Wilbur Hot Springs

Wilbur Hot Springs is a rustic place of healing on an 1,800 acre conservation area in Northern California, two and a half hours northeast of San Francisco, and one and a half hours north of Sacramento. It strives to be a refuge from the modern world, a place of peace and of quiet, where you can be alone with your thoughts as you heal, dream and grow. Out of range of cell towers and Internet access, Wilbur Hot Springs is a place to slow down and soak in the healing waters, walk or bike the many nature trails, watch the abundant bird life, swim in the spring-fed pool and join yoga classes.

Wilbur Hot Springs was used as a place of healing long before Europeans came to America. Local Indian tribes, such as the Pono, Patwin, Colusi, and Wintun, brought their sick to recuperate at the mineral springs. In 1865, the springs and the land around it were bought by Ezekial Wilbur, who opened a wood-framed hotel on the property. It became famous during the 1870s when the San Francisco social set discovered the magical properties of the mineral springs. After the hotel’s heyday, it changed hands many times, until a San Francisco psychologist bought the property in the 1970s and used the land and springs to house his detox program and to revive the ancient rituals of medicinal waters. That same psychologist made the property his family home, a hotel and the retreat that it is today.

Wilbur Springs is a green property. It runs on solar power, uses non-toxic cleaners and composters, recycles everything possible and plants native and non-invasive species only. Photo: Wilbur Hot Springs


»Wilbur Hot Springs Accommodations

Wilbur Hot Springs Accommodations


Accommodations at Wilbur Hot Springs are rustic. Rooms are simple, campers are welcoming and there are no in-room showers. Except on special retreat weekends, guests cook for themselves in the communal kitchen. Showers are located near the clothing-optional mineral springs.

There is no wireless Internet, the hotel is out of cell phone range and guests are encouraged to leave their electrical appliances at home to conserve power. Instead, the management of Wilbur Hot Springs suggests that guests come equipped with books, art supplies, acoustic musical instruments and notebooks and paper, should the inspiration for writing strike them. Visitors to Wilbur Hot Springs need to bring their own towels, a flashlight, flip flops and a robe in which to walk back and forth to the mineral springs.

Cabins have a queen bed and a half bath.

Cabin Suites have a queen bed, a half bath, a separate kitchen and living area and an outdoor deck. The two Hotel Rooms have a shared half bath; one of the rooms has a queen bed, a sink, and a veranda, while the other is for solo use, having only one twin bed.

Solar Lodge Rooms are private and have two half baths. On the ground floor there is a double bed, and up the ladder to the loft there is a double or twin bed.

The Solar Lodge Bunk Rooms have five comfortable single beds. There are two bunk beds, upper and lower, and another bed up a ladder in the loft. Bottom sheets and a covered pillow are provided, but guests of the Bunk Rooms need to bring their own comforter or sleeping bag. There are four campsites available for tents; each has a 12x16 tent platform. Campers are invited to use all of the amenities at Wilbur Hot Springs, including the kitchen. Wilbur Hot Springs, a Peaceful Hideaway in Northern California - Photo:

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»Dining at Wilbur Hot Springs

Dining at Wilbur Hot Springs


Guests at Wilbur Hot Springs bring their own groceries and prepare their own meals in the communal kitchen. Dry herbs and spices are provided, as are cookware, dishes and utensils.

The tap water at Wilbur Hot Springs is drinkable and is fed from the hot springs. Wilbur Hot Springs does stock a few necessities in its small camp store, including bottled water, non-alcoholic beverages, chocolate and snack food. Wilbur Hot Springs, a Peaceful Hideaway in Northern California - Photo:

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»The Mineral Springs

The Mineral Springs


The chief talking-point of Wilbur Hot Springs is the mineral springs themselves. Noted for their healing properties, the springs have been divided into three flowing sections, in the style of Japanese hot springs. The springs contain three ounces of dissolved minerals per gallon, which allows for buoyancy in the water.

The minerals from the spring enter the body by osmosis, unclogging pores and leaving the skin feeling silky-smooth. The sulfur in the springs promotes insulin production in the body, making it a boon for diabetics. Natural lithium relieves pain and helps to heal minds prone to depression and anxiety, as well as provides succour after overwork. The springs have also been shown to benefit guests with skin conditions, asthma, neuralgia, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism and shoulder and back pain. Guests with addiction problems will find benefits in the curative spring water.

Massage is a natural way to continue the healing of the mineral springs. Massage therapists customize each massage to the needs of their individual guests and use techniques from Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Thai massage, Myofascial release and Craniosacral treatment. Wilbur Hot Springs, a Peaceful Hideaway in Northern California - Photo:

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»Vacation Activities

Vacation Activities

Beyond the springs and massages, there is plenty to do at Wilbur Hot Springs. There are quiet areas on the property where no discussion is permitted, allowing guests to think, plan, destress and dream.

The Memorial Wind Chime Park is a place to remember and honor loved ones who have died. Guests may enjoy making their own wind chime in memory of a family member or friend; wind chimes may also be purchased in the small gift shop at the hotel or brought from home. The Wishing Tree is a place to write down your dreams, your hopes and your prayers on colorful pieces of paper, and to tie them to the branches.

The Fountain of Life geyser is truly unique. Erupting every forty-five minutes, the geyser is one of only 1,100 in the world, and one of the only geysers in the United States outside of Yellowstone National Park.

There are abundant hiking and biking trails on the Wilbur Hot Springs’ expansive property. Paths wind through trees, and the woodlands are rich with pine trees, regal oak, buckeye, manzanita and redbud trees. The valleys and hillsides are alive with wildflowers, among them California poppies, paintbrush, larkspur, lupine, yarrow, clover, clarkia, Western wallflowers and several types of lily.

Bird watchers will love Wilbur Hot Springs and should bring their binoculars. Raptors are prominent visitors to and inhabitants of the park, and include the majestic bald eagle, red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, American kestrels and several species of owl. There is a riot of color among the nesting birds: The bright yellow goldfinch, the rich orange Bullock’s oriole, the vivid Western bluebird, the blue-grey of the belted kingfishers, the flame-colored wings of red-winged blackbirds and the soft silvery grey-blue of the elegant great blue heron. Wild turkeys wander the property, safe from hunters.

There is also abundant wildlife to be spotted by keen-eyed hikers. There are many herds of deer, badgers, long-eared hares, wild pigs, ground and tree squirrels and coyotes whose howls at night echo in the darkness. The very lucky and very patient visitor may spot a bobcat or a gray fox. Wilbur Hot Springs, a Peaceful Hideaway in Northern California - Photo:

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Yoga classes are available for free on weekends. All levels are welcome to join the yoga instructor on the hotel’s sheltered outdoor yoga platform. One weekend a month is reserved for SaranaYoga Retreats, which teach modulated breathing, chanting and meditating. SaranaYoga Retreats include five organic catered meals, two nights’ accommodation and four yoga classes. Guest Chef Weekends include five delicious and healthy meals prepared by master chefs using local, organic produce, dairy, fish and poultry. Vegetarian options are also available.

Wilbur Hot Springs plays host to many special guest speakers and instructors. Recurring themes are clairvoyant readings, tarot consultation, Ayurvedic cooking lessons, Skywatch nights led by an astronomer, empathy workshops and mindfulness meditation.

3375 Wilbur Springs Rd, Williams, CA 95987, website, Phone: 530-473-2306

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Wilbur Hot Springs, a Peaceful Hideaway in Northern California