we made it!!! don't follow your GPS unless you can use a map and have 4x4
second you totally need to know a lot of people will be there
also naked people will be there.
it's a nice downhill hike to get there.
the hike back is tough.
if your OK with these things do this hike it really pretty
An avid ridge-runner, I found this trail incredibly easy to run, and incredibly exaggerated by the caretaker and reviewers. I understand the caretaker's need to exaggerate caution. It's a popular destination; therefore, lots of inexperienced hikers pass through. Not only are there inexperienced hikers, there are lots of substance-users; many of whom, are just plain imbeciles with little-to-no respect for themselves or nature. So, I'm sure that many of those who need rescuing were intoxicated before their return ascents.
The descent is first, ascent is last. Trail is mostly sandy, hard-packed, free of boulders, roots, and other natural obstructions. It's EASY! What a simple, standard, short trail! The views are beautiful, mostly chaparral; strong scent of aromatic shrubs/sage, etc. Do not proceed without water (as is the case in all hikes, duh!). But it does deserve special caution: Hot water + desert climate will dehydrate you! Add mind-altering substances and this place's risk factors increase ten-fold! Bring lots of water!!! I imagine that extremely inexperienced hikers and drunken MORONs ("don't judge bro!") are the ones who get lost. The owner/manager/caretaker(?) was firm, assertive, perhaps angry, when I arrived at 3:30pm, yesterday afternoon. He believed I'd be ascending back to the car after dark. I got back to my car before the sun set (FAST!!!). Caretaker cautioned the hell out of every late arrival, so i didn't take it personally. But he DID exaggerate... or I'm the Flash!
I'd love to camp there. Get there early for a day trip, or go camping. It's not ideal for a brief stop. I hiked so fast that I was able to enjoy the springs for 1/2-1hour or so, and return to my car before sunset. the trail was super easy to follow, though I am grateful for the anal caretaker's exaggerated cautions. But it would have been more worth-while had I stayed there. Camping there must be a blast, especially if you like to party (I don't, because I quit drinking...sigh why did i f*cking quit?!). Lots of alcohol, drugs, and weirdness. not for kids, i suppose. The trail is not that bad. If you're going to get crazy on substances, even just weed (affects the memory), then plan on camping. Why risk getting lost in the mountains?! I smoked a bunch of Js, once, when I was in Miami, staying with a friend. I bathed in a hot tub for a while, in the hot Miami sun. When I returned to my friend's apt, I couldn't remember where he lived. My point: be cautious, even w weed, not just alcohol or whichever other substances you use. stoned & de-hydrated will not aid you in staying on trail...or finding the trail.
Btw, the creek-crossing was refreshing. Not 'ice cold' at all.
I only give it 3 stars because the drunken young people and rednecks reminded me of college, when I was a dumb child.
This should probably be listed as MODERATE and NOT "Easy"! Trail was easy to locate. The hike out is completely straight up and will leave you gasping for your breath. The spray paint markers help you stay on course. The river is up due to recent downpours and it's waste deep thru dangerously cold waters. Once your legs are prickly and ready to fall off you will make it across and have no problem stripping down to get in the hot springs. I only noticed 3 pools, but read that there are 4-7...so who knows! People DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TRASH!! This is not downtown L.A. It's amazing and beautiful place to enjoy! Trash, and graffiti will ruin it for generations to come or better yet get us all locked out soon! It's very peaceful to soak in the warm water as the river rushes by you!
It is dog friendly if your your pet likes to swim. It cost 5$ a person. The hike down to the springs is not bad at all. Coming back up is harder. Bring a bathing suit otherwise go naked like all the other hippies.... I'm half hippie went in my underwear. Towels and a snack would be great.
This was a really great hike, and decently easy. Just very steep on your way back up and not much shading. You have to start from a private property. One of the workers/volunteers is Sycamore, she's a very nice lady and gave us very good hiking directions, the maps are junk but is doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand how to walk there and back. There is a $5 fee per person, totally worth it. Brought my dog with and everyone was cool with him and loved playing with him. There's a slack line hooked up over the water (lots of fun) and a bunch do nudist! No biggie though unless you can't handle naked people. Highly recommended. Please pick your up trash and be respectful, unless you want the National Forest Service to shut it down.