100 Classic Hikes Arizona
by Scott S. Warren (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2015 Scott S. Warren/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
Amazing hike! It's like exploring a different planet. Lots to see on your way to the hot springs and lots of friendly people to help you find your way. Look for the little pile of rocks to help show you where to go. The springs feel great! Enjoy!
UPDATE; the ladder has been replaced by the NPS so access to the pools from the river approach is possible once again.
Be aware that the ladder at the Hot Springs that allowed hikers to go from the creekbed to the upper level where the hot springs are located was destroyed late last year by a group of kids overloading and bouncing on the ladder causing it to break. No plans have been announced to replace the ladder and an effort earlier this year by some locals to place another ladder there were thwarted by its removal by park rangers. Therefore, there is no way to get to the hot springs from the river approach. It is my understanding there is another route from the trailhead that will take you to canyon above the springs so you can approach them from that direction, but I don't have any specifics at this time.
My husband and I did this hike on a Sunday in January. We took our two labs with us. It is a good trail for dogs in the fact that there are not a lot of difficult areas to traverse. I think this is the perfect time of year for this hike if it is a sunny day and not too windy. The main trail down to the river is an easy walk, however it is a wash so the gravel is loose and it is like walking in sand the entire way. I recommend wearing a shoe that is a little more rugged and has some ankle support. The hot springs were a little difficult to find but worth the search. If you reach the bathrooms you have gone too far. This hike offers awesome views of the river if you get off the trail and explore the cliffs. Also the walk through the wash is flanked with high rock walls and it is beautiful. I really enjoyed this hike.
I hiked this trail with my wife and 12 year old daughter. We had an excelent time and camped close to the river for three days. The hike was fun and interesting through the winding canyons. Hiking the last short distance from the river to the hotsprings requires some rock climbing, which isn't too hard, but finding the trail is a bit dificult if you dont know where to go. We were lucky enough to run into a local who showed us the way. The springs are hot, and it was nice in early May after the rainstorm we were in. I would definately recomend at least a day hike.
Coming from Las Vegas the trail is on the right just past the Arizona 4-mile marker. If you reach the Arizona Security Check Point you’ve gone too far.
The trail is more or less flat. This is signed loose gravel and sand trail that follows a wash through a canyon. Therefore it is quite easy to follow until you try to find the hot springs from the small beach near Ringbolt Rapids. You must traverse the small ridge heading to the right as viewed from the beach even though the sign doesn’t seem to be pointing that way. In fact, this trail is so easy to follow the trail guide seems superfluous (IMHO).
I hiked this trail about 10am on a Tuesday. It was quite crowded as Ranger lead hike of about 10 people arrived soon after me and another 6-8 people came down on their own. In addition a few people were camped out by the river.
In addition to the geological features I observed several small lizards and many birds, including a covey of California Quail and several ducks. Looking down from the Ringbolt towards the beach I could see several fish. The ranger explained that they were endangered Razorback Suckerfish, whose survival depends on constant restocking as they have been unable to breed since the Colorado was dammed causing the once strong river current to slow.
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