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Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon, AZ

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Guide 33 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > Kingman N
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1 feet
Elevation Gain -876 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,135 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 - 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.38
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
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7  2019-03-14 WoopTdo
23  2019-03-13
White Rock Canyon-Arizona Hot Springs Loop
19  2017-04-23
Black Canyon - Hoover Dam to Willow Beach
7  2017-02-13 squatpuke
7  2016-02-20 writelots
5  2014-12-28 autumnstars
8  2014-05-24 squatpuke
38  2014-03-28 squatpuke
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Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 247
Photos 7,293
Trips 1,818 map ( 15,596 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:26am - 6:37pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Slots A Fun
by AZLOT69

Notice Trail is closed May 15th - Sept 30th due to excessive heat.

There are several hot springs in the scenic, volcanic Black Mountains south of the Hoover Dam. The most accessible by foot are the Arizona Hot Springs. Erosion has created a slot canyon thru these mountains we now call White Rock Canyon. The beautiful sheer black walls lining this canyon are interrupted by the occasional bright white granite boulders that have been brought here by flash floods over the years.

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

Do nots
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, Arizona 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.

From the trailhead its downhill all the way to the Colorado River. The trail follows a ridgeline for the first half mile then enters the slot rather abruptly. In a very short distance the walls on either side rise one hundred feet above. The canyon snakes back and forth offering constant anticipation of what is around the next bend. Forward vision is seldom more than one hundred yards. After 1.5 miles the canyon opens up briefly, perhaps for a quarter mile then narrows back to a slot. The walls of the canyon now tower 500 feet above and will continue to rise to over 1,000 feet ahead. Although there are other slot canyons that feed into White Rock I saw little chance of finding an escape route during most of the canyon if needed. Big Horn Sheep are seen quite often on the cliffs above but the noise of an individual hiking on the sandy, rocky canyon bottom and the resulting echo precludes any chance of sneaking up on animals.

At about 3 miles the canyon opens up to the banks of the Colorado River. The Colorado water appears a beautiful emerald color and is quite clear and cold. The beach is more pebbles than sand and sandals would be a welcome accessory for walking along the river as well as for the hot springs. Use caution around the Colorado as there are strong currents in this area. Ducks and other water fowl are plenty. Take the trail south along the Colorado up over and around various obstacles to some nice panoramic views of the Black Canyon. Traveling about a quarter mile will bring you to another beach with restrooms. There are two slot canyons to your left. Take the first one off to the northeast and stay in the canyon bottom. There is a natural arch on your left. The canyon becomes very narrow and you start to encounter water flowing. With the sound of waterfalls ahead you are certainly in the right place. Again snaking back and forth the anticipation builds as to what is ahead. You may not have a solitary experience but generally you may encounter only a handful of people.

A 20 foot steel ladder is anchored to the side wall and must be climbed next to a waterfall whose flow fluctuates. Use caution as the ladder is certain to be wet. Up top you will come to the first of the hot springs pools enhanced with sandbags to make it tub depth. The slot is about five feet wide here and the walls hundreds of feet high. You can work your way further up the slot to two more hot tubs and venture a little further if you are feeling ambitious. After a relaxing time return the way you came. Its up hill all the way back to the trailhead, with about 900 feet of gain.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-03-04 AZLOT69
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Lake Mead NRA NPS Details
The Arizona 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 is between 85 degrees to 120 degrees farenheit. It is highly mineralized containing chloride, sulphate, sodium, potassium, calcium, and fluoride.

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, rock daisy, and windmills. Rocks are primarily volcanic and volcanic ash, with some granite boulders washed down from the Black Mountains.

Arizona Hot Springs hike is not advised in the summer. If you choose to go, take lots of water and watch out for rattlesnakes. Do not put your hands or feet on ledges, in bushes, under or around rocks where you cannot see.

Directions to the Hot Springs
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 Alan Bible Visitor Center, follow US Hwy 93 east 8.4 miles (4.2 miles past Hoover Dam). A dirt parking area can be seen on your right. Your car is now parked at the head of the White Rock Canyon.

Follow this wash downhill to the river. 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 a huge white boulder that was carried down the canyon by a flash flood. Exact time of that flood is not known.

