“A nice hike down White Rock Canyon to the river and then back up the Hot Spring Canyon Upper Trail.”
— John Blackwell
Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Closed from May 15, 2016 through September 30, 2016 because of the heat. Temperatures can reach as high as 120 F / 49 C.
Need to Know
There is a 20-foot ladder to climb. Do not get water up your nose due to naegleria fowleria, an amoeba common to thermal pools. Flash floods are possible if thunderstorms are threatening. Tell a family member or friend of your destination. There is no cell service. Bring at least one gallon of water per person and expect to be hiking through or soaking in two- to three-foot deep warm water.
This hike is a real adventure. It starts out as a hike down a wash in a wide slot canyon on the White Rock Canyon
trail where there is red and gold volcanic rock and ash. These dark reds and golden volcanic rocks are contrasted by white granite boulders that have washed down from nearby mountains. There is also a large variety of desert plants along the way.
After taking in the scenes of this beautiful canyon, you'll arrive at the Colorado River, where you may see kayakers and pontoon boats maneuvering down the river. As you hike near the banks of the Colorado River, you'll have beautiful views up and down river.
Then you'll work your way over to Hot Springs Canyon where you can take a dip in the consistent 55F temperature river water. From there, you'll hike up Hot Springs Canyon, which parallels White Rock Canyon
to Arizona Hot Springs. There will be warm streams and small waterfalls to hike through as you make your way to the 20-foot ladder. The warm pools are at the top of this ladder. The ladder is in a waterfall, so hold on tight with at least 3 points of contact at all times with the ladder.
At the top of the ladder, you'll encounter three pools made of built up sand bags. These three pools will vary in temperature. Most of the hiking season, the bottom pool will be around 92, the middle pool around 104 and the upper pool around 108. These temperatures will vary depending on the winds coming through the canyon. These pools are heated by natural geothermal waters that move to surface through faults or fractures in the rocks. Choose a pool, sit back, relax, and take a warm hot bath while admiring the scenery of steep rocks high above you.
You may be visited as you relax by harmless lizards, tarantulas, and hummingbirds. After your fountain-of-youth soak, you'll be ready for your trip back. Make your way up through the Hot Spring Canyon Upper Trail
which will lead you back to the trailhead. Stop at times and look back towards the river as the views are magnificent.
Flora & Fauna
An abundance of desert flowers in the early spring, February and March. Plants include indigo bush, ground cherry, Mormon tea, cheese bush, rush-milkweed, rabbit brush, desert fir, globe mallow, desert tobacco, desert trumpet, rock nettle, rock daisy, and windmills. There are also big horn sheep in this area
History & Background
This is also called Ringbolt Hot Springs. Before Hoover Dam was built there were large rapids on the Colorado River called Ringbolt Rapids. There are many ringbolts in the rock where steamboats would connect their cables to pull themselves over the rapids.