RV Rental Jacumba Hot Springs

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Nestled in a valley of the Jacumba Mountains near the California border with Mexico, Jacumba Hot Springs is a small town that’s renowned for its natural mineral waters. It’s surrounded by lunar-like desert landscapes and has a rich Native American history as the home of the Kumeyaay people, making it an ideal destination to rent an RV.

Cattle ranchers moved into the area during the 19th century but it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that the health benefits of Jacumba’s springs were harnessed for their tourism potential. Large public baths and spa hotels were constructed, many of which still exist as crumbling and atmospheric ruins. Jacumba was frequented by celebrities who rode the rails here from San Diego before more northerly springs, such as Murrieta and Palm Springs flourished in the post-World War II years.

Discover Jacumba Hot Springs

The Great Outdoors

Rent an RV in Jacumba Hot Springs and make the short drive north to Goat Canyon - a desert landscape that’s home to the world’s largest all-wood trestle. It can be accessed along a challenging six-mile-long hike from the abandoned train station at Dos Cabezas, with the trail steadily climbing to the ridge line before descending to a dry waterfall and the bridge itself. It was constructed in 1933 as part of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway after a tunnel through the Carrizo Gorge collapsed, with the new bridge made from wood (rather than metal) due to the extreme temperature fluctuations.

You can also stretch your legs in the Sacred Rocks Reserve, which sprawls across a magnificent tract of high desert to the west of Jacumba Hot Springs. Soak up the panoramic views from the ridgeline or trek through the huge outcroppings of boulders before settling in at night for some of the best stargazing in California. The Oaks at Sacred Rocks also features a labyrinth based on the one at Chartres Cathedral in France and at 100 feet in diameter, is one of the largest of its kind in the state.

Anglers should head directly to Lake Morena near Campo, which is stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, and trout. Non-anglers can explore one of the many hiking trails that form part of the 2,655-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail or opt to explore the water by rental boat. Be sure to stop in at the park office’s small museum, which details the region’s Native American history and the construction of the dam, before visiting the old dam keeper’s house.

RV Parks

Pick up your motorhome rental in Jacumba Hot Springs and drive west to The Oaks at Sacred Rocks - a tranquil RV destination that offers direct access to numerous hiking trails. It could be a nice choice for families, with a kiddie pool and air-conditioned clubhouse, as well as a dog park where your four-legged friends can run loose. There are fire circles and firewood is available, with Wi-Fi also included in nightly rates.

Alternatively, drive north to the Cottonwood Campground in Boulevard, which offers a number of basic sites with flush toilets and potable water. If you’re a keen angler, pull in at the Lake Morena County Park, which overlooks a natural reservoir that’s teeming with fish. There are a variety of campsites to choose from and a children’s playground, with both motorized and rowing boats available to rent.

The town is home to a small supermarket where you can stock up on supplies, as well as a gas station if you need to fill up your RV rental in Jacumba Hot Springs. There are also a handful of eateries and cafes if you want to dine out.

Exploring the City

Park your camper rental in Jacumba Hot Springs and head out to explore on foot, stopping by the Pueblo Revival-style building of the Jacumba Hot Springs Spa & Resort. This rustic geothermal resort features natural spring-fed pools and a jacuzzi where you can relax, with day visitors welcome to use the spa amenities, restaurant, and bar.

Wander to the western edge of town to explore the remains of Hotel Vaughn - a local landmark that was built in 1925 before burning to the ground in the 1980s. It stands across the street from the Thomas Health Institute Bathhouse, an iconic leisure destination in a Rancho California style that has also succumbed to fire. Follow the smell of sulfur and you’ll arrive at Lake LaZare and its public mineral spring that was named after a Los Angeles-based developer. It’s a popular birdwatching destination, with vermilion flycatchers, red-breasted sapsuckers, and sage thrashers all regularly spotted here.

Whether you’re visiting San Diego County for its lunar landscapes, hot spring resorts, or Native American culture, book an RV in Jacumba Hot Springs and get started on your next adventure.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Round Mountain, CAAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
  • Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge via Carrizo Gorge Road, CAAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
  • Smugglers Cave Trail, CAJacumba Hot Springs, CA
  • Valley of the Moon Trail, CAEl Centro, CA
  • Valley of The Moon and Blue Angels Peak, CAJacumba Hot Springs, CA
  • McCain Valley Road Drive, CAJacumba Hot Springs, CA
  • Blue Angels Peak Trail, CAThermal, CA
  • Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge from Mortero Palms, CAAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
  • Mortero Palms to Goat Canyon Trail, CAAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
  • Indian Hill & Carrizo Palms Trail, CAAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA

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