Local Water History
Desert Hot Springs’ amazing natural hot mineral water and cold water aquifers were first discovered in the Twentieth Century by homesteader Cabot Yerxa who called the site of the wells “Miracle Hill.” And the aquifers were truly miraculous.
Though Yerxa was unaware of it at the time, Desert Hot Springs’ natural hot mineral waters originate from the Desert Hot Springs Aquifer, which continues to be heated by ancient geothermal forces thousands of feet below the earth’s surface. Naturally heated to temperatures as high as 180 degrees, for centuries, the waters have been believed to hold curative powers. When the first scientific analysis of the hot mineral water was performed in 1937, its therapeutic value was affirmed.
Yerxa also discovered the Mission Creek Aquifer. For hundreds of years before his discovery, the aquifer had provided habitat to wildlife and sustained Native American peoples. Today, Desert Hot Springs’ groundwater is ranked among the nation’s best. The storied waters have multiple awards in the past eight years in the International Water Tasting Competition at Berkeley Springs, WVA. Honors include the 1999 and 2004 Gold Medals for the “Best Tasting Municipal Drinking Water,” two Silver Medals and one Bronze.