Warning - 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.
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.

Most recent of 13 deeper Triplog Reviews
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Definitely enjoyed this one, and March is the perfect time. I took the left side for out and back but next time will probably do the loop, but since it was just me and no GPS better stick with the route I came in on. Not much to it mainly a gentle descent but did have some nice views. Did get a bit of scare about midwday through, while down in the canyon I heard some rocks tumbling which made me a little nervous but when I looked up it was a couple of bighorn sheep. I watched them for a while and wish I could move on the rocks like that. I took a few pics and then continued on. It took me about and hour to get to the springs, it was nice when I finally heard some voices and new I was close.

I came around the bend and saw packs and shoes and then the next corner the pools. Found a place to drop my pack and change into my sandals and go in, the first one was very warm, didn't stay in that too long, next one was nice but I wanted to take it all the way to the river so kept on going. The next pool was probably the best temperature but most people were in there birthday suit, all were very kind and enjoying the soak. That's the end of the pools so I followed the canyon till I hit the ladder and just kept on going to the river. It was beautiful and clear but it was cold, if only the springs were a little closer so you could jump from one to the other it would be great. Took a few more pics and then headed back to the pools to get my soak on.

Found a nice spot in the middle pool and just sat down and relaxed and contemplated life for a while, absolutely would of been great to have a cold beer but luke warm water and a snickers was all I had. Did chat with quite a few people as they came through or stopped for a soak but then I decided better head back. Grabbed my stuff and walked bit up the canyon to get into the sun so my feet could dry off and put my shoes and socks back on and then headed back. Did take a few breaks on the way back, walking up hill in the sand makes things a little harder. Did see the Big Horns on the way back also, just wish I would of brought a better camera. Next time I'll do the loop and bring a cold beer to enjoy while I'm down there!
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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We did this route as a day trip with a large group of friends. We worked with Desert River Kayak to obtain access to the put-in at the dam. The morning started out great, but by the early afternoon, we were taking on some pretty significant headwinds. The winds picked up to 25mph, with gusts up to 40mph, according to NOAA. Despite the weather, this is a really fun trip. It would be ideal to do this as an overnight and camp on one of the sandy beaches. This would allow more time to explore the many side canyons. That being said, Boy Scout Canyon was by far the most interesting and unique place we stopped. We avoided Goldstrike Canyon because there were so several boats already parked there, and I don't like waiting in line to hike...
I did make an exception for AZ hot spring, since everyone in my group wanted to see it.

It's getting close to that time of year when humans should avoid the Colorado Main Stem. It gets rather warm, even in April. However, the dam does tend to release more water to downstream users this time of year. And the cold water is a reprieve from the relentless sun.

Awesome trip. Not sure if I will do it again anytime soon. But I will definitely look for a way to get back in Boy Scout Canyon! :D
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Yet another very cool AZ place, worth stopping for if you're driving by. Did the loop, CCW. Several tiers of sandbags are in place below the springs, creating a series of pools up to waist deep.

There are lots of trails in the area - on the hike out I must have missed the primary trail and ended up in a canyon with two 20-foot dry falls to ascend, 4th class or maybe a move or two of easy 5th class.
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Returned to this fun hike, starting this time from the parking area off of Highway 93 and hiking down to the springs and back. I was amazed when I drove past the day before how many cars were in the parking lot. It must be a very popular hike now, and I imagine that the parking lot and signs have done a lot to ruin the quiet of this slot canyon.

Hike was still nice, though, and because of the narrow winding character of the canyon, we seldom saw the other people on the trail before and behind us. When we got to the hotspring, however, holy wow what a freaking zoo! We elected not to ascend the ladder (there was a very long wait to anyway) and instead went down to the river and ate our lunch in peace.

I was with my friend Michelle, who has done very little hiking with me, and she loved the canyon. It's a great trip for non-hikers, since it offers some amazing scenery, easy walking and a great payoff at the end (either the river or the spring are worth the trip).

Trash is becoming a real problem in this canyon, and I imagine it doesn't flash often enough to keep things clean. I wanted to make up a brochure about packing out toilet paper and hand it to everyone I saw. It just gets SO FREAKING GROSS after a while.

