Enjoy Morton's Warm Springs
One of my favorite places to head on a lazy summer day is 20-acre Morton’s Warm Springs Resort in Glen Ellen. Nestled into the thick-forested hills along winding Warm Springs Road, it’s only about four miles from the village center, but feels far away from the everyday world.
The land on which Morton’s sits was once a seasonal camping ground for the local indigenous tribes. It’s easy to see why: Thanks to the lively creek that still runs through the property, water was plentiful; hunting in the surrounding hills was excellent; and the site’s geothermal mineral springs were both soothing and sacred.
The 19th century brought newcomers, and by the late 1800s a simple resort was in place on the site. By 1909 it had been transformed into a full-fledged getaway called Los Guilicos Warm Springs Resort, offering a bathing pool, bathhouse and cottages.
Eventually Ethel and Harold Morton bought the 20-acre property and gifted the resort with their name, which, despite succeeding changes in ownership, it still bears.
Although Morton’s once welcomed overnight guests, today it’s open only for day use. The hills overlooking the resort have changed little over the years. They're still thick with trees, and Sonoma Creek continues to provide wildlife habitat.
Best thing: The thermal waters remain accessible. Visitors can enjoy three different mineral spring pools, with depth ranging from 1 to 9 feet. The water is clean, clear, and usually hovering between 85-88 degrees. The pool area is surrounded by comfortable chaises and benches, and lifeguards are on duty. There's also a large lawn area with plenty of picnic and barbecue sites, and an organic café.
Take the time to walk around and enjoy Morton’s extensive grounds, which include heritage oaks, more than a third of a mile of Sonoma Creek, and spots where the artesian warm springs still bubble forth.
What you need to know:
Morton’s Warm Springs, 1651 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen; 707-833-5511; www.mortonswarmsprings.com.
Open to the public from May through September through memberships, group reservations, and general admission access. Please check the website for specific days and times.
Adults (ages 18-64): $12
Teens (ages 13-17) and Elders (ages 65+): $10
Kids (ages 3-12): $6
Infants (2 & under): Free
All Parking: Free
What to bring:
Bathing suit, towel, water shoes, sneakers or sandals, waterproof sunscreen, hat. Family dog permitted if on a leash at all times.
Learn more about Things to do in Sonoma County.