Chemisal Falls, pictured above, is just a short hike from Vichy Springs Resort & Country Inn, in the hills of Ukiah, about two and a half hours north of San Francisco. A favorite retreat of Jack London, the naturally warm and carbonated Vichy-style mineral baths available here are one of a kind in North America and were once a vital and sacred resource for groups of extended families (known collectively as Pomo), who once made this area their home.
Not only are the waters palliative for a variety of ailments including stomach acidity, ulcers, rheumatism and arthritis, but just a three or four minute soak in the slightly fizzy warm water also serves to dilate the body’s capillaries invoking a deep sense of warmth and relaxation due to the increase in blood flow.
Europeans have long known that waters of this type, with their high and balanced mineral content can remedy circulatory problems.
Ukiah is an Anglicization of “Yokayo” which means “deep valley” in the Pomo dialect. For over 5,000 years Pomo people used these mineral-rich waters to heal stomach acidity, ulcers, rheumatism and arthritis and the springs themselves are estimated to be well over five million years old.