Explore the most popular hot springs trails in California with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Amazing trail! Remember to bring more water than you need the sun gets intense so take your time on the way back. Also I had a blue heeler with me and he did great there and the way back for anyone thinking of bringing your furry kids.

Great hike just to many people.

Hiked earlier today. Absolutely beautiful. The scenery with all of the blue lakes is breathtaking. Once you reach the summit there are hundreds of migrating butterflies. Absolutely loved it

Trail has been devastated by fires and floods. Slowly growing back. We had to take a different track because of washouts. Ended up just hiking up to the hot springs water was flowing into a small pool. More warm than hot. Actually Interesting to see the power of Mother Nature to destroy and rejuvenate.

3 days ago

Lots of switch backs but worth it

Good hike with some steep sections, and incredible views from the peak. As you get higher, the trail is more exposed, so bring enough water. There is a smaller path turnoff to the right, just before you drop down on the fire road about 1/2mile from the parking lot, where there are two hot spring pools. Fair amount of poison oak along that stretch, but very cool to see the springs.

Just got done with this trip. Personally, I thought the hot springs were overrated while underreported in total distance and elevation gain. We clocked almost 25 miles from the Rainbow Falls trailhead to the first hot spring with an elevation gain of almost 4500 ft. The first 7 miles seemed to be all downhill and you know what that means going back. Watch-out for rattlesnakes. We had a close encounter with one who wasn’t very happy. Great challenging hike if that’s what you’re looking for. Nice views.

hiking
6 days ago

Really neat geological activity.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful hike with breathtaking views the whole way, especially half way. There were thousands of migrating butterflies swarming the peak. Windy at the top. Still snow in July. Definitely recommend!

backpacking
8 days ago

Just started to use application.

10 days ago

Great hike and the views were awesome! Had some snow in a few different places near the top. Suggest leaving early as there is no shade on the hike.

Lovely trail, too bad it burned. Hope to go back soon to see how the forest is recovering. We camped at Barlow Flats and it was perfect...

hiking
12 days ago

Great views. There was still some snow/ice on a steep drop off. Took 2 hrs for the complete hike and 15 mins at the top.

Great hike. Worth noting that the Crater Creek Trail between the bridge crossing and the indicated river crossing is an unmaintained, unmarked trail. The area is passable, but requires some bushwhacking. Staying on the trail and using the bridge will add a quarter mile or so to the hike, but would be a better call for a person/group not interested in hiking through dense vegetation.

hiking
15 days ago

SOOOO WINDY. We came here 6/30 and I misread the forecast between where we’re staying and weather at Lassen. It was 65deg which was great for the hike. However, in various parts of the hike, it was ridiculously windy (and cold) as you get higher up the mountain.

BRING WARM LAYERS if you plan to do this hike.

Hiking poles are optional but not mandatory.

There was indeed a few snow slushy spots, but we got through it just fine.

We initially saw folks with ski gear and I almost thought we weren’t prepared. Checked in with someone who just finished the hike and they reassured us it was doable with what we had.

Enjoy!

Pretty chill hike until the last downhill bit. But slid down for a bit (really sandy). But getting back up was surprisingly not a big deal. Hiked at night which was not be original plan, but turned out to be really beautiful. The hit springs at the end are INCREDIBLE. Looking forward to coming back some day. Also, yes, people are nude. It’s fine and friendly.

nice hike beautiful hot springs

A note on one of the trail maps: do not take the Island Crossing, stay on the trail, there’s a bridge. I did a through hike from Duck pass to Iva Bell out through Fish creek.

Wonderful hike, amazing views, beautiful hot spring baths. Mosquitos. I’d totally go back, preferably with less mosquitos.

Nice hike from the road to the hot springs. Some great photos can be taken here. Get there early as parking is really limited and the hordes of people can make the trail unbearable.

Easy walk and worth checking it out

hiking
20 days ago

Astonishing views and lots of elevation gain. Still icy on one really steep hillside. Be very careful! Highly recommended hike!

It’s a good hike my daughter is 10 and she has done this hike 3 times now.

Incredible hike. Did this from Crescent Meadows to Whitney Portal from 6/15-6/20 (6 days, 5 nights). Very demanding hike but no major issues in terms of stream crossings or snow. Kaweah Gap does not require snow gear, and while we used axes and spikes for a couple sections of the Whitney Trail switchbacks, the snow will likely be gone soon. The sun is very powerful and draining at these altitudes so it is best to start hiking early and bring appropriate clothing.

Highly recommend for anyone looking for a challenging hike that rewards with awesome views throughout.

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful hike. BRING WATER! I don't know how many tourist hikers I saw that were climbing with nothing...this is not for the faint of heart. Its doable, but my suggestions would be the following: Hat (wide brimmed preferably), water (and extra water), and trekking poles. I went on a Saturday in June later in the day (around 2 PM) and most of the people were coming down the mountain. There is still a far amount of snow, so be aware of the drop offs. There is one part in particular that can be a it nerve wracking, but if all those NP tourist can get around it, you'll be fine. Its about less than a foot wide snow path with a shear drop off on the east side, so be careful and take your time. It can be tough with a lot of tourists thinking its a game, so I waited until about 17 people came down who I thought were going to slide down the slope before I headed up. The peak is beautiful and you can go from the top to the very top where you have to do a bit of bouldering, but the spires get you away from the crowds and give you spectacular 360 degree view of the area. You can even see Mt. Shasta in the distance! To avoid the crowds, I advise early morning or later in the day. When I came down I only passed maybe 5 people coming up the trail so the trail was fairly secluded on my downward trek. Gorgeous hike!

This trail was gorgeous! I went on a Monday, a few other travelers on the trail. We went to the camp midway and spent time near the water. Make sure to take sunscreen, there is almost no shade! The water will help cool down, but won’t save you from burns. Take plenty of water and snacks!

awesome area , will be accessible again soon ..

Amazing little piece of heaven on earth. My first time here and I was in awe the whole ride up. The wildflowers are in bloom and a glorious delight. Going back with family in a few days because they have to see this! I drove up late so didn’t have a chance to enjoy the hot tubs but the drive was worth it. Looking forward to hiking to Doris Lake next visit and spending the day there.

water availability makes this possible even when its warm. be aware this area is like a little oven - hotter than anywhere around it and always hotter than the forecast. also after 5 miles or so the trail meanders away from the river and water is harder to get. it was super hot when I went so I swam and chilled in the water at every chance. the big swimming hole is deep enough to stay really cool and feels amazing on the way out.

This was one of my favorite hikes while living in California. With that said, the crowds had clearly taken a toll, so I'm actually hoping the closure means it will be relatively inaccessible for a considerable time. This place needs time to heal.

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