DUE TO EXTREME, DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES, PLEASE NOTE THAT GOLD STRIKE HOT SPRINGS IS CLOSED ANNUALLY FROM MAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER.
In the Vegas area and searching for recreation that will redefine your interpretation of legitimate adventure? Head for Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs—situated outside Historic Boulder City and about an hour from the Las Vegas Strip. Descending 600 feet into this spectacularly scenic canyon does promise rewarding hot springs, but in order to reach them visitors must face third class scrambling and bouldering by navigating through an 8 rope course that weaves in and out of house-sized boulders. Choose scrambling—or kayak upstream through the spectacular Black Canyon on the Colorado River. In any case, this hot springing adventure promises incredible southern Nevada recreation, wildlife, history and of course a whole lot of relaxation.
ACCESSING GOLD STRIKE HOT SPRINGS
The most popular way to access this pocket of hot springs is hiking in from the trailhead off Highway 93. Plan to park your vehicle in a free parking area near the trailhead, then embark on a gravel trailhead that begins just before the Hoover Dam Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. From here, the trail descends down through Gold Strike Canyon all the way to the spectacular Colorado River. The entirety of the trail is about 2 miles one way, but does incorporate a series of 20 foot rope climbs that are not beginner level—plan for about 3-4 hours of hiking time each direction, or a full day adventure if you really want to soak up this spring's full potential.
Scenery is spectacular as you navigate through enormous, red rock vertical canyon walls, peppered with vibrant native plants and Desert Bighorn Sheep. Before the hike escalates, visitors will find a checkpoint station equipped with water supplies and packets of salt and sugar to prevent dehydration. From here, the real work begins as you’ll face the first rope descent. In total there are 8 ropes you must navigate to reach multiple hot spring pools at the bottom. Gold Strike Canyon is a hotbed of geothermal activity—plan to cross paths with a multitude of hot pools, grottos, and hot waterfalls.
Once you reach the bottom, the canyon widens opening up to the bank of the Colorado River. Here, cliff jumping is about as perfect as it gets—plus, you can take in an unblemished view of the mighty Hoover Dam.
TRAVEL NEVADA PRO TIPS
- Gold Strike Canyon is narrow and prone to flash flooding in certain stretches. If it looks like it could rain, plan to check this one off the list on another day.
- Extreme temperatures have led to dozens of rescues and even a handful of fatalities in recent years. We cannot stress the importance of bringing water and snacks on this hike, it’s critical. Embrace good hot springing etiquette, let someone know where you’re going, prepare ahead of time, and bring extra water.
- It’s nearly impossible to complete this hike without close toed shoes. Plan on wearing shoes that can get wet, but will ultimately protect your toes when scrambling and navigating your way through the gravel trails in the canyon.
- Try and live by the buddy system and bring a friend along with you for this hike, and also be sure to leave your dogs at home.
- If you’re not comfortable pulling your own weight, you may want to consider an alternate hike. This is an incredible experience, but there are a handful of serious risks that come along with it.