About Our Water

Wilbur’s hot mineral springs are the confluence of poetry and science. Explanations melt into wispy steam and sighs. Time dissolves. Muscles unwind. Curiosity is enlivened. What is the magic of these waters? The main highlight of a stay at Wilbur Hot Springs is enjoying the benefits of our natural hot mineral spring water. Those who immerse themselves in Wilbur’s hot springs are immediately aware that it has remarkable healing properties, which enter the body in a way similar to how a transdermal patch releases medicine. The rare and unique configuration of minerals in the water sets Wilbur apart from all other hot spring resorts and spas in Northern California. This is why thousands of people over the last centuries have come to Wilbur to experience the therapeutic waters that heal the body and soothe the soul.

Sheltered by a Japanese onsen-style “Fluminarium,” the water is channeled into three long flumes with average temperatures of 98, 105 and 109 degrees Fahrenheit. The water flows continuously through the flumes as you soak in silence.

The natural hot waters in the flumes are enhanced by a spring-fed swimming pool, an outdoor hot mineral flume and a dry sauna. Splendid vistas of the surrounding hills surround the expansive deck, which connects all of the hot spring areas. Listen to the birds and the nearby creek, read a book, or just kick back and relax—there is no schedule. Night time offers breathtaking views of our renowned starry skies. Come for the day or stay as long as you like.  Open day and night to registered guests, our hot springs are quiet and serene—a safe haven where courtesy and modesty prevail. The bathing area is private and clothing optional (although clothing is required everywhere else on the property). Plus, you’ll never hear a cell phone ring. It is a natural digital detox.

One of the many things I value about the place is the complete acceptance of the real-life diversity of the human body. Every shape and size: we all find a home at Wilbur.

Morgan Weir, Guest

I had never experienced a clothing-optional anything before, and had some reservation about that. We are not “hippies”, but rather pretty conservative. Both my wife and I packed swim suits, but once I got there and was put at ease by the surroundings…..well, “when in Rome”…. My wife stayed in her swim suit, and had just as a relaxing day as I. She was never made to feel uncomfortable by anyone, and she was one of two people clothed. After 5 minutes or so, you don’t even notice the lack of clothing, and just see people. As others have said in their reviews, the nudity is not gratuitous, but rather in my opinion, necessary to reach full relaxation mode.

Scott P., Yelp Review

Nearby is a warm pool where talking is permitted;  I loved floating here while star-gazing!

Rad J., Yelp Review

One thing that you really must be prepared for is the clothing optional aspect of the pool and flume area.  Although it is stated as “optional”, expect most people to be completely naked.  My wife chose to leave her swimsuit on and there were no uncomfortable feelings either way.  Sexual activity is completely non-existent.  It’s not that kind of place.  You really feel at ease regardless of your bathing attire…or lack thereof.  All nudity is limited to the fenced in pool area exclusively.  There is no public nudity allowed elsewhere Wilbur.

Joe S, Sacramento, CA, TripAdvisor Review

The springs were amazing.  Clean and quiet.  The sauna was perfectly hot.

Lois B., Oakland, CA, 5 Star Yelp Review

Want silence, clean organic hot springs in the most beautiful setting just a couple of hours from SF?? Want to soak all night without anyone bothering you?? Then this is your sanctuary!

Hez B., San Francisco, CA, 5 Star Yelp Review

The pools are extraordinarily clean… The sauna and outdoor showers are comfortable and lovely. Plenty of shade, lawn and sun spots for all that your heart desires.

Hez B., San Francisco, CA, 5 Star Yelp Review

If you’re nervous about skinny dipping in front of others, this place is completely accepting. There was every shape, size, color, age that you could imagine and whether you were wearing clothes or not, no one was looking (and if they were, they weren’t ogling). Everyone was respectful and pleasant to be around.

Sarah O., Sonoma, CA, Yelp Review

I recently surprised my husband with a weekend getaway to Wilbur and not being one to casually drop his drawers in public, I am happy to report that this hot spring’s relaxed, non-cruising vibe was enough to disrobe my modest man.

