Thursday, December 3, 2009

What to do in Winter? Let's go the the Agua Caliente Hot Springs!

Wondering what to do at Pinecrest once the pool is closed and the temperature drops? Well, have I got a well kept secret for you! It's called the Agua Caliente Hot Springs, County Park. This is a great, easy day trip from Pinecrest. It's about a 45 minute drive through some of the most beautiful, most remote parts of the Anza Borrego Desert. Make sure you arrive early in the day and spend a few hours here as it takes some time for the minerals to soak and seep into you body and soul.

Seriously! This is a well kept secret, and let's keep it that way. Because it is a county park, for some reason nobody but well read German tourist seem to know about it.

HERE'S THE SKINNY: There are two pools: one indoors with warmer water and one outdoors with cooler water, but also a nice breeze of pure desert air. Also check out the somewhat primitive but restorative showers, located up by the outdoor pool.

Be sure to bring your own Spa Treatment Kit: including but not limited to nice soaps, salt scrub, mud/clay mask, some big fluffy towels and your own ipod, iphone or other musical device to add to the soothing experience (the inside pool can be loud when busy so headphones add a calming touch).

Soak in the water, sit in the sun and relax, then have a light picnic at one nearby picnic tables. Allow time to rest and regroup before rushing back up the hill to Pinecrest. If you do it right, you'll find you body will be tingling all the way home!

Here's a little more information:

Spring Synopsis: An indoor therapy pool and shallow, outdoor kids pool both fed by several warm mineral springs in the above hillsides. Located 111-miles northeast of San Diego.

Seasonal Accessibility: Open Labor Day to Memorial Day, elevation is 1,350 feet.Adult visitors can use the pools for $5 per adult.

Restrictions: Clothing is required.

Pools hours vary, check here to see the

Services: There’s a little store at the park entrance where you can get most things, including equipment for shuffleboard. The park also offers an amphitheater, horseshoe pit, picnicking, playground, restrooms and showers, a pavilion, hiking trails and dump station.

Additional Information: Soakers at Agua Caliente swore by the health benefits of the mineral water. One woman said that after spending a year and a half in a wheelchair due to arthritis, bursitis, and other ailments, she began making the trek from Yuma, AZ to Agua Caliente once a week. She would soak all morning, retire to the outdoor pool and do calisthenics, then back for another hot soak. Now she walks dances and does yoga, things she hasn’t been able to do for a decade. With a new lease on life she encourages others of the benefits from the mineral water at Agua Caliente.

GPS COORDINATE: 32.9498°N X 116.3025°W

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