Looking good for a few weeks from now.
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Took the kids for a memorial weekend trip to Vegas (Wet&Wild and Luxor Hotel followed the hike), met up with some Vegas friends (Jeremy, Amy, Maria), Saturday 5/24/14, at Arizona Hot Springs parking lot.

My second time on this trail and it needed a bit planning since we had our 6 kids taggin along - ages 14 down to 6!! We knew we needed an early start because of the heat, so we attempted to start at 8am, but didn't get onto the trail till 8:30ish. THANK GOODNESS it was heavily overcast - made the hike/heat very reasonable.

We met at the parking lot and SAR volunteers were out in full force checking peoples' shoes, handing out maps of the trail, as well as free practical advice. They were expecting large crowds with it being Memorial Day.

Since I was the only one who had previously done the hike, I thought it best to climb UP the difficult canyon section (Class III) rather than down with the kids. For the safety of the kids, I'm definitely glad we did the loop this counter-clockways direction (that is, hiking White Rock Canyon first, and coming out of Hot Spring Canyon).

There was quite a lot of concern among the kids about the "brain eating bug" in the hot spring water. It caused a bit of angst among the kids and of course deep concern with the parents!!

The highlight of the day was watching 5 1/2 year old "Deme" (Demetrea) climb up the ladder, then later climb up the cliff face...REALLY awesome to see such a little kid do that amazing stuff and love the outdoors at such a young age. Jeremy and Amy are wonderful parents!!

After the hike, we headed to Amy and Jeremy's place in Henderson for a BBQ with the kids.

Overall it was a very fun day with a GREAT group of people. This is definitely a hike worth doing if you're headed to Vegas. Plan for the heat!!
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Black Canyon Canoe/Kayak Trip
This was a two-night kayak/canoe trip down the lower Colorado, launching on the Nevada side at Hoover Dam and taking out on the Arizona side at Willow Beach. I forgot to turn my GPS on until maybe 1/4 mile downstream or so.

If you launch at the dam you have to have an outfitter, since they are the only ones allowed to drive down that road below the dam. We went with Helen Howard's outfit, Desert River Kayak. Since it was spring break for a lot of schools, the outfitter was very busy and we had to get our cars down to Willow Beach very early in the morning. We had stayed at Hacienda Casino Hotel in the Boulder City area. (It was the first time I had set foot in Nevada since 1976!!)

Finally we were unloading our gear and boats at the put-in. I was part of a group with my daughter and a very large outdoor club from Flagstaff. Way too many people for my comfort level, but I dealt with it as best I could.

The thing is, this was also the time when they were letting an unusual amount of water out of the dam, to provide water for the experimental spring flood down in Mexico, in the Colorado River delta. So, the water was coming up very fast as we were rigging. I started with my boat next to the sidewalk and finished rigging 45 minutes later in thigh-deep water. I had to move my boat. My boat was brought down from the van last, and I was starting to rig last, so that when it was time to go, literally no one else was in sight. Gee, thanks for waiting. On the other hand, the current was very strong, so they were likely carried downstream. Many had top-heavy canoes. (Numerous tipovers this weekend reminded me again how much I dislike canoes. We had one tip-over in our group, at Ringbolt Rapids.) I took off paddling, finally, and found them down around the bend visiting an interesting dripping spring. The water level in the river was so high that our trip leader, who had done the trip many times before, said we'd usually be able to get out of the boats, but there were no beaches, no good place to get out of the boats. So, we went on.

The river canyon here, known as Black Canyon, is really pretty, and reminded me a bit of Grand Canyon. It has sheer cliffs, caves, etc.

It didn't take long to reach Arizona Hot Springs beach. Just before the beach is Ringbolt Rapids, which at this high water level was actually sort of a rapids. So, I ran it! Most people kept to the left to avoid it, however!

The beach where we were to camp was already packed with people and their tents, tables, canoes, and a giant sweat lodge made of branches and canvas tarps. More people were coming in, in groups of 20 or so, mostly college outdoor clubs and Boy Scouts. After moving camp twice I found a place that was sort of out of the way. Note to self: Next time do this trip during a slow time of the year (call outfitter to ask when that is.)

