Keough’s Hot Springs Resort is located near the town of Bishop in California’s Owens Valley, established in 1919 by Phillip Keough as a health spa. The resort has changed owners several times over the years. The current owners have endeavored to make Keough Hot Spring Resort as popular today as it was in the 1920s and ’30s.
Three hot springs feed a large swimming pool and a smaller hot pool at the resort. Over one million gallons a day of hot 127-degree mineral water (cooled to about 90 degrees for the pool) flows through the resort.
Hot Spring Fed Swimming Pool
The big pool is 8 feet deep at one end and the shallow end; a giant sprinkler helps cool the water and is a fun place to hang out, especially for kids. The larger swimming pool stays around 90 degrees year-round. The second smaller hot tub pool is kept at about 104 degrees.
There is plenty of seating around the big pool, and the snack bar offers the usual stuff, candy, drinks, and hot dogs. Keough’s Hot Springs gift shop is stocked with kids’ toys, sunscreen, and lotions and even has bathing suits if you didn’t pack one.
Shower and changing rooms are available. While the facilities are a little dated, everything is kept clean and working order. There are no lockers, so you need to keep your belongings in sight. If you forget to bring a towel, they are available for a $2.00 charge.
Keough’s Hot Ditch
Overflow mineral water from Keough’s Hot Springs runs into a “hot ditch” about a half-mile below the resort and ends up in the Owens River on Highway 395.
Keough Hot Ditch is the destination of choice for visitors who prefer a more natural and free hot springs experience. Water from the resort flows into several pools created by rock dams. The water in the Keough hot ditch pools hovers around 90 degrees, just suitable for a pleasant soak.
Keough hot ditch pools are optional clothing; however, most tourists wear swimsuits or shorts during the day. After the sun goes down, it’s a different story. Evenings are when many of the locals visit the hot ditch pools. After dusk, enjoy a fantastic view of the stars in the night of the Owens Valley, made even more enjoyable by soaking in a natural state.
Camping at the Keough’s Hot Springs
The campground at Keough’s is on the small side, with only ten spaces. Reservations are suggested. Also on site are four tent cabins and a 2-bedroom mobile home available for rental. Nothing fancy here but adequate for a day or two. Keep in mind that the main pool area closes at 7 pm on weekdays and 8 pm on weekends. Tuesdays, the pool is closed all day for cleaning.
Keough’s Hot Springs Resort is open to the public for swimming year-round. A one-day pass is ten dollars a person, seven dollars for kids 3-12. Location is 8 miles North of Big Pine along Highway 395 or 7 miles south of Bishop, California. Look for the sign; it is easy to miss.