Jordan Hot Springs Via Little Bear Canyon Trail

MODERATE 42 reviews
#1 of 50 trails in

Jordan Hot Springs Via Little Bear Canyon Trail is a 13.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
13.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,459 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

hot springs

river

1 day ago

watch out for rattlesnakes, they are out there, be careful.....my fourth time out here, and its the first time we saw one , happy trails

backpacking
7 days ago

Early September 2018. Great hike! We started at 2pm and got to the Hot Springs around 5:45pm after taking a few of breaks. The hike starts out with a gradual uphill for about 1 hr, then 1hr downhill into a canyon until you reach the fork of Little Bear Canyon and Middle Fork. No water in the first twi hours. Though the hard copy map shows to not cross Middle Fork yet, it seems like that trail hasn’t been used in a while, cross it and just follow it, all the way around. It then took us almost 2 hours to reach the hot springs. The only hard thing was that we didn’t know how far we were going and even though it’s all flat, you are slowed down the river crossings. Once we got there all the good flat camp spots were taken, but we found a good one nested up in the river bank, so we camp here. Went into the hot springs in the morning (very nice in the beginning, then they were warm) and then took off. We got lucky, no storms while we were there, though you could see them creeping nearby. It seems as if these thunderstorms are unpredictable. We did get stuck in a hail storm the night before but this was 30-40min out from the Visitor’s Center on highway 15. The Middle Fork water was fine, we brought aquamira drops and used them a few times. The water was clear. Note that water is used upstream. No signs of bears, cougars, nor wolves. Only birds, squirrels, and lots of frogs. Would definitely come back to do more than one night. Have fun!

backpacking
12 days ago

Absolutely stunning. Worth the river crossings and feels good after hiking for a bit. Pack hiking shoes and then sandals along with poles to help with the cross.

17 days ago

It’s an interesting hike because you’re going through a diverse scenery on your way to the springs. However be warned, you will be wading through the Gila river multiple times, at least knee deep

camping
1 month ago

Awesome trail. A little bit bumpy at the beginning because of the rocks, but once you get to the hot springs it really pays off. We camped about 4 miles deep into the trail and it was beautiful. We saw a fox, two deers and a snake. No signs of bear or wolves. Really amazing place if you want to be far from civilization.

2 months ago

Beautiful, peaceful...go on a weekday too avoid a lot of foot traffic, I’m gonna do it again!

hiking
3 months ago

Neat hike and destination! Be aware that there are rattlesnakes in the tall grass along the river. I almost stepped directly on one while wearing sandals, which were preferred over boots due to the numerous river fords. There is no cell service and it's a long hike back to the car and then to civilization, so it would be a bad place to get bit.

We went the opposite way, over the cliffs and after 2 days ended up here. Feet and ankles were hamburger. This was so welcomed! We had the place to ourselves and it was so badly needed. Pristine, clear and gorgeous. We soaked and healed and it was amazing. The thing nobody really mentions are the immense amount of bear tracks in the area. We came across 2 black bears about 3 miles deeper into the canyon on our way to the springs. Just be aware, but totally enjoyed this part of our through hike.

trail running
4 months ago

Gorgeous hike! Beautiful bluffs after you drop into little bear, and get on the river. Definitely a scenic and worth while hike! The pool is big enough to stretch out and enjoy, was tucked perfectly into the hill across the river when you get to a little camp site (look north/NE, on river bed for small trail leading up - the pool is not on the main river!).

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail, and totally worth it. The last 2 miles you cross a fork of the Gila River 15 times one way, and the water was only up to about my knees at the deepest (I'm 5' 5"). We wore Chacos but our feet ended up getting pretty beat up in the water, so I would probably recommend a sneaker you don't mind getting soaked and then bringing another pair of dry shoes. In the morning going out the water was extremely cold! However, it was totally worth it as the canyon was beautiful and the spring relaxing. The visitor center has maps available for $4 or can show you one before you go. They told us it was 14 miles round trip. There were several other people camping there while we were there during spring break, but there is plenty of room to spread out to camp near the spring, so you won't disturb one another.

backpacking
7 months ago

Easily one of the most scenic and exciting trails I've ever hiked -- but at a cost. The trail cuts through the river leading into the canyon. The water is VERY cold and the rocks are VERY sharp beneath the water. Be careful and be prepared. Bring a very light pair of extra shoes for the second half of the trail because we had to cross the river at knee depth 15 times (30 times total). Very worth it though!

backpacking
8 months ago

I have been here 4 times, I always enjoy the springs any time of the year! looking forward to catching that annual September trip @Thomas and Jay!

11 months ago

This trail has it all.

camping
11 months ago

This was our third annual trip to the Jordan. This time we took some time to go check out the cliff dwellings first. It is located two minutes away and takes about an hour in total. We hiked to the Jordan, (awesome), we stayed two nights, and hiked out. After the hike out we hit one of the cultivated spring resorts along the 15. It cost $5 to enter and had three pools. There is nothing as satisfying as a hot soak after a 7 mile hike just before a long drive home.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

my third time here......awesome trail, and hot springs. ...please let's keep this place beautiful. ......you can see the impact that us as humans have on the area........pack it in , pack it out. ......let's keep this a gem of a place !

