Mercey Hot Springs Story & Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg
Sometimes I hate to share all of my best California secrets, but here I go again!
No need to beg for mercy at Mercey Hot Springs, there's plenty to see, do, and enjoy! Out of the way and way off-road -- 13 miles from Interstate 5 and many more miles from scenic Hwy. 25 -- this historic hot springs resort (don't be thinking 5-stars) is worth the drive. This is especially true if you enjoy solitude, open spaces, and a clothing optional hot springs soak!
The full-size swimming pool -- hot springs water -- is available during the better weather. The pool and decking have been refurbished and a series of new soaking tubs added. Also added were two full baths. All that you want and more. This area of the resort is clothed and provides more options for visitors. The upgrades are fantastic.
The rustic cabins have all been restored. The cabins are tiny and only outdoor BBQs for cooking, so come prepared for a little roughing it on the soft side. You can bring your own Coleman stove or utilize one of the fire pits. For a little more money, the #5 cabin has a kitchenette. So ask about availability. There's no TV, but through the marvels of science WiFi has been added. Don't know if that's a good thing or not! No escaping technology even in this remote corner of Californa.
The outhouses are the nicest I have ever seen! There are a couple of private soaking tubs in one of the ramshackle buildings, which also includes the most marvelous reptile mosaic. The restoration of the historic buildings has been done with their history in mind. Though modern conveniences have been added, the buildings maintain a weathered look and feel. Come spring, the hillsides and valleys bring forth a profusion of wildflowers after a wet winter. Even in the fall, the drive into Mercey delivers undulating golden hills of the Central Valley and Little Panoche Valley. A stunning view; so take it slow.
In the meantime, a colony of long- eared owls has taken up residence at Mercey. They arrive in late summer/early autumn and stay until Spring, nesting and birthing their babies. It's a sight to behold! Day visitors can pay a fee to stop and see these wise birds.
The most amazing part is that the owners have created a completely green environment and everything is off the grid. There's solar, bio-diesel, and wind! Quite an accomplishment.
There are many hidden hot springs throughout Caliornia and I hope to visit each and every one. In this northwest corner of Fresno County, you are truly away from it all. I recenlty spent another quiet weekend at this delightful retreat. My Subaru taking me happily off-road and on. There are many wonderful back roads in the area and other historic sights to see. Enjoy the ride.
California, Hot Springs, California, Travelfresno, san francisco