During our two-night stay at this beach some did a long hike, but since I have had foot problems I had brought only Teva sandals. I hiked up to the hot springs and soaked. No skinny dipping was going on--too many people. With my daughter and her friend we hiked on a trail upriver and then to a canyon, maybe it is White Rock? I don't know.

I have to say, I usually plan and lead my own trips. Being led, I had not done much research, and not really being a part of this group, I was always out of the loop anyway. I had a map I had printed off the internet, and there was a similar one handed out to us. Not much of a map.

I had a taste of this place, and now I would like to go back and see it when there is no one else on the river. Maybe during the week sometime in January or February or thereabouts. I would like to take several days and camp at the smaller beaches, do more hiking if my feet are better then.

I did enjoy the trip, and there were several in the group who I liked very much. Squat Puke was there, for one thing. His real name is Larry, and he's come on a couple of Grand Canyon backpacking trips I put together, including his first ever backpacking trip!

When we were ready to launch on Sunday it was very, very windy. Four canoes from another group tipped over just after launching. We waited until about 11 a.m. to launch, when the wind had abated a bit. We had a very pleasant run down the river, with only light breezes, no big ugly gusts. My daughter, her boyfriend and myself went first, without the others. It was pleasant to have the river to ourselves for a while.

At the take-out, someone from another group handed out Cherry Garcia ice cream bars. I got one.

Then I headed for Lake Havasu, a motel room, and a 9-mile solo paddle on the lake the next day. It was a great 4 day weekend!
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Great trip with the local Flagstaff Meet Up group! Special thanks for Mark S. for putting this all together. Not an easy task with 25+ peeps!

The trip started Friday morning. At 4:30am, Todd and I drove from his house in Kingman to meet up with a several others at the Willow Beach take out area. We loaded our gear onto the guide's trailer and drove back to the Hacienda Hotel to meet the rest of the crew. Just after leaving, I realized I forgot my ID and was not sure I would be able to go on the trip. :( :(

After some anxious time waiting for the BLM guy to arrive, Mark, the trip leader vouched for my identification and they fortunately let through the gates at Hoover Dam.

We all teamed up and made several (hundred yard) trips with each others' gear, and then each team spend quite a while rigging up their canoes. At the dam, the water was extremely smooth and there was NO WIND (yet!).

Several of the group met at the sauna cave (and several accidentally floated on by). We did a quick explore of the cave and sweated off any sunscreen that had just been applied moments earlier. The cave was pretty wild and I'm glad we took our headlamps (see pics) and explored.

As we paddled downriver, Todd and I engaged in many heated altercations on proper team-rowing technique until he finally accepted my (cough!) noob YouTube wisdom and started paddling correctly ( :) hopefully he does not read this...hehe). We had one scary moment in Ringbolt rapid, but made it through unscathed. [Later found out someone from our group did not have such luck and did flip...losing a few bits of gear (and almost a life) in the process.]

We quickly setup camp (after I scurried off the BIGGEST wild lizard (chuckwalla?) I had ever seen) and started up canyon for the springs which were pretty terrific. However, it was hard to relax at the springs with nagging visions of brain-eating amoeba plaguing my every thought...eventually though, I found the SWEET spot, which was flat on my back in the first and shallowest pool, head propped up on a sand bag pillow. I even dozed off a few times!

The next day was a "free day" and we had the entire time to hike and explore the area. I wanted hike the White Rock Canyon hike so I could log it here on HAZ, so off we went! We had heard there was a "loop" back to the springs and we decided that would great as long as we could find the beginning of the split! We came across other hikers in our group with the same intention and between the 7 of us, found the other trail and came to first and most dramatic drop off. Here, we came upon a dad down-belaying his (very scared) 9-year old kid through this 25' shear drop. Another in our group found a walk around just right of this steep pour-off, but it was also very steep and required cautious down-climbing!! We had a couple of hikers from our group turn around here, but 5 of us took this route with any incident!

After that initial pour-off, the slot continues with a few more (easy) downclimbs and we eventually reached the Rock Art area (see pics) and then finally, the top of the hot springs!!

