Description - Grover Hot Springs State Park is located on the east side of the Sierra at the edge of the Great Basin Province, characterized by open pine forest and sagebrush.
Copyright: California State Parks
Grover Hot Springs State Park
- Taking a short 35 minute drive south on Hwy. 89 will leave behind the dense forest and people of South Lake Tahoe. Grover Hot Springs State Park is located on the east side of the Sierra at the edge of the Great Basin Province, characterized by open pine forest and sagebrush. Though in the rain shadow of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains, winter will bring from two to 5 feet of snow.
Why is the Hot Springs Green?
This is the most commonly asked question by a new visitor to the Park pool complex. Due to a number of factors the hot pool looks, or appears to look yellow/green in color. The primary reason for the color is the mineral deposits on the bottom of the pool. These mineral deposits are laid down on the surface of the paint by an oxidation reaction between the mineral salts in the water and the sanitizing agent (Bromine) used. When the pool is viewed from some distance, rather than from directly overhead, the light that is reflected from the bottom loses certain wavelengths that are absorbed by the various color patterns on the bottom. The remaining light waves then pass back up through the water and are reflected at the surface. This reflected light is in the yellow/green wavelengths of the spectrum.
Recreation - The park is famous for its hot springs but also has a campground, picnic area and hiking trails. Roads are kept open to both the hot springs and the off season campground. The rest of the park and surrounding area are open to winter exploration with skies or snowshoes. The staff at Grover has a wide variety of outdoor interest ranging from 4 wheeling and rafting, to hunting and skiing. If you need information on outdoor activities please ask and we will try to help.
The off season campground is located in the Day Use Area and is open when the main campground closes for the winter, usually October through April. Running water and flush toilets are available, but there are no hot showers available during the wintertime. Parking space is limited in both quantity and size. Recreational equipment, either trailer or motor home is limited to a length of no more than 18 feet. Winter camping can be fun but come prepared. Carry chains (make sure they fit), a shovel, and plenty of warm clothing.
Usually by the opening of fishing season, the last weekend of April, the 76 site campground is open. Two camp sites and one restroom are available for the physically handicapped. Of the remaining 74 sites, 8 are large enough for trailers to 24 feet or motor homes to 27 feet. No hookups are available for recreational vehicles. A dump station (fee for use) is located in Markleeville. Hot showers and drinking water are available for all campers. The campground at Grover is operated for family camping, not group camping. If you are part of a group and wish to camp together, please use the group campground at Sugar Pine Point State Park.
Climate - Grover Hot Springs State Park, located as it is against the Eastern Crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, has a climate unique in its diversity. A full range of seasons and weather offer the visitor the opportunity to experience a variety of conditions, from major blizzards to dry scorchers, from warm clear nights to intense, blasting thunderstorms. Winds of great speeds are capable of whipping through the park causing damage during any month of the year. Pristine clear, warm days can be followed by cold stormy nights. Proper preparation for the full range of potential conditions can make a visit to the park not only safe and warm but also dry and comfortable.
Temperatures vary greatly over the course of a year and even during the course of a month. Winter months generally fall into three types of weather patterns: Clear and very cold (-5 to 20 degrees F.), light to very heavy snow storms (22 to 34 degrees F.), sleet and rain at higher temperatures and clear or partly cloudy and rather warm (35 to 50 degrees F.). Late Spring and early Summer are the best weather months with very clear skies and warm to hot days (66 to 95 degrees F.) with cool to cold nights (24 to 45 degrees F.). Later Summer features very warm mornings (68 to 83 degrees F.) with afternoon thunder storms and comfortable to slightly cool evenings (31 to 45 degrees F.). Fall is progressively cooling with mildly warm days (45 to 77 degrees F.) and freezing nights (20 to 36 degrees F.) and increasing storm activity towards winter. Early Fall storms are rain, turning to snow later in the year.
Located 4-miles west of Markleeville, at the end of Hot Springs Road, the park is in an alpine meadow at 5,900 feet surrounded by peaks that just top 10,000 feet. U.S. Forest Service land, both wilderness area and multiple use, border the park. Trails beginning in the park extend onto Forest Service land providing hikers many miles of hiking.