It might seem counterintuitive, but the best way to relax, restore, and detoxify your body might be to get a little dirty – from a mud bath in Calistoga, that is.
Emanating from long-ago volcanic activity, the legendary mud baths in the town of Calistoga coalesce by combining mineral-rich volcanic ash with waters from natural, mineral hot springs all naturally found in this idyllic little hideaway town of Napa Valley. The resulting mixture – this magical mud – has been touted for its many nurturing benefits such as hydrating the skin, reducing inflammation, promoting general relaxation, and more.
While the idea of getting into a tub of mud might give you pause, rest assured that it’s a spa treatment that many cultures have been using for centuries. The indigenous tribes of the A'shoichamai or Wappo villages in Calistoga contained sweat lodges; people in these tribes also partook in hot mud-bathing to eliminate toxins. This practice wasn’t much different from the mud baths of today.
Are mud baths sanitary? Yes, every treatment incorporates copious amounts of scalding hot mineral water, which effectively acts as a sanitizer. Specifically, the sulfur in mineral water mixed with the alkaline in volcanic ash kills all bacteria every time.
What kind of mud baths are there?
In Calistoga, there are two ways you can expect to get muddy:
Soak it in – dip into a prepared tub already full of the good stuff and relax while an attendant carefully applies the magical mud to your face. After the restful soak, you’ll be helped out and given the opportunity to rinse and soak in a tub to remove any residual mud.
Paint it on – a few spas offer the opportunity for spa goers to paint their body with mud and warm-up in the soothing sun before rinsing off.
Where can I get a mud bath in Calistoga?
Here are some favorite Calistoga spas, with their featured treatments.
MoonAcre Spa at the Calistoga Motor Lodge offers this spin on the traditional mud bath. Here, guests visit the outdoor mud bar to paint the mud onto their own bodies for a fun DIY experience!
Spa Calistoga at Calistoga Spa Hot Springs uses locally harvested volcanic ash for its classic mud bath, followed by a whirlpool bath and cool down wrap.
Spa & Baths at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs is one of the few properties to offer a private mud bath experience, which can be paired with a CBD massage or sound therapy.
Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa offers room and spa packages, as well as couples mud baths and girls’ getaway specials.
The Spa at Indian Springs Calistoga mines the volcanic ash on property, mixing it with mineral waters to create a classic mud bath treatment.
True Spa at Mount View Hotel & Spa offers mud treatments in the form of body wraps, painted on mud followed by cocooning spa goers in biodegradable wraps.
Baths at Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort is one of the few spas offering private mudrooms for two, making it a perfect retreat for couples.
Spa Solage at Solage Calistoga infuses its mud with essential oils, painting it on the body for spa goers to relax and rehydrate.
Whatever you decide, rest assured knowing that with these muds, you will have a truly signature Calistoga experience. After all, Calistoga didn’t earn its reputation as the wellness capital of Napa Valley for nothing. Explore any of these detoxifying and incredibly relaxing mud experiences yourself and discover the magic secret of wellness – Calistoga style!