That night, Todd and I enjoyed freeze-dried cuisine as others in our group had to suffer with chicken, pasta and sausages...we all sat around the campfire each evening and enjoyed each other's company.

The next day, Todd and I loaded up and were the first out in our group (being the "noobs" we had the least amount of stuff to pack)! Unfortunately, The wind was freakin' brutal and we had a very difficult time even paddling down river. Other groups had left earlier and experienced several bad flips. One group even paddled back, leaving their boats/gear and hiked out of White Rock.

Todd and I had a few close calls but stayed close to shore as we muscled through all the whitecaps! We had to make several stops to rest as paddling into such a strong headwind was extremely taxing!! Around 11-11:30, the wind died down a bit and we enjoyed the last 1/2 of the trip back to Willow Beach. We were the first to arrive and hung out with some french fries until the rest of the group should up about an hour later!!

Great trip! Very glad I went!!
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Whoo!! Easy to find, very easy hike down to the river, very sandy/rocky, bring gaiters or high top boots if you have em :)

Seeing the Colorado River again for the first time in 4 months was great! It was like running into the icy cold embrace of an old friend...covered in ducks...

The hot springs were up canyon of the main camping beach and pit toilets, a nice little muddy jaunt.

The 3 springs built up by sandbags varied in temperature but even the one nearest the waterfall/ladder was very warm!!

Only 6 other people at the springs, such a perfect day, pretty sure all the rafters/kayakers were heading out for the day.

Was difficult to turn my back on the River and trot back up the slot canyon back to the truck. But I'm very happy to know I'll be back in its waters again in less than a week!

Easy hike up canyon by the way, try it out, nice little hike if you're in the area. :)
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Ive had these hot springs in my radar for quite some time and since i was visiting some friends in Vegas this past weekend I made it a priority to check them out since the temperatures are just about perfect this time of the year. Having gone out for a few brews the previous night we were a bit slow on the getting ready department and didnt get the hiking started until about noon. Being a short hike that it is time wasnt an issue either way. Most of the trail is on sand or very fine rocks which by the time one is coming back out it starts to get a bit annoying but the canyon itself is great none the less. Once you get to the Colorado River continue down stream where there is some trail signs, if you get to some restrooms close to the river you have gone too far....backtrack about 500 feet to where you see water streaming from a different canyon. Follow that water up the stream as you start going up this really cool slot canyon until you reach a ladder, go up it and you will find the first of two hot spring water pools. We hung out in the one a bit farther up (about 30 ft) since it was a little bit deeper and had hotter water. We stayed there for a while until we decided it was time to head back. Overall I liked this hot spring more than Goldstrike Canyon on the Nevada side.
Arizona Hot Springs via White Rock Canyon
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Well after spending a few days visiting with Wendi's brother and his wife in Vegas(not a city I would naturally gravitate to) we were ready to hit this long awaited hike. We got there early and we were the only car in the parking lot. We thought we might have the hot springs to ourselves but we did not take in to account the 10 people who came by water and camped in. People included, this hike was worth the effort. And enjoyed our conversations.
I got a little turned around in the last 100' feet, or perhaps just fixated at checking out the camping conditions down by river, luckily Wendi was able to redirect me back up the canyon where we found the ladder that accesses the springs. We didn't go all the way back in and just settled ourselves with the first pool. Wendi noted some white staining on the walls and was worried that it was bird poop, but we were relieved to realize that it was candle wax from various votives tucked away into the many nooks of the canyon wall.
On the way out we spent some time on top of the canyon walls watching the activities of the campers, kayakers, their dogs, and even the occasional flocks of water foul which flew through, wing tips grazing the water's surface. Pretty sweet hike, I am gonna insist that any further trips to Vegas must include winding down here.

Permit $$

Lake Mead NRA National Park
Lake Mead Fees & Permits

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Arizona Hot Springs Trailhead
From the Nevada/Arizona border on US-93.

1. Head east on US-93 S 3.3 mi
2. Turn left 0.2 mi
3. Turn right

The trailhead is in 300 ft

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 260 mi, 3 hours 59 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 367 mi, 5 hours 27 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 213 mi, 2 hours 59 mins
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