Grover Hot Springs State Park is located four miles west of Markleeville on the east side of the Sierra, at the edge of the Great Basin Province, and is characterized by open pine forest, sagebrush and meadows. The 700-acre park lies in Hot Springs Valley at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, with mountains rising abruptly on three sides. Hawkins Peak, at 10,023 feet, is three miles northwest of the valley, and Markleeville Peak, 9,417 feet, lies four miles to the southwest. These bare granite peaks are best viewed from the Burnside Lake Trail, which begins at the extra- vehicle parking lot and ascends rapidly towards the west end of the valley. Ever since the mid-1850s, when journalists began putting their impressions of Grover Hot Springs into words, the descriptions have been generous.The area is one of alpine beauty with a large variety of plant and animal life. A full range of seasons and weather offer the visitor the opportunity to experience a variety of conditions, from major blizzards to dry scorchers, from warm clear nights to intense, blasting thunderstorms. Winds of great speeds are capable of whipping through the park causing damage during any month of the year. Pristine clear, warm days can be followed by cold stormy nights. Proper preparation for the full range of potential conditions can make a visit to the park not only safe and warm but also dry and comfortable. The park is open year-round. The park has a pool complex with a hot pool and a swimming pool hot springs, a campground, picnic area and hiking trails.
Ummmm Wow. Loved it. Especially loved that Parking and complete land/Trail Access was included with the price of our Dip in the Hot Spring Tub. Arrive early. Stay Late. Make it a full day trip. Pack a lunch and maybe dinner. I didn't wanna leave.
Photo Posted. Even after all day rain yesterday--no mud today..! Great stuff...! And the fall wasn't dry as posted. I understand it's pretty much year round. One must climb OVER the granite rocks to get to the other side. Keep your ears open for the falls. The climb over the granite rocks is somewhat sketchy because going up, it seems as if the climb will never end.
This is 5.5 miles one way with about 2.5 miles climbing 2,500 feet (11 miles rounds trip according the signage at the hot springs). The Manzanitas near the top are pretty overgrown, some over my head, so the trail needs some work but we didn't see one person on it (besides up at the lake) and it has stunning views. Most of it is very steep so bring plenty of water - we ended up filling up a bottle in the creek up top and thankfully didn't have any GI issues after it.
Loved the trail leading up to the Waterfall. The boulders can be challenging but my 11 yr old son and I worked through it together. My 15 and 6 years old went up and down them with no hesitation. Definitely worth seeing but go early, we were gone for an hour before heading back, as we headed back people from the campsite started towards the Waterfall, so go early if you want to beat the campers!
So I'm a bay area mountain bike guy that happens to be spending more time in the Hope Valley area.
I'm not the body armor, full-face-helmet rider I sometimes see up here. I was looking for an entry route to evaluate my ability to ride at higher altitudes this was a first choice. It's a good grind, but not that hard, up to the lake from your starting point at the RT88/89 intersection called Pickett Junction. You'll break a sweat but not kill yourself. Many places along the way to gaze out over Hope Valley and mountains to the west. Burnside Lake is small but beautiful and provides cool snow-fed water to take a swim in before starting your adventure back down hill to your starting point. You can also option to deviate up fire-roads and attempt a climb to higher mountains to the east.
Awesome hike! We hiked to the falls and continued past the falls to find smaller falls further on. The water was very cold as we crossed in a calm place so that we could hike the other side back down. Saw some wildflowers coming up but no flowers yet. Had lunch at the falls and enjoyed the sunny warm weather!