Hike to the Hot Springs!
This wonderful hike offers a little something for everyone – scrambling over rocks, narrow rock ledges, descent through slot canyons, steep cliff elevations, hot springs, and eventually, the hike ends up on the banks of the Colorado River!
The first portion of the hike takes you down a narrow, rocky canyon for about 2 miles leading you to a series of hot springs that are frequented during the colder months. After you overcome a bit of 3rd-class scrambling over rocks and maneuver along rock ledges, you will descend to Goldstrike Hot Springs. From there, it is a further 45-minute descent and more challenging scrambling over and around rocks (with steep drop offs) down to Nevada Hot Springs and eventually, the trail leads you to the banks of the Colorado River. The icy temperatures of the Colorado are a good final prize when doing this hike in warmer weather.
The hike starts under the shadow of the overpass near Hoover Dam. However, very quickly as you walk past smashed vehicles that plummeted from the road above into the canyon, you depart civilization completely. As you make the first series of turns into the canyon, the steep dark-rocky walls rise hiding any man-made structures and you are left with nothing but natural scenery! This is a very enjoyable hike with varied terrain, changing rock types and rock coloration, and the various points where you are forced to traverse large boulders and creep across steep ledges will get your heart rate up.
Due to changing water flow, the hot springs are now made up of two separate areas, the upper Goldstrike Hot Springs (the original main area from the swimming pool upstream) and lower Goldstrike Hot Springs (below the swimming pool and Cave of Wonders). Since 2004, earthquakes and flash floods have changed the topography of Goldstrike Hot Springs and water flow continues to decline. To experience a true hot spring, you will need to continue down to the lower Goldstrike.
The best hot water is now down at Nevada Hot Springs, which is farther down the canyon near the Colorado River.