Gold Strike Hot Springs is easily our favorite hike in Vegas so far! It has beautiful scenery, some fun scrambling, and you’re rewarded with a natural hot springs where you can relax and take a dip. Roughly 40 minutes from the strip, the trailhead is in between Boulder City and Hoover Dam.
The first 40-50 minutes are easy. You walk through a wash and weave through the canyons.
You’ll pass by a bridge, a deteriorated car on the ground, and see some wedged in the cliffs, which I’m sure have interesting stories behind them.
Here’s a white cooler for you to leave any extra water you might have for others who were less prepared. When we checked, people seem to be using it as a trash bin. :/
Soon afterward, you’ll come across a bunch of boulders that you have to make your way around and over. Keep your eye out for spray-painted markers that point you in the right direction.
Looking back at the first obstacle of boulders we came down.
We found mice and a california kingsnake hiding in the boulders!
After another 7-8 minutes of walking, you’ll come across your first set of ropes. The rock is definitely slippery, but as long as you watch your step, it’s easy to get down.
We climbed down two more ropes before we saw the first glimpse of water.
There is a small pool where the springs start, and you can see it continue to flow down the canyon.
A short walk after our initial sighting led us straight to the hot springs. After climbing down another rope, we stripped down and took a dip in the Cave of Wonders pool! The water was really warm. It wasn’t quite a hot tub but a really comfortable hot bath.
While I sat and enjoyed it, Jacob ran down the trail a bit further to see what he could find. A short run took him to the ledge of another dropoff, so he decided to come back up. Another hiker headed out said that the river was another 30 minutes or so of hiking.
After relaxing for about half an hour, we got dressed and headed back up. It was getting dark and we wanted to be sure we weren’t stuck scrambling up the canyons without light. We were worried about climbing back up the ropes (since I have little to no upper body strength), but it turned out to be easier than we thought.
This was our first hike leaving our DSLR behind and using our new point and shoot camera! It has been amazing especially for vlogging, and I think the photos came out pretty decent too. Thoughts?
Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs Trail Head
Great Basin Highway Boulder City NV 89005
Tips for hiking to Gold Strike Hot Springs:
- Total Distance: 6.5 miles round trip to the Colorado River and back.
- Difficulty: Mostly easy with some class 4. When using the ropes, it’s much easier to go down backwards to leverage the ropes.
- Time: Allow yourself a half-day if you want to make it to the river. We only hiked to the Upper Pools hot springs and it took us 3 hours in and out. We also stopped a lot for video and photos and soaked in one of the pools for 30 mins. We started our hike at 4:45 and arrived back at our cars at 7:45. We still had enough light, but we were cutting it close.
- Parking: After a short drive down a dirt pathway, there is plenty of space to pull off and park your car. The trailhead is clearly marked at the end of the road.
- Try avoiding hiking in the summer, the heat can be unbearable, and you won’t get a chance to enjoy the hot springs. The deaths that have happened on this hike have been from unpreparedness and heat strokes. Also, avoid hiking during rain. Flash flooding occurs in the canyons.
- There have been some incidences of naegleria fowleri (aka brain-eating amoeba) infection, but it has been rare. It most commonly enters via the nasal passage, so avoid getting water in your nose.
- Watch out for snakes! On this particular hike, we only saw a California kingsnake, which is not poisonous, but we’ve seen rattlesnakes while hiking around Vegas too.
- Bring plenty of water, at least 2L in the summer. We hiked in early May around sunset time. It was 75 degrees F mostly cloudy, and we shared 1L. We probably could have brought more water though.
- We use this day pack when we go day hiking.
- Wear solid hiking boots or shoes that have a good grip. You can carry flip flops with you if you want to have something at the hot springs.
- Leave no trace. Please, please, please, take out what you bring in. We were disappointed with the amount of garbage lying around the trail when we visited. Respect the environment and make it a pleasant experience for future hikers.
Have you been to natural hot springs?