Southern California contains many world-class natural mineral swimming pools. (Photo: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images )
Natural mineral water has long been sought after for its ability to relieve the discomfort of sore muscles and stiff joints. Resort communities and luxury spas often build their enterprises in close proximity to the sources of these restorative springs. The deep underground thermal aquifers where the waters originate often occur naturally in desert environments. In the Southern California desert region there are a variety of locations where visitors can soak and swim in these rejuvenating, mineral-rich waters.
Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel
The oldest and most renowned of natural mineral swimming pools is at the Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel. Its purifying springs were discovered in 1914, and it has continued to enjoy a reputation as a true desert oasis. The 50-room hotel can be booked year-round, and you need to be a guest in order to use the facilities. One Olympic-size and seven soaking pools are available, making the complex one of the most accommodating anywhere. The hotel's exclusive claim to fame is that its spa is the only one in the world that possesses both hot and cold underground mineral spring aquifers. The hot water rises to the surface at a toasty 140 degrees. It's then cooled to an average of 98 degrees, and pumped at 200 gallons per minute into the eight pools and spas. This particular mineral water source also carries the notoriety of being the best tasting and least odorous of any found throughout the mineral water circuit.