Located in Markleeville, California, Grover Hot Springs (State Park) is known for mineral waters, swimming, pine forestry, and lush Alpine meadows. Campgrounds, picnicking, and hiking are some of the many activities in this nature wonderland. What draws people to these areas are the mineral springs. What makes them want to stay is natures hideaway.
The Hot Springs are known for the ability to cure, with a mineral content of 74.7 grams per gallon. What makes it different is the low sulfur count. The concrete swimming pools are fed by six mineral springs. The temperature reaches 148 degrees, typically 104 degrees, due to runoff. Hot Springs Creek flows through the park’s spacious meadow.
Trout are farmed to coincide with water flow, making great fishing. The best locations are Hot Springs Creek and eastward is Carson River, followed by Silver Creek upstream.
One of the best eye catching features is Hot Springs Valley. Elevation is almost 6,000 feet. Surrounding mountains are Hawkins Peak at 10,023 feet and Markleeville Peak at 9,417 feet. Burnside Lake Trail offers the best view. To get to there, go to the extra vehicle parking area. Once on the trail, traveling Northwest there is a waterfall right before entering a steep mountain trail which elevates to over 2,000 feet. It is slightly less than four miles when Burnside Lake is reached. The good news – for non trailblazers – is that Burnside Lake is accessible by Highway 88. On foot, the Charity Valley Trail is Southwest toward Charity Valley and Blue Lakes Road.
Evenings are about 50 degrees in the summer, with daytime about 80. Fall colors can be seen from the Aspen. In the winter there is usually plenty of snow for skiing and snowshoeing. Winter temperatures can run -5 degrees to about 20 degrees.
When planning a trip to Grover Hot Springs, it is best to reserve campsites for the whole period. Otherwise, there is the risk of not being able to continue staying. Demand is highest on weekends and holiday periods. There may be two hours wait time for the pool. The pool capacities are 50 in winter and 75 in summer.
Come prepared to camp at Grover Hot Springs (State Park). While reservations are necessary, they can be made seven months ahead. Waiting 48 hours or less is risky. If handicap space is needed, be sure to ask ahead. There are two sites available, with close restrooms.
Camping from early October to May is in the day area near the park entrance. The limit is 20 sites. There are restrooms and water but no showers, at the limited sites. Otherwise, the campground will be open. There are 76 sites in the main campground. There are showers, water, picnic areas, telephone access, docking, swimming, cooking grills, storage, and the Ranger Station. Firewood must be purchased at the park. One vehicle is covered for use of the campground. There is an extra charge for more than one vehicle and use of the pool. Campsite occupancy is eight. There is a three vehicle limit and must be parked on the pavement, not the road.
Payment is due on registration and can be placed on VISA, Discover, or MasterCard. Reserve online at www.parks.ca.gov or call 800-444-7275 (TTY 800-274-7275). If campers wish to extend their stay they may request this at 9 am checkout. There are no guarantees for longer stays.
Campers can bring generators, as long as they are operated within 10 am and 8 pm. Dogs are okay, if leash rules are followed and kept inside overnight. Bicycling is limited to roadways. Trailblazers must go by foot.
Common courtesy is expected. Keeping noise levels down to the immediate group, locking up property, allowing other campers their space, and reporting any unusual or dangerous activities is advisable.
There are wild animals who will not bother visitors. Use proper garbage disposal to keep wild life at bay. Do not feed wildlife, as it endangers them. There are lockers, which bears cannot access, available on camp sites.
Grover Hot Springs (State Park) is located four miles to the west from Markleeville, CA 96120 at east of the Sierra, Great Basin edge and where Hot Springs Road ends. Contact the office: 530-694-2248 and pool: 530-694-2249.
Hours and days vary. During high use the typical kiosk hours are 8 am to 10 pm. Always check before heading out by calling: 530-694-2249. While the park is open all year, certain weather conditions will cause closure. On Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years the park is closed.
Non peak season currently is through May 14, 2010. Peak season starts May 15, 2010 through September 15, 2010. Non peak begins September 16, 2010 through December 31, 2010. Family Camping fees are $35.00 year round.