What’s better than hiking to a waterfall? How about relaxing afterward in a warm mineral bath? Do both at Ukiah’s Vichy Springs! The 157-year-old historic resort is home to the only warm-water naturally carbonated mineral baths in North America. Famous folks who have vacationed here include Mark Twain, Jack London, and Teddy Roosevelt. Lesser known is the fact that the resort sits on 700 acres of open space that includes a hiking trail to a 40-foot waterfall. It’s a great way to work up a little sweat before enjoying the baths.
The 30-minute trail back to Chemisal Falls is an absolute stunner. Following Little Grizzly Creek through a canyon, hop across the water multiple times (wear good shoes), keeping an eye out for slow-moving salamanders (they love to come out after the rain). The halfway point is marked by passing a broken-down yellow truck. The farther you go, the steeper the canyon walls become—until reaching the falls, which tumble into a pool surrounded by so much greenery it could be a Hawaii stand-in. Return the way you came and change into your swimwear back at the resort. Then choose from four outdoor or six indoor tubs. Fill it up and sink into a “champagne” mineral bath. Millions of tiny bubbles cover your skin, and within minutes the body’s capillaries are dilated and you’ll feel like you’re floating. Soak it up!
TIP: Vichy Springs has a variety of rooms, suites, and cottages for an overnight stay.
Vichy Springs, 2605 Vichy Springs Rd., Ukiah; 707-462-9515. A day-use pass, which gives access to the pools and hiking trails, is $55. Two hours or less passes are $30. No dogs.