There are only a handful of places on Earth like Hot Creek's active geologic setting, where boiling, bubbling water rich in dissolved minerals emerges in turquoise pools rimmed by layers of travertine rock and shrouded in veils of steam. Hot Creek is a scenic wonderland containing dozens of natural hot springs bubbling up within the rocky walls of a river gorge and in the shadows of towering Eastern Sierra mountain peaks southeast of Mammoth Lakes, California. Within the shallow gorge, groundwater heated by subsurface bodies of molten rock (magma) reaches the surface and mixes with the cool waters of Hot Creek, creating a picturesque environment with otherworldly features. Below the hot springs, healthy populations of fish thrive off the abundant nutrition generated by the consistently warm waters of the creek. Delicate rock formations created by the precipitation of minerals rim the hot spring pools. Like most geothermal springs, the area is constantly changing and evolving. Once-active geysers and springs are now dormant or extinct, and new springs appear annually.