From out-of-this-world outdoor saunas and cold plunges to DIYs enjoyed right in your own backyard, we have officially entered the golden age of ritualized bathing.

Nimmo Bay
© 2022 Jeremy Koreski; From "Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths" by Lindsey Bro with permission from Chronicle Books, 2022

Throughout human history, the healing benefits of hot springs, saunas, and cold plunges have been celebrated for boosting circulation, reducing inflammation, and generally making you feel like a brand-new human. And there’s no better place to put that all into practice than right here in the West, where striking natural beauty continues to inspire innovation in wellness. Thanks to the recent popularity of teachings from modern practitioners like Wim Hof—the Dutch meditation teacher known as the IceMan who’s initiated everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Jim Carrey and Oprah Winfrey—these ancient practices are back in the zeitgeist.

Now infrared saunas, heating blankets, and chic ice baths are becoming just as much a home design staple as a Viking range or an Eames chair. But there’s perhaps no more magical and restorative way to experience fire and ice than getting out into the wild. 

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Thermal by Lindsey Bro

Chronicle Books

Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths by Lindsey Bro, $30
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In her new book, Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs, & Baths—Healing With Heat, California writer Lindsey Bro celebrates saunas around the world in a breathtaking collection of photographs and stories that beckon us all to indulge in nature. To stoke the fire of future wanderlust, we’ve gathered a few of the best hot springs properties in the West for your perusal.

Driftwood Sauna Club

Driftwood Sauna

© 2022 Ali Hartwig/@alihartwig; From “Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths” by Lindsey Bro with permission from Chronicle Books, 2022

Secret sauna sessions are the name of the game at Driftwood, a traveling sauna on wheels based in California that drifts to various natural locales, bringing the R&R to eager steamers. They can be booked for private experiences as well, making it a perfect option for retreats, events, and weddings.

Maple Grove Hot Springs

Maple Grove Hot Springs

© 2022 Camrin Dengel/; From “Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths” by Lindsey Bro with permission from Chronicle Books, 2022

Slowing down is seamless at this Thatcher, Idaho, retreat, where guests can choose to sleep in yurts, cabins, canvas tents, or under the stars. All accommodations include access to the 45 acres, including 6 hot spring pools, riverfront beach, hiking trails, canoes, and paddle boards.

Sheldon Chalet

Sheldon Chalet

© 2022 Mike Pham From Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths by Lindsey Bro with permission from Chronicle Books, 2022

Perched on some of the tallest mountains in North America, this eco-conscious chalet is the ultimate backcountry lodge. Strap on a harness and explore ice crevasses and caverns in the nearby glacier, then come back to unwind in their sauna with views of the summit. 

Nimmo Bay

Nimmo Bay Waterfall

© 2022 Jeremy Koreski/@jeremykoreski; From “Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths” by Lindsey Bro with permission from Chronicle Books, 2022

Nestled into the old-growth forests of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, the nine-cabin floating lodge is the perfect place to spend time bathing in nature. Be pampered with massages in the treetop spa room, soothe sore muscles in the floating sauna, or soak in the cedar hot tubs set at the base of the property’s cascading waterfall.

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