Iva Bell Hot Springs via Duck Lake Trail and John Muir Trail

HARD 6 reviews
#25 of 84 trails in

Iva Bell Hot Springs via Duck Lake Trail and John Muir Trail is a 29.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mono Hot Springs, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

29.3 miles
6,735 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


15 days ago

Tried in vain to make it to Iva Bell in one day and had to break it up into a 2 day hike to the springs. We stopped for the first night after hiking 8 miles at a spot that unfortunately had many mosquitoes. Be ware of the river crossing at mile 12.8 of this hike as there is no log bridge nor stepping stones (that we could find). Our group had to take off our shoes, socks and pants to wade across the river and the water level got to groin deep with swiftly moving currents at some points. We ended up going out towards Reds Meadow on the way back and was much easier than going back up hill all the way to Duck lake. The view from the top of Duck pass towards Barney lake and Duck lake are breathtaking; however, if you are trying to get to Iva Bell I would suggest going out via Red's Meadow as it is shorter and at lower elevation.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Probably my most favorite backpacking trip I've ever been on. I'm so happy we made this trip a 2-nighter because we really got to enjoy a full day at the springs and got some major rest and relaxation in. We started the trip late in the day so we set up camp probably an hour or so from the springs. Next morning made to the springs and spent the day there. There are some very nice camp spots, and springs are scattered all over so it is quite the adventure trying to find them. We went before the historically wet 2017 winter started, but didn't have any problems with lack of water, but most importantly NO MOSQUITOS! I did this trip with a first time backpacker who was pretty well conditioned at hiking, the trip is challenging but not difficult. Just make sure you're prepared, the destination is worth it!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Incredible, sweeping views of Fish Creek valley and the granite sky scrapers surrounding it. We were blown away at how scenic the trail was and how diverse the terrain was. The hot springs are a very special place, I advise going as high as you can, the camp spot we found was 75 feet from 3 amazing hot springs that offer a full view of the valley.

I would only recommend trying this in 2 days if you are an experienced hiker and acclimated to the altitude. Take your time and do it right, start early in the morning the 1st and 3rd day as long stretches of the trail are pretty exposed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Monday, June 29, 2015

This trail is beyond amazing and highly recommended for a weekend trip or a couple days. My father actually proposed to my mother here so it a special place for my family. :)

Saturday, July 15, 2017