Hot Creek Geologic Site


Hot Creek Geological Site

Hot Creek is a place to marvel at geology in action. Boiling water bubbling up from the creek bed, fumaroles and periodic geyser eruptions at Hot Creek attest to the chamber of hot magma which lies about three miles below the surface of the earth in this area. 

The steam you see along the Hot Creek drainage is created when water percolates deep into the ground and enters a complex underground plumbing system.  The water is heated and pressurized before it rises to the earth's surface.  It is believed this journey takes around 1000 years. 

Earthquakes can cause sudden geyser eruptions and overnight appearances of new hot springs at Hot Creek.  Water temperatures can change rapidly, and so entering the water is prohibited. 

Hot Creek Geological Site Hot Creek Geological Site Hot Creek Geological Site Hot Creek Geological Site Hot Creek Geological Site

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Sunrise to Sunset. There is no overnight camping allowed. 
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Toilets,Parking
Usage: Light
Restrictions: In the Hot Creek Geological Site there is:
  • Dogs must be on leash
  • No Swimming
  • No Fishing
  • No climbing into the fenced off areas. 
Closest Towns: Mammoth Lakes, CA (full service, hospital)
Water: Yes
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: USFS
Information Center: Mammoth Welcome Center 760-924-5500

General Information


From Hwy 395 take the Hot Creek Hatchery Road, located 15 mins South of Mammoth Lakes.  You will then proceed 2 miles on paved road and 3 miles on gravel road.  Hot Creek is located on the left hand side.

During the winter months you may access Hot Creek by Snowmobile, Snowshoe, or Cross-Country Skiing. 


No overnight parking

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Visitor Programs

Interpretive Areas


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Winter Sports

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Interpretive Site