Gold Strike Hot Springs is easily our favorite hike in Vegas so far (although since we did Arizona Hot Springs, we like that one better)! It has beautiful scenery, some fun scrambling, and you’re rewarded with 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.
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Last Updated: February 4, 2022
About Gold Strike Hot Springs
6-mile out and back, difficult, over 1450 feet elevation change
Gold Strike Hot Springs (also known as Goldstrike Hot Springs, Nevada Hot Springs, and Gold Strike Canyon Hot SPrings) is a unique 6-mile hike to hot springs near the Hoover Dam. The hot springs are the highlight, but the hike is also an adventure in itself involving some class 3 scrambling and using ropes to help you up and down large boulders.
It is a very popular hike that gets crowded. The best way to avoid people is to go early, start before sunrise and go during the week.
Check out the alltrails map here.
How hot is the Gold Strike Hot Springs?
Where the water emerges from the cliffs, the water starts at temps of 109°F. Near the first waterfall on the trail where there is a sand and gravel-bottomed rock pool, the water is usually 100°F. Temps get cooler as you get further away from the source.
How much time does it take to hike to Gold Strike Hot Springs?
Since this hike can go slow depending on your comfort level on scrambling. To be safe, most websites recommend 3-4 hours each way, meaning a total of 6-8 hours, not including time to soak. When we did the hike, we only went to the second pool and left rather than making it all the way down to the river. At that time, we hadn’t started rock climbing and had limited scrambling experience. We were able to make it to the first pool and back in 3-4 hours.
Is the Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail still open?
Because of the extreme heat, the trail is closed from May 15 to September 30.
What You Need to Know Before You Go
- Before of brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria Fowleri), a risk in thermal pools. Do not put your head in the water since they travel up your nasal passage and can cause fatal infections.
- Flash floods can happen since portions of the hike are narrow. If you think it might rain, reschedule the hike for another day.
- Snakes and rattlesnakes can be founda long the trail, especially when it is still warm. We saw a snake when we hiked it.
- Pack lots of water and wear sunscreen. Sunstroke and dehydration has led to rescues and even some fatalities on this hike. Do not underestimate it and be sure you are prepared.
- The time zone may change back and forth since the hot springs are near the Nevada-Arizona border. Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings so in the summer, the time is the same, but in the winter, there is an hour difference.
- If you aren’t comfortable pulling your own weight, try a different hike, like Arizona Hot Springs. You will need to climb up boulders with the help of ropes.
- You need closed toed shoes for this hike since you will be scrambling a lot.
Where is Gold Strike Hot Springs
Gold Strike Hot Springs is located on the Colorado River really close to Hoover Dam. Although you can access it by kayaking up the river, most people access the hot springs via a 3 mile (6-mile round trip) hike.
How to Gold Strike Hot Springs
The majority of people access the Hot Springs via the 6-mile round trip hike. It makes it a full-day adventure with scrambling, canyons, waterfalls, and the option to hop in the river as well.
You can also kayak upriver from Willow Beach, although it is a long paddle. There is no launch permit fee and you can rent kayaks at Willow Beach. It’s highly recommended to make reservations during holidays and weekends.
Fees at Gold Strike Hot Springs
Gold Strike Hot Springs is located within Lake Mead National Park, but the parking lot is free.
If you plan on spending more time in the park, there is a $25 fee per vehicle that is good for seven consecutive days. You can also get an Annual National Park Pass for $80, which we recommend if you love the outdoors and National Parks.
Where is the Trailhead
The trailhead for Gold Strike Hot Springs is easy to find. It’s just off of Highway 93 before the Hoover Dam Mike O’Callaghan Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. There is free parking too.
Gold Strike Hot Springs Trailhead Coordinates: 36.0062823,-114.7759282 (map)
The beginning of the trail is relatively easy. It runs about 1.5 miles and took us 40ish minutes. You start off by walking under the highway, passing a deteriorated car, and there was even a white cooler where people leave extra water (although when we went, there was just garbage inside). During this portion of the hike, it’s mostly gravel and sand on the ground.
Towards the end of this section, boulders will start to appear that you have to scramble over. Keep your eye out for spray-painted markers that keep you on the trail.
We found mice and a California kingsnake hiding in the boulders!
This is where it gets fun (or tricky). There are 8 rope descents that take you the rest of the way down to the hot springs and river. At the time that we did the hike, we’ve never rock climbed and had limited experience scrambling, but we were able to make it down with no issues.
Just be sure to watch your step, step carefully since the rock is slippery, and rely on the rope to help give you leverage. It helps to go down backward so you can lean back and use the rope better too.
Arriving at the Hot Springs
There are three main hot springs along the hike. The first is sometimes dried up depending on the time of year. The second spring, which is where we stopped is called the Cave of Wonders. If you continue further down the trail, the third and most popular hot spring is just beyond a couple of small waterfalls.
The river is another quarter mile down from the last hot spring. You can go for a cool dip, but be aware that the water levels and current can change rapidly.
Gold Strike Hot Springs Vlog
Tips for Hiking to Gold Strike Hot Springs
- Have shoes with good traction to help you when you’re scrambling. These are our go to.
- When using the ropes, it’s easier to go down backwards to leverage the ropes.
- Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. It’s better to get out with extra time rather than get stranded in the dark.
- Have a headlamp with you just in case you need it.
- Beware of naegleria fowleri (aka brain-eating amoeba) infection, although rare. It most commonly enters via the nasal passage, so avoid getting water in your nose or putting your head under the water.
- Do not hike if rain is expected. Flashfloods can happen.
- Watch out for snakes! We only saw a California kingsnake (not poisonous), but we’ve seen rattlesnakes nearby.
- Bring plenty of water, at least 2L in warmer weather. We hiked in early May around sunset. It was 75 degrees F mostly cloudy, and we shared 1L. We should have brought more water though – we were really thirsty when we got back.
- Leave no trace. Please, please, please, take out what you bring in. We were disappointed with the amount of garbage lying around the trail.
- Weekends and holidays are busy.
- Don’t hike alone and let someone know hwere you’re headed and when you’re expected home.
- Also check out the nearby hike to Arizona Hot Springs.
What to Pack
- Lots of Water
- Water Filter (in case you want to refill at the river)
- Food and Snacks
- Sun Protection (sunblock, sunglasses, hat, layers)
- Navigation Tools (google offline maps, Alltrails)
- Battery for your phone
- Layers (gets cooler in the shade but hot in the sun)
- Hiking Shoes / Water Shoes / Sandals
- First Aid Kit
- Pack Towel
- Day Pack
Best Places to Stay Near Gold Strike Hot Springs
- Hemenway Park (4.4 miles W / 9 min, map)
- Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon (6.5 miles W / 11 min, map)
- Las Vegas (31.4 miles NW / 39 min, map)
- Red Rock Canyon (48.1 mi W, 55 mi, map)
- Valley of Fire (64.9 miles N / 1 hr 20 min, map)
- Grand Canyon West (91.5 miles E / 1 hr 35 min, map)
- Lake Havasu City (131 mi S, 2 hr 5 min, map)
Have you been to Gold Strike Hot Springs?