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Most travelers, while zooming across Nevada on I-80, likely think the scenery is bland and desolate. They take in the big high desert views, without realizing the beauty the region holds when visited at a slower more in-depth pace. 12 Mile Hot Springs. aptly named because it is 12 miles from the town of Wells, Nevada, is one of those idyllic and often overlooked spots.
When it comes to hot springs, I am a bit of a Goldilocks. I want a pool that is not too hot, not too cold, has a smooth easy-on-the-feet bottom, and no sulfur smell! So, pretty much an indoor pool in the outdoors! 12 Mile fits the bill perfectly. The crystal clear gravel bottomed pool are an excellent temperature for soaking with no unappealing sulfur smell. The hottest area of the pool is about 100 degrees, with slightly cooler areas available near the outlet. This is a must do if crossing Nevada with a couple of hours to spare.
Take exit 351 from I-80 in Wells, NV. Once off the highway, turn north on Humbolt Ave toward Wells. After 0.9 miles, turn right onto 7th Street, then the next left. This unnamed road crosses the railroad tracks.
Once across the tracks, turn left on 8th Street. This was unsigned and a bit confusing on my visit. You want the main road that is parallelling the railroad tracks. Reset your odometer here, and stay on the main road as it heads north.
4.9 miles - Major junction. Stay straight here.
The road continues, passing by several houses until it abruptly makes a left-hand turn at 8.9 miles.
8.9 miles - Dirt road on the right, reset your odometer as you turn onto this dirt road. Low clearance vehicle will want to walk from here.
0.2 miles - Stay straight.
0.5 miles - Stay right.
1.2 miles - 4 way junction, stay straight.
1.4 miles - Side road. Stay right. This is a good parking spot.
1.5 miles - Recommended parking, large area on the right.
2.0 miles - Hot springs on the right.
From the recommended parking area, follow the road. It crosses the stream in a couple of minutes. A few strategically placed logs on the downstream side of the crossing allow pedestrians to keep their feet dry.
Once across the stream, the road passes by a small dam. If visiting in the winter, you will notice the water steaming here, and getting more steamy as you continue upstream. The soaking pool is on the right less than 5 minutes from the dam, just as the road crosses the stream again.
11T 669023mE 4567022mN
N41° 14' 13" W114° 58' 59"
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11T 669316mE 4567060mN
N41° 14' 14" W114° 58' 46"
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11T 669779mE 4567167mN
N41° 14' 17" W114° 58' 26"
|Jct - 4 way - Straight||
11T 670915mE 4567254mN
N41° 14' 19" W114° 57' 38"
|Best Parking Area||
11T 671152mE 4567296mN
N41° 14' 20" W114° 57' 27"
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11T 671328mE 4567333mN
N41° 14' 21" W114° 57' 20"
11T 671944mE 4567713mN
N41° 14' 33" W114° 56' 53"