backpacking
Monday, April 17, 2017

A great hike, much like the Aravaipa Canyon, in Arizona but without the 50 person per day limit. Found the hot springs fairly easily because we had a map. They are tucked away on the side of hill, about 30 feet above the river. When a friend and I went, there was a guy camping out just above the springs and he was offering free back rubs (he was naked) to all visitors. Beside this funny story to tell friends, it was a great experience. The pool at the hot spring itself is known to contain a bacteria known to cause meningitis so submerging your head is not recommended. Not very hot. just barely hot enough, in my opinion.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

a good challenging hike with the reward of the hot spring at the end I have nothing else new to say that hasn't been said extra shoes, socks , expect to get wet . the only thing peculiar that happened to me was when I was at the hot springs a family was there a husband a wife and two children and the two adults decided to get in naked which I thought was kind of weird considering they were with their children other than that a great adventure a great hike and very challenging o yeah one last thing not a good hike for a canine mine got pretty beat up it there

hiking
Thursday, April 06, 2017

I'm convinced these hot springs are actually the fountain of youth. ♡♡♡

backpacking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

So far the best trail I've been to. I found it to be a bit difficult since it was so long and it had many different terrains you had to go through but nonetheless that's what made it worth it. Very amazing views. The hot spring was definitely worth it and do not forget to bring extra shoes as you will be crossing a river repeatedly and getting wet.

backpacking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

This was my favorite trail of our week long trip in New Mexico. There is so much variance in the landscape and the Biomes. Once you are in the canyons there are fields of wild flowers and wild mint growing along the river. We went in september and it was incredible.Tthe spring is actualy a little tricky to find. you just have to look for aquatic plants growing along the canyons. We found the large pool by following the spring from the river. Don't look for hot water or anything like that. It did not help. Everyone said you can't miss the spring but we sure had a hard time finding it. There are about 1,257 river crossings on this trail. Just bring shoes you don't mind getting wet. The water was not especially high or fast. you are just wet for most of this hike. Great camping spots. Try to camp near the Spring if possible. The sites seem to me a little better up river. Also, We did find a large rattle snake in one of the fields. He let us know he was there long before we got too close and it was not a big deal but something to be aware of.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Great backpacking hike. The campground is disgusting. People leave their trash and toilet paper right next to the camp sites. Next time I go i'll be looking for a different area to sleep.

backpacking
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The hike to these springs definitely pays off when you get to soak in the hot springs. Such a beautiful place here in the Gila Wilderness. I recommend bringing water shoes for the many river crossings. Also check the weather ahead of time, it rained up the canyon and the river rose a few feet. Had to hike out a day later to wait for the river to recede in order to cross. Such a beautiful place to backpack and camp to. I'd say it was moderately difficult.

backpacking
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Exactly 15 crossings to get there. Camp sites near by. Clean area. Beautiful!

hiking
Saturday, June 28, 2014

The total hiking distance from the TJ Corral will take you through varying types of terrain and ends after snaking across the Gila River some 15 times. Flooding has washed out much of the trail but watching for rock cairns and simply following the middle fork from the Little Bear campsite will get you there with no problem. Look for a green area with warm water flowing from the mountain face to locate the springs. It's worth the effort once you find it.

hiking
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Absolutely gorgeous hike to the springs! It has been incredibly washed out from the flooding in 2013 but it is still beautiful. Bring appropriate water shoes as there are many, many river crossings....water sandals with wool socks is a good idea as it will keep the sand from irritating your feet (I know this from experience).

hiking
Monday, November 11, 2013

A Beautiful hike through the Gila wilderness. The hike to Jordan is approximately 12 miles from TJ Corral, which can be done as an overnight backpacking trip or an adventurous out and back trip. I recommend overnight, at least one night. I first hiked to Jordan in May 2013. The hot springs was the last stop on a four day backpacking trip from Snow Lake to TJ Corral. An overall 44 mile trip. An amazing trip. When hiking in the Gila water shoes are a must as there are many river crossings. Pack plenty of extra wool socks. Trekking poles are a great idea which give you extra stability when crossing rivers. Nights get cold in the Gila, so prepare for 10 degrees below what you read in the forecast. Any trip in the Gila is worth every step. It's a beautiful wilderness I can't say enough about. My favorite wilderness.

hiking
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This is an excellent hike. Its about 12 miles round trip. The first 2 and half miles are the worst part of the hike. You climb about 700 hundred feet through scenic high desert vegetation, with several beautiful vistas. At 2 and a half miles you descend into Little Bear Canyon, which provides good shade and some amazing photo opportunities. At 4 miles you'll come to a well maintained campsite along the Gila River. This is a great spot to stop and camp if you're not interested in getting a little wet. My wife and I counted 19 river crossings over the last 2 miles of trail to Jordan Hot Springs. The water level was about knee high for most of the crossings, but there were several that went up to mid thigh. The river current was never strong enough to make my wife or I feel unsafe. We thought it was a blast. After the 19th crossing you'll come to a small creek that is noticeably warmer than the Gila River. Follow this creek up the hill past several good campsites to find Jordan Hot Spring. The best campsites are right above the spring. The spring itself is absolutely beautiful. We couldn't believe how perfect it was. If you're going to be in New Mexico or West Texas for more than a week, this is a must see. You won't regret it!

Helpful tips:
1) Bring at least four pairs of sox and/or another pair of boots. My wife and I hiked out in our wet boots, and felt fine after we changed our socks at the Little Bear Canyon campground
2) The trail head is a little difficult to see before you make your first river crossing. Just head straight across the river from the Little Bear Canyon Campground and you'll see the trail on the other side.
3) If you have a GPS plot the coordinates of Jordan Hot Springs (See the track I've uploaded). We had to look for the spring for a few minutes.
4) Don't stick your face in the hot springs. The water has some bacteria that can cause meningitis if it gets in your eyes or mouth. We spent about three hours in the springs and were just fine, so its not that big of a deal.
5) Bring booze

backpacking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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