Fales Hot Springs, California

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Fales Hot Springs
Unincorporated community
Fales Hot Springs is located in California
Fales Hot Springs
Fales Hot Springs
Location in California
Coordinates: 38°21′04″N 119°24′01″W / 38.35111°N 119.40028°W / 38.35111; -119.40028Coordinates: 38°21′04″N 119°24′01″W / 38.35111°N 119.40028°W / 38.35111; -119.40028
Country United States
State California
County Mono County
Elevation[1] 7,319 ft (2,231 m)

Fales Hot Springs is an unincorporated community in the Sonora Junction community in Mono County, California.[1] It is located 11 miles (18 km) northwest of Bridgeport,[2] at an elevation of 7319 feet (2231 m).[1] The driving distance from Bridgeport to Fales Hot Springs along US395 is about 15 miles (24 km).

The name honors Samuel Fales who purchased the natural hot springs in 1863 and developed the site into a resort in 1877.[2] The Fales post office operated for a period during 1881.[2] By 1908, Fales Hot Springs had a stage coach stop and baths using the hot spring water.[2] According to Ella Cain, a resident of Bodie in the 1890s and of Bridgeport in later years, Sam Fales was in the business of telling tall tales to his dinner guests extract from The Story of Mono County.

According to the records at the Mono County Museum in Bridgeport, Sam Fales transferred control of the facilities to J.M. Mawer in 1908, but lived at the hot springs until his death in 1933 at the age of 104. The resort remained in use under various owners until it exploded in a Butane filling accident in 1952, see Mono County Historical Society Newsletter 2011.

As of 2009, the resort is undergoing restoration. The current resort was constructed in 1954 using the settlement money from the 1952 accident and is located about 1/4 mile north of the original stage stop. Only 2 other residences can be seen from the resort in spite of a panoramic vista to the West. It is common for drivers on US-395 to stop in Bridgeport to report a fire, having been fooled by the steam rising from Hot Creek.

Several attempts have been made to exploit the minerals around the Hot Spring without success. Travertine deposits are described as too porous to be usable. Some amount of Uranium was discovered by the DOE, but does not appear to have been mined. A 413 feet (126 m) deep test well did not yield water hotter than 100 °F (38 °C). The water from the spring is reported as 180 °F (82 °C).[3]


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fales Hot Springs, California
  2. ^ a b c d Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1163. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  3. ^ McLean, Susan. "Thermal Springs List for the United States". www.ngdc.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-25.