The first mile is flat and deceivingly easy as you walk under a highway bridge and in between looming canyon walls. But don’t get too comfortable — at around the 1.5 mile mark you will reach the first of eight ropes along the trail and the challenge begins. You will need to use these ropes to maneuver down large rocks and boulders. There are arrows spray painted on the walls to help with direction, but if you want to attempt some bouldering, you can choose your own more challenging path.
There are three hot springs along this hike. The first spring may be dried up depending on the time of year you go. Skip soaking here and continue to the second spring which is warmer in temperature and adjacent to a cool “secret” cave (the Cave of Wonders). After testing out the waters, follow a warm stream and pass a couple of waterfalls until you reach the third hot spring. This spring is the hottest offers the best views — the surrounding canyons provide the perfect natural hot tub setting.
If you want to continue, hike about a quarter mile down and you will reach the Colorado River. This is worth the wonderful photo opportunity. You can cool off here — dip your toes or wade around and feel the warm spring waters merge into the cold river — but be aware the water levels and current can change rapidly.
The hike back is challenging as you will most likely be wet or at least have wet feet so watch your step on the slippery boulders!
Note: Avoid this hike in the summer months as temperatures rise above 100 degrees and there have been many reported incidents of heat stress.
- Extra socks
- Plenty of water
- Water shoes or tennis shoes with good traction