Marin Tidal Hot Springs: Happening, but Going Fast!

topic posted Sat, July 28, 2007 - 5:25 PM by  Unsubscribed
For those who have heard of the Marine County Tidal Hot Springs, but have never been: Yes they are real. I just went this morning and they're in fantastic shape! Unfortunately they will become rarer soon, so if you may want to visit them soon (like the next few days).

The springs are most easily reached by 'goat' trail near Steep Ravine Environmental Campground, located about 1/4 mi. south of Red Rock Beach, which is about 2.5 mi. south of Stinson Beach. Most of the time (i.e. >99%) the springs are covered by the Pacific Ocean, and they only happen during extreme low tides (i.e. when the tides are less than '0' foot mean-tide). These extreme low tides occur only during certain days (normally around New Moon and Full Moon). Summer and Winter have more extreme tides than Fall and Spring, and the Winter Storms often swamp the springs with high waves, no matter how low the tides get. Therefore Summer is the best Soaking Season.

Sadly, the 2007 Summer Soaking Season is almost over, and opportunities are getting rarer.

The good news is that we're in the middle of one of the last extreme-tide 'cycles' of the season. So the next Hot Springs will occur very early tomorrow (Sunday) morning, starting at ~4:15 AM (when the tide falls to '0' feet). The tide will then continue to fall to 0.9 ft. at 5:56 AM, and the springs will keep getting hotter. It will remain hot until the rising tide brings the waves, which will probably occur shortly before 9:00 AM (when the tide rises to almost 1 ft. above '0' mean tide).

The next day (Monday) everything will occur about 50 minutes later. The next day the it wil happen again, but not as much. By the end of the week the 'cycle' will be over. There are a few low tides in August, though they won't be as deep as tomorrow or Monday.

If this interests you feel free t reply and I'll send directions. Realistically, it's probably not a good idea for you to try to hike down the (very steep) trail to the springs in the pre-dawn dark unless you're hiking with someone experienced. Once you've been shown the way, there's no problem. Nevertheless, it's best to follow someone else the first time. Also: Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes and/or socks (there's poison oak on the path -- no need to spoil you experience by getting stung :-)

We'll be going tomorrow (Sunday) morning, so if any of you want to ride with us or caravan in your own vehicle, just email and we can make arrangements.

Hope you find this info useful.

Happy Soaking!
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  • Thanks for the info about this unique spring. I made the trek down the goat trail a few years ago in search of the rumored hot springs. Needless to say I did not find anything. I really appreciate the information and hopefully will get to them some day during a low tide.

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