Historic Carson Hot Springs Resort (509/427-8292 or 800/607-3678, www.carsonhotspringresort.com ) has been drawing visitors to its 126°F natural mineral baths since 1876. The St. Martin Hotel was built in 1897 and cabins were added in the 1920s. Hot mineral baths and wraps ($20), and one-hour massages ($60) are available and still the chief draw.
The Big Lava Bed Geologic Area encompasses 12,500 acres of lava beds, the eerie remains of an ancient volcano. The steep walls of the tree-covered crater rise 800 feet on the north end of the area, sheltering a meadow deep inside. When exploring the lava beds, be sure to bring plenty of water and keep track of your wanderings, since there are no marked trails to follow. It’s even rumored to be haunted.
Get here by heading north up Cook-Underwood Road from the town of Cook, eight miles east of Carson  on Highway 14. It turns into South Prairie Road (Forest Road 66) after several miles and continues to the lava beds, approximately 14 miles up. The road follows the east side of the lava for the next 10 miles or so.