Because of geothermal activity, Nevada is home to about 300 hot springs. Here are just a few:
Ash Springs, found on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land just off U.S. Route 93 north of Las Vegas, gives visitors the opportunity to sit in the 85-degree water and watch as the spring spills over into a shallow pond.
Hot Creek Springs, located on the Kirch Wildlife Management Area just off State Route 318, is one of the more isolated hot springs. Hot Creek Springs offers amazing views of the nearby mountains.
Closer to Las Vegas, several hot springs are located near Lake Mead, such as Roger's Springs, located off the North Shore Road between Echo Bay and Overton.
Four more hot springs can be found below Hoover Dam along the Colorado River. Sauna Cave is located a few hundred yards from Portal Road beneath the dam on the Nevada side. After hiking up Goldstrike Canyon, you'll find extremely hot pools. The rock formations also are dangerous, and trying to get into Goldstrike by boat can be tricky. The springs also can be reached by a 2.5-hour hike from U.S. 93.
About a third of a mile south of mile marker 62 is Boy Scout Canyon. Although boating into the canyon is not that strenuous, climbing to Boy Scout Hot Springs is a challenge. This hike requires advanced climbing skills.
To get to the upper pool of the hot springs just below Ringbolt Rapids, walk a quarter-mile up Arizona Canyon and climb a 20-foot steel ladder at the waterfall. About four miles past Hoover Dam on Route 93, look for a dirt parking area at the head of White Rock Canyon on the right. Follow the canyon down to the river and trace it a quarter-mile south. The hot spring is in the side canyon.
For the lounging type, Bailey's Hot Springs offers (for a small fee, of course) a warm soak without the exertion. Bailey's is located about five miles north of Beatty near a campground. And in Caliente, the Caliente Hot Springs Motel uses hot-springs water for some tubs and larger private baths. For more information, call (702) 726-3777.
Hot Springs warnings
- Do not use soap or shampoo in the springs because these waters often contain threatened or endangered fish. Also, it is unlawful to take fish from or place aquarium fish into these waters.
- Some hot springs may contain Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba responsible for several deaths each year. If contact occurs, the organism travels up the olfactory nerve into the brain and can cause fulminating meningoencephalitis. To avoid contact with this organism, visitors should not submerge their heads. Do not take this warning lightly: A fatality occurred after someone contracted the amoeba at Goldstrike Spring a few years ago.
- "Swimmer's Itch" is an annoying but not serious condition that can develop after contact with hot springs. A parasite burrows in under the skin, causing itching, swelling and welts. To avoid the problem, firmly towel off after using a spring and change into dry clothing. Dabbing rubbing alcohol on the affected area will soothe itching.
- Don't litter. Glass containers, especially, can be extremely dangerous to hot-springs visitors. Graffiti also has been an unwanted problem.
- The National Park Service recommends against hiking into hot springs beneath Hoover Dam in the summer months. It is dangerous to overexert yourself when it's hot, and snakes are more prevalent during the summer.