Fascinating Geology at Roosevelt Hot Springs
This is not your average hot springs! This off-the-beaten path destination, named Negro Mag Wash on topographic maps, will amaze your senses. You’ll see vegetation dead zones, yellow sulfur crystals, and vibrant colors of bacteria and algae. You’ll hear hissing steam vents, boiling mud pots, and bubbling pools. You’ll smell the rotten egg odor of Sulphur and other volcanic gas, oh my! With all of this, you’ll leave with the feeling of having experienced another world.
History of the area reveals late 1800s and early 1900s swimming and soaking pools were developed by the “Roosevelt Hot Springs Resort” (# 1 on map). There was also the “Negro Mag’s Resort,” which is reported to have offered massages and was a brothel (as stated in A History of Beaver County by Martha Sonntag Bradley, 1999).
This landscape is actively evolving, and the original springs dried up by 1966, but the remains of the resort infrastructure can still be seen. The USGS acknowledged it as a “known geothermal resource area” in 1971, and by June 1984, the still-operating Blundell Geothermal Power Plant was online.
Geologically unique, these springs are the hottest geothermal system in the state! (This system has both an underlying body of cooling magma and deep groundwater circulation.) While these springs are no longer used for soaking, visiting is still an incredible experience.
Please be safe! Roosevelt Hot Springs geothermal area contains many hazards including scalding water and steam, unstable ground, and poisonous gas. Be sure to maintain a safe distance from all thermal areas, and stay out of fenced areas.
Photos courtesy of the Utah Geological Survey