Miss L., San Francisco Yelp Review

The bathing area is really well done – a nice variety of temperatures and we never felt crowded, rushed, uncomfortable.

J.F., Alexandria, VA, 5 Star Yelp Review

Best water on the west coast. Natural occurring lithium in the water makes you totally relaxed.

Kate R., Sacramento, CA, 5 Star TripAdvisor Review

I lived in Japan for five years, and my favorite activity was going to onsen (hot springs in Japanese). I experienced plenty of different kinds of hot springs with different water composition. Out of all the best I tried over there, Wilbur is by far my favorite hot spring on earth! Even several weeks after my visit I still can feel the benefits on my body and mind. The water is unique–no words are enough to describe it! I will be a loyal visitor for all the rest of my life!

Hugo L.,

I love Wilbur more than any other hot springs in the world. It is tranquil, it is idyllic and their tagline – in all the world no waters like these – is 100% true. It’s one of my favorite places in the world!

Pam S., Oakland, CA, 5 Star Yelp Review

In the three hours we spent in the waters at Wilbur Hot Springs, I really felt like I had just come off a weekend away. I absolutely felt my stress wash away.

James P., Chico, CA, 5 Star Yelp Review

One of my favorite places in the world. As a hot spring lover, I can attest their claims are true: In all the world no water such as these. The waters are so rich, pure, they are absolutely one of nature’s gifts. They keep pools of varying temperatures to satisfy most clients’ needs.

E. L., San Francisco, CA, 5 Star Yelp Review

The hot springs were wonderful. Hot, relaxing, and I really do feel different after returning home from a weekend of dipping.

Sarah O., Sonoma, CA, Yelp Review

This is an utterly charming resort that is both laid back and sophisticated… The grounds, the pools, the surroundings and the amenities at Wilbur are top notch!

Dani K., Los Angeles, CA Yelp Review
  • ZINC
  • PH
Mineral Water Content Report, U.S. Geological Survey
All quantities are in ppm (parts per million)

Sulfur Mineral Springs Health Benefits

Wilbur’s geothermal water contains three ounces of dissolved minerals per gallon and is entirely undiluted, untreated, and unheated—which is rare in North America. This concentrated salt solution not only provides a heavenly float in the water, it aids in the absorption of minerals through the skin by osmosis, while the alkaline pH makes skin feel silky and gently unclogs pores. The minerals in the waters at Wilbur have positive therapeutic effects on skin diseases, asthma, neuralgia, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism and shoulder, neck, and wrist pains. They also have a detoxifying and mucolytic effect. Sulfur has been used medicinally since ancient times and is contained in every cell in our bodies. Approximately 0.25% of our total body weight is sulfur. It is most concentrated in keratin, which creates strong hair, nails, and skin. It helps

with skin elasticity which maintains youthful skin. Sulfur is a natural antiseptic and is said to encourage insulin production, thus it is indicated for diabetes according to balneology. Sulfur, silica, and metaboric acid are great for chronic skin ailments, as they tonify and moisturize skin. The most unique element of our geothermal water is lithium, which is the second smallest ion that can easily permeate the skin. It provides pain relief, eases depression, and promotes a deeper state of relaxation. “Evidence is slowly accumulating that relatively tiny doses of lithium can have beneficial effects. Lithium appears to promote the health, growth and resilience of neurons, reducing stress-induced damage.” [1]

[1] “Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium?” by Anna Fels , Sept. 13, 2014

The Benefits of Lithium

By Lee Euler

A neglected supplemental mineral defends your brain cells as you age. It’s a shame so few people know about it. It can also improve your mood, boost personal energy and – perhaps — even offer longer life expectancy.

According to James M. Greenblatt, MD, lithium gets just a fraction of the attention it should attract. He calls the mineral a “Cinderella” nutrient because it has been “neglected and ignored.”

Shocking as it seems, there’s at least one study that shows that lithium, under certain circumstances, might drop your chances of Alzheimer’s by a whopping 600%.

That’s no typo.

