Forged by an ancient volcanic eruption, the Hot Creek Geological Site is a landscape of boiling hot springs, fumaroles, and occasional geysers about 10 miles southeast of the town of Mammoth Lakes. You can soak in hot springs (at your own risk, bathing suits mandatory) or look down from the parking area into the canyon to view the steaming volcanic features—a very cool sight indeed. Fly-fishing for trout is popular upstream from the springs. En route to the geologic
site is the outdoor Hot Creek Fish Hatchery, the breeding ponds for many of the fish (typically 3 to 5 million annually) with which the state stocks eastern Sierra lakes and rivers. In recent years, budget cuts have drastically reduced these numbers, but locals have formed foundations to keep the hatchery going. For more details, take the worthwhile self-guided tour.
Hot Creek Hatchery Rd., east of U.S. 395, El Portal, California, 93546, United States
760-924–5500-for geological site; 760-934–2664-for hatchery