Arizona Hot Springs Hike


What? :

This hike will take you to hot Springs pools nested in a deep narrow canyon, the trail also passing at the Colorado river.

Overall, this is a 6.4-mile-long hike, with 1,500 ft elevation gain and it took me 2.5 hours.

Highly recommended hike.


Where? :

The Arizona Hot Springs Trail is about 40 miles from Las Vegas or if you are coming from Kingman this is 68-mile drive. The parking lot is on the north side of State Route 93, about 3.5 miles south of the Pat Tillman Bridge.


Google Map Link



When? :

The trails are open to the public from October to April of each year.



Due note 1: Arizona Hot Spring trail system is clos each year from May 15 to Sept. 30.

Please check for up to date information in National Park website before your hike.


Due note 2: This area is inside Lake Mead National Recreation Area, for more information and regulation visit their website.


Due note 3: During April 2023 the park website wrongly say that “The ladder at the hot spring was damaged by a flood. There is no access to the pools from the river at this time.”, this was not the case, and it was safe and easy to climb the metal ladder.


Due note 4: During winter flash floods in the canyon is a concern if there are rain or thunderstorms in the area.


Due note 5: Except the Colorado river here are no reliable water sources along the hike.


Due note 6: Use sun Protection to avoid sunburn and were a hat.


Due note 7: You are going to wet your shoes in the pools so it will be good to have water sandals with you.


Due note 8: Pack out all your trash.


Due note 9: Please do not move the sandbags that create the pools.


Due note 10: There is no cell service in the canyon.


Due note 11: The parking lot at the trailhead is large and you can drive out both east (Arizona) or west (Nevada) in a safe manner.



My thoughts:

I really like visiting here and seeing both the Colorado river the visiting the hot spring pools. They are unique manmade (by sandbags) pools that are clean and deep for good bathing and soaking.

I was under time shortage so I can’t stay in the river or the pools a lot of time, but it was fun and rewording hike.

The climb back to the car was short but it was already hot, and I took it slow.

When I visit here at the spring of 2023 there were many flowers in the wash, It was nice to see all the flowers after a rainy winter.



The visit:


Do remember that because of the extreme heat conditions Arizona Hot Spring trail system is clos each year from May 15 to Sept. 30.

Please check for up to date information in National Park website before your hike.


Overall, this is a 6.4-mile-long hike, with 1,500 ft elevation gain and it took me 2.5 hours.

Although it is able by hikers from almost all levels, I will rank this as Difficult level because of the hot temperatures. Walk slow, make a lot of rest-stops, and drink a lot of water.

I waked relatively fast and did not spend a lot of time at the Colorado River or at the spring. I do recommend planning for this hike at least 4-5 hours including your stops, so bring with you enough water and snacks.


Even In early April the temperatures where high and it felt hot, especially at noon when climbing up from the lower Colorado river level to the trail head.


The hike starts at the trailhead and pass under highway 93 bridge, soon after the bridge you will pass another set of large park signs.

In this section the landscape is a wide desert wash where several trails heading down. Keep walking down the wash for about 0.5 mile until you will see trails heading to the left bank, this is the shortest way to the Hot Springs, but I decided to do the loop and visit the Colorado river first.

After almost a mile following White Rock Canyon Trail you will see a trail heading to the right, this trail will take you to Liberty Bell Arch and vista point, I did not visit there.


Keep hiking in the main trail down the wash, here the wash start to narrow, and it is getting into a canyon with few small drops and dry falls with loose gravel most of the way.

The canyon twists and turns, sometimes it get narrowed and, in some section, open up to the walls and cliffs on both sides of the canyon.


Finally, after exactly 3 miles from the trailhead you are approaching the Colorado River. Here the canyon open-up and covered with more vegetation near the river front.

Several people were camping here for the night when I visit here and few other people with kayak that paddle this location from Willow Beach Marina that is located down the river.


The Colorado River is wide and with blue-greenish water where the surrounding rocky cliffs closing on it.

I do believe this Colorado River section is part of Lake Mohave (dam by Davis Dam) and the water are not flowing as a free-running river but I’m not sure.


You can enjoy here the river view, have a long stop or even take a swim.


Once you decided to keep with your hike, you need to find the way leading left into the bushes near the river, when I was here there were few signs pointing to the trail.

The trail flow the rock section near the river, just follow the clear trail and look for errors marking on the rocks. I think that in all my many hikes in the US this is the only place I saw people painting arrows on the rocks.

After short distance near the river the trail climbs to the left up to a local creek dividing hill.

From this point you can see the narrow hot spring creek below you.

Take the trail going down, leaning to the right side of the cliff and soon you will reach the bottom of the canyon.

When I was here the water in the creek were running and there was a lot of local desert vegetation.

Here you can turn right to the Colorado, but the trail turn to the left up the canyon.

The narrow canyon take few turns and small climbs until you will reach the 20 foot waterfall and large metal ladder.

Overall, from our stop at the Colorado river we hiked 0.5 miles up to the waterfall.


Climb the metal ladder you reach the lower hot spring pool.

In this narrow cliff walls canyon, there are four pools of increasing depth and heat, kept in place by sandbags walls.

The water is about hip deep height so you can take your bag up and not get it wet.

As with most hot springs, the water may have harmful bacteria, so should not allow any contact with the nose or mouth.

The 4 pools are narrow and not so large but they are not small either so you will feal comfortable to soke in the water. When I was here there where about 15 other hikes, and it was not felt to crowded. The water get hotter as you move up the pools.

After the last pool you can see the spring itself in the middle of the gravel narrow canyon.


From the hot springs you can hike back the same way you came in or you pass the hot springs and walk up the canyon.

The hike back up the canyon start in a narrow creek that open.

You need the walk in the wash and at some point, you will see the main trail heading to the left and climbing a side creek, this will be about 1 mile after the hot springs.

Climb up this side creek for about 0.4 mile to the top of the creek and at the saddle you can see from far the highway.

Keep heading east to the main wash and back, under the bridge, to the trail head.








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