Arizona Hot Spring - Lake Mead National Recreational Area
The springs around Lake Mead National Recreation Area provide a unique opportunity for our visitors to experience nature’s version of a hot bath. Arizona Hot Spring is probably the most popular spring in the park and visited by thousands throughout the year.
These trails are closed during the summer months due to excessive heat. It is VERY HAZARDOUS to hike in the canyons when temperatures can reach 120°+. For more on desert safety please visit our SAFETY PAGE.
Arizona Hot Spring is located in a dramatic slot canyon that joins the river just downstream of Ringbolt Rapids. The spring forms several pools that are located about 1,000 feet from the river, where the canyon walls are nearly vertical and about 6 to 9 feet apart. Directly at the source the spring discharges highly mineralized water at a rate of about 30 gallons per minute and a temperature of about 111 degrees Fahrenheit. The spring issues from fractures in Miocene-age volcanic rocks near the intersection of two faults.
White Rock Canyon is a strikingly beautiful volcanic area. There is a wide variety of desert plants to be found, including indigo bush, ground cherry, rush-milkweed, rabbit brush, Mormon tea, desert fir, cheesebush, globemallow, desert tobacco, desert trumpet, rock nettle and rock daisy. Rocks encountered during the hike are primarily volcanic, including flow and tuff (ash) deposits, with some granite boulders washed down from Wilson Ridge.
For your safety, it is recommended you stay on established trails.
Length - 6 miles roundtrip
Time - 5 hours plus time to soak in hot springs
One-way elevation loss/gain - 800'
Rated - Very strenuous
Map - Arizona Hot Spring Trail Map and Description (PDF, .4 MB)
Directions to the Hot Spring
Hike down a spectacular volcanic canyon to the Colorado River below Hoover Dam and relax in a pleasant hot spring in a nearby side canyon.
From the Lake Mead Visitor Center, follow US Hwy 93 east 8.4 miles (4.2 miles past Hoover Dam). Watch for the sign to the trailhead. Park at the treailhead and walk down the hill and under the highway. Continue down wash to the river.
Follow this wash downhill to the river, then follow the river 1/4 mile south over the hill where you will find the hot springs up the side canyon. Warning: A 20' ladder must be climbed to reach the best hot springs.
This canyon gets its name from many huge white boulders that were carried down the canyon from Wilson Ridge by flash floods.
If you are coming from Kingman, Arizona, the trailhead is .2 miles before the mile marker 4.
Although springs, especially hot springs, are safe and fun to relax in, there is a slight danger from a rare and lethal amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. From 2002 to 2011, the Centers for Disease Control recorded 33 cases, with a 98% death rate.
This is not to say you cannot enjoy the springs in Lake Mead, just take some simple precautions. The amoeba enters the body through the nose only, it will not harm you if swallowed. Plugging your nose when going underwater, or keeping your head above water will prevent any infection. This is rare, but please be careful.
Last updated: January 18, 2018