contains calcium carbonate, magnesium, sodium sulfate, and carbon dioxide. Lucky for you, all of these components are found in the natural hot spring water at Steamboat, with lithia, soda and silica as bonus minerals.
When all is said and done, the benefits from these naturally-occurring elements are said to contribute to your overall wellness, supporting collagen growth, anti-aging, mood improvement, and an overall feeling of rejuvenation. Best yet, despite the fact that the water here does contain small traces of sulfate, you can’t detect any odors typically associated with it. You’ll be leaving here feeling fresh and smelling fresh, too.
Visiting Steamboat Hot Springs Today
Aside from the therapeutic mineral water found on-site, Steamboat Hot Springs is not your typical resort hot spring or day spa by a long shot. Here, visitors consult with staff who are expertly trained in a variety of wellness practices, ranging from Ayurveda to Sonatherapy. By using these all-natural approaches to healing and wellness, visitors can count on unwinding at Steamboat Hot Springs with the focus of managing stress and anxiety, healing muscle and joint pain, mind and body restoration, toxin elimination, mental clarity, arthritis relief, and many other ailments. A variety of classes and workshops are also offered here, like yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, breath practice, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness training.
Ask about the many Mineral Bath Massage Packages, and of course, you can simply sign up for some good old-fashioned relaxation in their soaking tubs, too. Choose from one of the seven private geothermal tub rooms, rented at 30- or 60-minute increments with a max capacity of two people. Aromatherapy is complimentary with a rented room, along with access to the geothermal steam rooms and the outdoor tub.1 hour—$45 per couple
Steamboat Hot Springs is open seven days a week, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
For the most current information on pricing and reservations for private mineral baths, the outdoor tub & shower, or personal treatments, please dial the property directly at (775) 853-6600. Reservations fill up quickly at this historic site! Please make your appointment a minimum of 48 hours in advance, and plan on securing your spot with a credit card.