Slates Hot Springs is a community on the Big Sur coast at an elevation of 118 feet (36 m), 34 miles (55 km) southeast of Monterey, and 46 miles (74 km) northwest of San Simeon, California. In 1882, Thomas B. Slate filed a land patent for the site and developed the hot springs for tourists. The official business name was “Big Sur Hot Springs”, although it was more generally referred to as “Slate’s Hot Springs”. He sold the property to Salinas physician Dr. Michael Murphy in 1910.
The Esselen people historically resided along with the upper Carmel and Arroyo Seco Rivers, and along the Big Sur coast. Carbon dating of artifacts found near Slates Hot Springs indicates human presence as early as 3500 BC. With easy access to the ocean, freshwater and hot springs, the Esselen people used the site regularly, and certain areas were reserved as burial grounds. The Esselen population was largely decimated by diseases when they were forcibly relocated to Spanish missions at San Carlos in Carmel, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad in Soledad, and San Antonio de Padua in Jolon.
Michael Murphy and Dick Price bought the estate from Michael’s grandmother to create a venue where non-traditional workshops and lecturers could present their ideas free of the dogma associated with traditional education. In 1963, the Esalen Institute was incorporated as a business. The institute offers workshops on humanistic psychology, physical wellness, and spiritual awareness. The institute also offers workshops on permaculture and ecological sustainability. Read more here and here. Explore more of Slates Hot Springs here: