Hiking Guide

The Ultimate Guide for Hiking to the Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Spring

Hidden along the Colorado River, just south of the Hoover Dam, are the sizzling and secluded Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Spring. It's the perfect spot if you’re looking to disconnect or in need of some good R&R time.

To reach these hot springs, you’ll hike through narrow, twisting slot canyons and scramble over boulders. You’ll even be able to climb a 20-foot waterfall on a makeshift ladder to reach the Colorado River, where canoers and campers set up camp to spend the night. 

Once you get there, you have the opportunity to rest those muscles in the hot springs, which range between 111 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

There are two trails that lead to the Arizona Hot Springs; the Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Spring Trail and the White Rock Canyon Trail. These two trails connect to make a 5.8-mile loop (which is considered the “Arizona Hot Spring Loop Trail Loop”). 

To get to the hot springs, you can either hike the entire loop or pick a single trail and hike out-and-back.

If you’re looking for a unique day trip from Las Vegas, this outdoor adventure is only 40-minutes away from the famous Las Vegas Strip.

*Note: Before heading out for this hike, make sure the trail is open. Due to extreme heat, the Arizona Hot Springs trail is closed from mid-May through September each year.

Trail map for hiking to the Arizona Hot Spring. You can get to the hot springs along the Arizona Hot Spring Trail or the White Rock Canyon Trail.

How to hike to the Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Spring

Free, printable Arizona Hot Spring Hiking Guide to bring with you!

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Trail Overview

  • Distance: 3.2 miles one way (via White Rock Canyon Trail); 2.6 miles one way (via Arizona Spring Trail); 5.8 miles (via loop trail); 
  • Elevation change: 750 - 1223 feet
  • Difficulty: moderate to difficult
  • Season: closed May 15 - September 20. Best enjoyed during the cooler seasons (fall, winter, spring)
  • Permits/Fees: No
  • Trail highlights: hot springs, waterfall, slot canyons, river access
  • Tags: pet friendly, family friendly, scramble, camping, free

Permits & Fees

No parking or permit fees required.

Getting to the Trailhead

The parking lot to the trailhead is located along US Highway 93 and can be tricky to spot (we missed it the first time!). 

If you’re driving from the direction of the Lake Mead Visitor Center, there will be a left-hand cutoff to the parking lot, roughly 8.4 miles from the visitor center (you’ll see a brown sign for the White Canyon Trail right before the cutoff).

If you’re driving US Hwy 93 from the Kingman, AZ direction, you’ll find the parking lot around mile marker 4.

This is a medium sized parking lot that can park about 50-60 cars, so be sure to get there early during high season. 

There is no parking fee and nor restrooms.

Pro Tip: set your destination as "White Rock Canyon Trailhead" in Google Maps (or whatever navigation system you use). Directions will be set to take you to the parking lot. 

Hiking to the Arizona Hot Spring

We’ve actually hiked to the hot springs twice over the last month; once out-and back via the Arizona Hot Spring Trail and once as a loop. When we hiked the entire loop, we hiked to the hot spring via Arizona Hot Spring Trail and hiked back to the parking lot via White Rock Canyon Trail. 

Although both the Arizona Hot Spring Trail and White Rock Canyon Trail lead to the hot spring, they are both very different in terms of elevation and scenery. 

Scenic views of the canyons hiking along the Arizona Hot Spring Trail.
  • The Arizona Hot Spring Trail had us hiking at a higher elevation on a well paved, dirt path. All around us were views of the canyons against the skyline. After scrambling down to the canyon wash, we hiked and scrambled through a series of slot canyons until we reached the hot spring. This trail will be marked with green, spray painted symbols (arrows and dots) on rocks.
  • In contrast, the entire hike along the White Rock Canyon Trail is at lower elevation, along the base of the canyons on loose terrain. Follow the yellow, spray painted symbols (arrows) to make sure you stay on the right trail. I personally felt like this route was more physically taxing (and even took longer to hike) due to the loose gravel.
Pay attention to the trail markers. The Arizona Hot Spring Trail is marked with green arrows. The White Rock Canyon Trail is marked with yellow arrows.

If you don’t want to hike the entire loop and prefer to stick to one trail, it’s up to personal preference around which trail to hike. Personally, I feel like the easier, more scenic route is the Arizona Hot Spring Trail. However, if you’re looking for a more isolated, less trafficked route, I’d go with the White Rock Canyon Trail.

Regardless of which trail you hike to get to the Arizona Hot Spring, you’ll access each trail from the same parking lot (specified above). 

From the parking lot, we hiked down the hill and under the US Hwy 93 bridge. We followed the well-marked path and trail signs pointing us towards the Arizona Hot Spring.

Soon enough, the trail splits; one leading you towards the Arizona Hot Spring and the other toward the Liberty Bell Arch. Luckily, there’s a sign to point you in the right direction!

Pro Top: if you want to hike towards the hot springs along the Arizona Hot Spring Trail, bear left and follow the sign that points towards the Arizona Hot Spring. To hike in via White Rock Canyon Trail, continue straight towards the Liberty Bell Arch.

There will be a sign to direct you towards the Arizona Hot Spring when the trailhead splits.

Both times, we hiked into the hot spring along the Arizona Hot Spring Trail. As we hiked up and down the inclines of the first section of the hike, we were surrounded by breathtaking canyons. The trail is very well maintained, until we scrambled down into the canyon wash.

In the canyon wash, the terrain changes from packed, dirt to (very) loose gravel...our calves started feeling that GOOD BURN! 

This part of the trail got pretty exciting because not only were we hiking through several, winding slot canyons, but we were scrambling down boulders in a few sections. These slot canyons were a great resting spot since it’s shadier and cooler.

The trails are filled with slot canyons and a handful of sections to scramble down.

Pro Tip: take note of the green, spray painted trail markers on the rocks as you scramble down into the wash along the Arizona Hot Spring Trail. They can be easily missed, but you’ll need these markers to make sure you’re going the right way as you hike back out.

As we edged closer to the hot spring, we noticed tents set up near the trail. Many people camp overnight so they can wake up early and enjoy the hot spring to themselves! 

People reach the hot spring by hiking in or canoeing the Colorado River. Many will even camp overnight along the trails or on the beaches by the river.

I knew we finally made it to the hot spring as soon as I heard laughter echoing through the slot canyons. We immediately stripped down into our bathing suits to rest and enjoy nature’s spa. 

Pro Tip: prepare to get wet! Bring something to swim in, an extra pair of socks, or even a pair of hiking sandals.

However, as soon as I dipped my foot into the first hot spring, I yanked my foot out immediately. Moe was screaming! We weren’t ready for how hot the first spring was (it was probably about 110F!) Thank goodness we decided to do this trail during winter time…

There are 4 hot springs in total; the first one being the hottest. As we climbed through the different hot springs, they got cooler and cooler the further down we went.

There are four cascading hot springs of various temperatures. The hottest spring can get up to 120F!

After resting for about 30 minutes, we continued onward to hike towards the Colorado River. However, we realized we had to scale down a 20-foot waterfall on a sketchy ladder someone had rigged up.

Initially, I said “HELL NO” to the ladder after seeing that it was held down by thick rope and not bolted into the rock. However, I watched a few people climb down successfully (including one guy with a dog in his backpack), so I decided it was GO TIME BABY.

And I’m glad I did, because rappelling down the waterfall was the most memorable and exhilarating part of the trail! 

A waterfall separates the Arizona Hot Spring and access to the Colorado River. There is a rigged-up ladder that you can use to climb up and down the waterfall.

Not going to lie, it’s initially pretty scary as I first stepped onto the ladder, unsure of whether the rope was strong enough to support my weight. But with each step down, I got more and more comfortable. I enjoyed slowly crawling down the ladder as the waterfall splashed all over my face. It’s impossible not to laugh, scream and enjoy the adrenaline!

Once we made it down the ladder, we hiked another 10-15 minutes and reached the Colorado River. We watched several hikers and canoers set up camp for the night along the beach. There were two basic restrooms that were open for use.

A view of the beautiful, serene Colorado River.

After a much needed snack time, we hiked back towards the parking from the Colorado River. To hike back out along the White Rock Canyon Trail (to complete the full loop), we hiked away from the beach towards a brown sign with a hiker symbol. Pay attention to the yellow, spray painted arrows, which will guide you along the route. You’ll hike along the beautiful, blue-green waters of the Colorado River before turning back into the canyon base.

The White Rock Canyon Trail is marked with yellow arrows, and occasionally, posted signs. A section of this trail will have you hiking along the Colorado River.

Pro Tip: to hike back along the Arizona Hot Spring Trail, retrace your steps back and reclimb the ladder to the hot springs. They are hard to see, but follow the green trail markers spray painted on the rocks to follow the trail back to the parking lot.

The remainder of the hike back to the parking lot along the White Rock Canyon Trail consists of slot canyons and very loose gravel at the canyon base. I noticed my legs feeling more fatigued on this route versus the Arizona Hot Spring Trail. But after a few breathers and rest sessions, we made it back to the car before sun down.

The scenery and isolation along the White Rock Canyon Trail was so relaxing! I specifically enjoyed the fact that this trail had significantly less traffic than the Arizona Hot Spring Trail.

Hiking to the Arizona Hot Spring out-and-back via Arizona Hot Spring Trail took us about 4.5 hours to complete. However, we were hiking at a leisurely pace and took our time enjoying the hot springs and Colorado River.

At a similar pace, it took us around 5.5 hours to complete the entire loop trail.

Hiking to the Arizona Hot Spring was definitely one of the most unique hikes I’ve done in awhile. It was even more memorable for the fact that I had my very first (and scary) tarantula encounter on the hike out! 

So if you’re around Las Vegas and are looking for a good day trip involving some physical activity in the outdoors, check out the Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Spring trail. 

Safety Tips

  • Avoid hiking in extreme heat. Temperatures during the summer time can exceed 110F. 
  • There is a slight danger in the hot spring from the Naegleria Fowleri amoeba. Since the amoeba can only enter the body through the nose, avoid infection by keeping your head above water.
  • Bring enough water. Check out my water guidelines here.

Helpful Resources

Have you hiked this trail? Leave your tips and thoughts below.

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about the author
Molly Chhiv
What's up! This Cambodian kid is an outdoor addict, adventure blogger, & your personal HYPE GIRL. Through the outdoors, I've learned self-confidence, independence, & mental strength. My mission through The Adventure Diet is to share the power of the outdoors with you. I want to empower you with tips, tools and inspiration to get outside with confidence and find yourself.

So if you're ready, let's get out there and do this sh*t!

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