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This Trail in Arizona Will Lead You to a Hidden Hot Spring Like No Other

Suny Errot



Wildlife? Check. Stunning views? Check. A challenging hike? Check. Swimming in the waterfall? Check. We know you’ve already checked out many of our hiking trail suggestions in Arizona. But why should we stop there? We know just the thing for you if you like dipping in a refreshing spring after a tiring hike! The Ringbolt Hot Springs is one of the most-loved hikes in the state and we’re thinking it has something to do with the humbling feeling of seeing the canyon walls rise up around you.

Be Refreshed When You Complete the Ringbolt Hot Spring Hike

The trail is a 9.4-kilometer loop with a difficulty level of difficult due to its ascent of 358m and descent of -358m. If you come here, you will see and encounter the following features:

  • Lake
  • River/Creek
  • Stunning Views
  • Swimming
  • Waterfall
  • Wildflowers
  • Wildlife

The start of the hike is at White Rock Canyon and it goes along the river before coming up to the Hot Spring Canyon Upper Trail. It is a real adventure! Are you ready?

The trail starts from an area with red and gold volcanic rock and ash which have been washed down from the nearby mountains. There are also white granite boulders you’ll see along the way, including a variety of desert plants. Walk up and continue the hike to see the beautiful views of the canyon. Shortly after, you will reach the famous Colorado River.

Colorado River View Arizona
Source: Instagram

There’s a good chance you’ll also see other tourists and visitors kayaking down the river. But it doesn’t happen every time, though. If you do see another group, don’t forget to wave a friendly hi! And of course, don’t let that distract you from the beautiful views no matter where you look. You have to work your way to the Hot Springs Canyon. Surprisingly, the river water has a consistent 55F temperature. You can dip for a while to get energized, or you can hike up the Canyon to get to the Ringbolt Hot Springs.

Arizona Hike Ringbolt Hot Springs
Source: Instagram

Expect warm streams and small waterfalls as you make your way to the top of the 20-foot ladder. You also need to be careful in case it gets slippery. Take it slow, because the beautiful, warm pools are waiting for you at the top of the ladder. Remember to close your mouth as you climb your way up. (Note: As a safety precaution, the water must not enter your nose).

After the Short Ladder Climb, You’ve Finally Found the Hidden Gem!

Arizona Hike Ringbolt
Source: Instagram

The different pools are made of built-up sand bags and also vary in temperature. According to hikers, the temperatures usually vary depending on the winds that come from the canyon. On the other hand, the pools get heated by the natural geothermal waters that move to surface through faults or fractures in the rocks.

Arizona Hot Springs Ringbolt
Source: Instagram

You don’t need to get too critical about these pools. If I were you, I’d just choose one so I can sit back, relax, and enjoy my warm bath. You will experience moments of solitude as you look at the scenery of the steep rocks high above you.

Remember that the Ringbolt Hot Springs is a touristy place. Expect it to be a busy, if not your busiest, hike!

Why Is It Called Ringbolt Hot Springs?

Care for some history? Before the Hoover Dam was completed, Colorado River had very large rapids which were called the Ringbolt Rapids. During that time, people would use cables from their steamboats and connect it to the ringbolts in the rock and pull themselves over the rapids.

Fun Fact: It’s also called Arizona Hot Springs.

How to Get Here

The starting point will be the Lake Mead Visitor Center. From there, follow US Hwy 93 east 8.4 miles, which is over 4 miles past Hoover Dam. Keep your eyes open and you will see a sign to the trailhead.

What You Should Know

  • If you’re relaxing in the Ringbolt Hot Springs, you may encounter animals such as lizards, hummingbirds, or tarantulas. Don’t freak out. It’s normal and totally harmless.
  • Visit in the early spring if you want a view of desert flowers. You can also see plants such as ground cherry, globemallow, desert tobacco, rock daisy, windmills, and many more.
  • Many visitors dip in the hot spring wearing little to no clothing. The decision is up to you if you also opt for a skinny dip.
  • Remember to bring at least one gallon of water per person. The hike is fun, but it’s also very tiring and challenging. You will soak in two- to three-foot deep warm water from time to time.
  • Take precautions and keep your head above water to avoid the dangerous amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. This amoeba is typically present in hot springs and can be really dangerous once it enters the nose.

To protect Mother Nature, remember to leave no trace and not litter along the way. The Ringbolt Hot Springs is a beautiful gem and needs to be protected at all costs! If you can’t get enough of fun trails, you should also check this one that leads to a magnificent waterfall.