Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Strike It Rich
Overview: This slot canyon works its way to the Colorado River passing thru scenic volcanic rock which at times towers hundreds of feet above the trail. The walls eventually close in and become vertical steering you toward the hot springs. Bouldering, scrambling and canyoneering obstacles will be required in this full body workout to access the hot springs.
Warnings: Flash Flood Safety in Slot Canyons
1) Get the latest weather information
2) Become familiar with the terrain and know your escape routes
3) Be aware that deadly flash flood waters can travel from many miles away with travel times of 10 hours or more.
4) Clear skies do not guarantee dry slot canyons!
5) Always let someone know your itinerary
1) Do not enter slot canyons and rugged terrain during stormy or wet weather
2) Do not attempt to cross floodwaters by vehicle or on foot
3) Do not camp along streams and washes if there is a threat of flooding
Hot Spring Safety: Some undeveloped hot springs will boil you alive. Use Caution, Goldstrike Hot Springs consist of groundwater that is heated at depth by contact with molten rock and moves to the surface through faults at the rate of 400 gallons per minute. The water temperature changes and has been recorded between 85 and 120 degrees fahrenheit in the past. It is highly mineralized containing chloride, sulphate, sodium, potassium, calcium, and floride. Naegleria Fowleria, an amoeba common to thermal pools, may be present and could enter through the nose causing a rare infection and death. DO NOT dive into pools, splash water, or submerge your head.
Hike: The trailhead is only a stones throw away from Arizonas major access highway to Las Vegas and Hoover Dam. As the trail enters Goldstrike Canyon you realize immediately that this is going to be a special hike. The rock walls on either side of the wash are filled with holes and resemble living rock in an aquarium. The highway is not far away at the beginning of the trail with the trail soon passing under a huge new bridge structure for the Hoover Dam Bypass. Rusted hulks of automobiles, some of which date back to the construction of the dam can be seen from time to time on cliff sides above the trail. The canyon now takes a turn away from the highway above and continues with some minor rocky areas. The smooth gravel wash meanders with each turn leaving you in awe of what nature has done here. A camera buff will make very slow progress on what has been an easy trail for the first mile. Watch for Big Horn Sheep and Desert Tortoise common to the area. Archaeological and mining artifacts can also be found. Suddenly you come to a steep drop off. Looking around there does not seem to be an alternative. Closer examination shows there to be crude steps carved into the boulder leading down. It looks much harder from above than below. Making it more difficult is the fact that much use has made the boulder down and alongside this obstruction very slick. You will want very sticky soles and some courage to continue. Once down this initial climb its clear sailing again. A short while later you come to another larger drop off. You can bypass this obstacle on the left bank going up and around. There are some red painted arrows to assist. You will be using hands and feet to get around these boulders. With the walls closing in on you the next obstacle comes fairly quickly. There are fixed ropes at the next three down climbs. Evaluate your abilities at each one considering the return. You have now arrived at the first of the hot springs. The water flows out of the sidewalls and now creates a flow down the wash. This flow creates about a dozen hot pools ahead. Additional down climbs with and without ropes are required to complete the canyon down to the Colorado River. Continue as long as you are comfortable and return the way you came.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.