A study in Brazil (admittedly, a small study) found that in older people who take antidepressants, taking lithium for that purpose dropped the chances of developing dementia and memory problems by a factor of six.

If you have bipolar depression or similar mood problems, your chances of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive difficulties are significantly increased. But it seems that taking lithium – often prescribed for these illnesses — may be able to protect you against this risk.1

Why hasn’t lithium won side acceptance as a daily supplement?

It could be because the public thinks of lithium as a drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It’s true that a form of lithium is prescribed by doctors for these ailments. But lithium is not a drug as such, it’s one of the basic elements of the periodic table. Healthy people can benefit from it just as we benefit from iron, copper, manganese, chromium and other metals.

In his book, Nutritional Lithium: A Cinderella Story, Dr. Greenblatt explains that the benefits of taking small amounts of lithium as a supplement are varied and without equal. He notes that it’s an “essential nutrient for promoting brain health.” And it “protects and stimulates the brain in complicated, multi-faceted ways.”2

Use It to Fight Inflammation

One of the most important cellular functions enhanced by lithium is protection against inflammation.

As I’ve often pointed out, chronic inflammation in any organ leads to serious damage. And persistent inflammation is especially problematic in brain tissue. Dr. Greenblatt explains that when inflammation is limited to a brief time, it can help heal injured brain tissue by bringing in white blood cells and other healing elements. But uncontrolled inflammation that the body is unable to turn off sets the stage for problems like depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

That’s why so much medical research is now aimed at figuring out what drives inflammatory processes in the brain’s neurons. Restricting these processes can improve brain health and keep neurons from being destroyed by overactive immune cells.

Cytokines are chemical messengers that travel through the body and tell the immune system to increase or decrease inflammation. Lithium can help ease inflammation by slowing the production of the inflammatory cytokines called interleukin-1B and tumor necrosis factor or TNF.

While it curbs cytokines, Dr. Greenblatt explains, lithium can also cut back the destructive actions of microglia, the immune scavenger cells that are supposed to clean up debris from the brain — but which can become over-excited and injure neurons.

For example, research at Boston University shows that during the early development of Alzheimer’s disease, microglia can pick up tiny fibers of tau protein – a harmful substance that disrupts the function of neurons in the brain – and release them in a way that causes them to be absorbed by neurons.3

But there is some evidence that lithium prevents this destructive process.

This Doctor Asks, “What Are We Waiting For?”

Research in Brazil on animals shows that lithium taken during the early development of Alzheimer’s may “alter the pathological characteristics” of the disease. So, for Alzheimer’s, which conventional medicine can’t treat, the researchers believe lithium offers “new hope for the therapeutic treatment of this disease.”4

Which leads James Phelps, who directs the Mood Disorders Program at Samaritan Mental Health in Corvallis, Oregon to ask, when it comes to using lithium for Alzheimer’s prevention – “What are we waiting for?”5

May Add Years to Your Life

Lab research into lithium’s effects on the body also suggest that it may help people live longer.

A study at the University of London demonstrates that low doses of lithium help fruit flies live 16% longer. And the researchers think that lithium can have a similar effect in humans.6

The longevity benefit, they say, is partly related to the fact that lithium blocks the activity of a harmful molecule called GSK-3 (glycogen synthase kinase-3) a substance also thought to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.7

But the brain benefits don’t stop there: Along with blocking GSK-3, lithium may also play a part in keeping your brain from shrinking.

Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., a pioneer in natural medicine, says in the introduction to Dr. Greenblatt’s book that lithium has been shown to help keep your brain larger as you age.8

In the large “pharmaceutical” doses given to bipolar patients, lithium has serious side effects. But in the small doses advocated by Drs. Wright and Greenblatt, problems are rare. I’ve taken it daily for years.


1. http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/190/4/359.long

2. Greenblatt, JM & Grossman, K. Nutritional Lithium: A Cinderella Story (2016)

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26436904

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4659557/

5. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/lithium-alzheimer-prevention-what-are-we-waiting

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27068460

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3073119/

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21030008