The 4-Hour Rule: Wilbur Springs

Cabins, hiking trails, hot springs, cold beer:

If you’ve got one of those things, you’re doing well.

If you’ve got all four? Annex the property by any means necessary, guy. You’re in paradise.

Otherwise known as Wilbur Springs, an exceptional colony of spring-side cabins and cottages that just wants you to do one thing: relax. Via any — or all — of the means listed above.

Hot Springs (3 images)


You’re for sure staying at Wilbur Hot Springs (“a sanctuary for the self”), with an array of deep-soaking tubs, whirlpools, and hot springs. They offer a range of overnight options — and we say why camp when you can book into one of those bright, airy blond-wood cabins?


You may very well want to stay on-premises (driving is counterproductive to achieving relaxation)—so expect a cheap ‘n’ cheerful vibe in nearby Williams. We’d do Granzella’s for lunch and La Fortuna for dinner.  

Onsen (2 images)


Absolutely nothing, like leave-your-phone-in-the-car nothing. Book a massage, schedule some tai chi—or just soak in the natural hot spring waters, in the complex’s onsen-style baths. (Note: Speaking of, the Japanese know what they’re doing when it comes to hot springs—and Wilbur’s so popular with Japanese visitors that part of the website’s in Japanese.)


Need to move around? Head to the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge. If all the peaceful vibes are getting to you, it’s legal to hunt waterfowl here. But we suggest sticking with the zen and just hiking through the expansive wetlands.