I love discovering new trails, especially those with bonus activities. It’s even better when they are in unexpected places. Most people think of Las Vegas as a gambling mecca. I’ve found the best Las Vegas and surrounding areas outside of the casinos. While technically not in Las Vegas but just over the border in Arizona, the Arizona Hot Springs Trail is close enough to the Las Vegas area to make a nice day trip.
The Arizona Hot Springs Trail starts in a parking area at mile marker 4 just after going over the bridge on Highway 93 from Las Vegas across the Arizona border. It is about 45 minutes southeast of Las Vegas. It is also known as the White Rock Trailhead and is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
A sign marks the beginning of the trail. Be prepared for desert conditions and bring plenty of water. Because of extreme summer temperatures, the trail is closed from June-September. Please respect the closure dates as rescuers have put their lives in danger for those who weren’t prepared.
The beginning of the trail follows the wash and crosses under Highway 89. Not much elevation change make for an easy start.
Follow the trail down toward the wash that leads into the canyon. Be sure to pack a swimsuit and towel as the upcoming hot springs are a must for relaxation. I love my microfiber towel as it takes little space but absorbs a lot.
We entered the slot canyon of the hot springs from above the ladder and climbed down the ladder at the end. We saw others entering the pools by climbing up the ladder. When entering from above, there are three pools blocked off by sandbags. The first pool is the hottest. We walked through it quickly and settled on relaxing in the second pool. I wish I had brought water shoes to change into as I ended up with wet trail shoes for the hike out.
Just a word of caution for those who want to take families on this hike, be prepared to run into nudity. Some like to enjoy the hot springs in the buff and even those who bring suits need a place to change and there aren’t a lot of hiding places. It didn’t bother me but it might be offensive to others.
After soaking in the hot springs, we climbed down the ladder and hiked toward the Colorado River.
The trail is supposed to loop around for a round trip of just over 6 miles. We tried to find the loop and somehow missed the trail and ended up hiking an extra mile before we connected to it along the wash. I would suggest doing the trail as an out and back to avoid this.
Overall, we had a great time. It took us about three hours round trip which included soaking in the springs. It may take longer for those who don’t hike a lot or for those with families. Make sure to check the weather as slot canyons can flood quickly. Also, be mindful of temperatures. This hike is not suitable for hotter weather as it is exposed.
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