Close enough (and thankfully in the opposite direction of rush hour traffic) for most Angelenos to reach in an hour or two but far away enough to feel like you’ve escaped L.A., Glen Ivy Hot Springs lets you relax in mineral baths, float around in pools and hop between hot and cold plunges in a tropical plant-filled valley in Corona.
Though it’s largely more of a resort-like spa than its name implies, there is indeed a natural hot spring at Glen Ivy: The 104-degree sulfur-rich mineral baths have been beckoning Southern California wellness-seekers since the 1800s; today you’ll find the geothermal waters bubbling between a half-dozen two-person baths, and one slightly larger communal one.
If you’re simply looking to sun and soak, you should be satisfied with the “admission only” pass, which grants you access to all of the pools, spas and Club Mud, a red clay playground where you can slather on some wet mud. That’ll also get you the general vacation vibes that emanate from every inch of the property—but at borderline vacation prices, as admission costs have increased considerably in recent years. As far as buy-up options, though the warm body butter treatment and steamy cave at the communal Grotto are certainly pleasant, you’re probably better off putting the extra $35 toward a manicure, facial or massage, or even toward a drink or a bite to eat (we found both the healthy and indulgent options at Ivy Kitchen pretty tasty, considerably more so than you might expect from a spa with a no-reentry policy).
If there’s one piece of advice that we can offer, it’s that timing is everything. If you’re visiting during the busy summer months, you’ll want to queue up at opening and claim some lounge chairs right away—and then prepare to jockey for position in just about every pool on the property. (If your budget allows it, consider the pricey cabanas for hosted service and a bit more privacy.) But come during the off season and you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. We visited on a weekday in mid-November and found everything sensational; the swimming pools were basically empty while the hot tubs were sometimes busy but never overcrowded, and the high-60s temperatures were downright pleasant in the sun (the cooler shade was easily solved by a rentable robe).