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.

hiking
2 days ago

great trip with fantastic views at top. A bit crowded but that is expected given accessibility. Go early to avoid the major crowds. Been up here many times and always like it.

Not easy for beginners! But a lot of fun!

beautiful falls that were not too difficult to find. The trail continued past the actual falls but didnt go that far today.

Road up to the falls is a little iffy (at least when I went) but definitely cute little falls!

My friends and I hiked this for a multi-day camping trip in April '16. This was the first time I had ever been on an overnight hike. It was grueling at times and I would NOT recommend it for a first timer who is out of shape. The only reason I did fine on this hike was that I upped my fitness level a little in the weeks prior to the hike (simply by going for daily long walks). The one member of our party who hadn't hiked in a long time and who was totally out of shape had a really, really tough time. There is a lot of up and down, at times pretty steep, and you hit the ups pretty early in the hike. It being my first hike, I couldn't conceive of how hard that would be with a 50+ pound pack!

Having said that, it was a spectacular hike. It was raining most of the time, which we expected, but it was mainly a constant drizzle/mist which made the experience and the views really, really nice. The rain caused a couple of minor hazards, but nothing serious (just have to watch you footing more carefully). Had it been dry and warm, it would have been exponentially harder. Whenever they open this up again, if this is your first overnight hike, I would recommend going in late April (that's when we went) or early May for cooler temps and the chance for some rain (yes, personally, I prefer a little precip on this kind of hike). Also, if your level of fitness is low or non-existent, I'd at least do some daily light cardio for 2-3 weeks prior to your trip.

Again, this is a spectacular hike and I found it to be very rewarding to complete, on a personal level. Most of our party were experienced hikers, most of whom had done this hike before. The hot springs can be a nice reward, even though most of my party was more excited about that than I was, but I think it's worth a soak after such a long hike. The trail was rather busy, which surprised me for such a long hike, but I actually liked seeing and talking to so many folks on such a lengthy and difficult hike. Somehow, I found that that camaraderie made the hike easier (and that's coming from someone who is typically anti-social).

This is a long and at times grueling hike. But it is also beautiful and rewarding and is well worth the effort. I'd definitely do it again and hope to someday.

on Gaviota Peak Trail

11 days ago

wonderful mother's day hike!

We got a tab bit lost finding the trailhead. I believe there might be two ways to get there? We took the Bowen Ranch route. We brought along our 6, 17, and 18 year old boys. We knew the area was clothing optional so we spoke to them about possible nudity and to be open minded about the choice of others to wear (or not wear) clothing. There were definitely quite a few nude people, mostly men. And to our surprise the boys didn’t seem weirded out or awkward or giggly. They minded their business and enjoyed the creek and hot springs. The hike is moderate in difficulty and dog friendly. The trail is very clean. The rocks around the springs are easy enough to climb. Wish more people would remember to pick up their undergarments and trash. There is a $5 (per person) fee. The attendant that gives you the map is a bit abrupt, but I’m sure she has seen too many people do stupid things in the area so it’s understandable. Overall, we will come again, sans children and maybe even camp next time!

me and five of my Grandchildren did this hike going in was fun ,lot of work coming out ,but we're talking about doing it again. My age hope I can

If you take the longer loop, it’s close to 6miles with significant elevation change making it a moderate trail. Very clean and well kept, not busy. Fantastic views at the top. Some really lovely flowers this time of year and an interesting bubbling patch of oil along with various tarry spots along the way. Overall very interesting and enjoyable.

had some good fun here. went rope swinging. jumped off the cliff into the water and pretty much got in every pool lol. groups of nudist showed up. Like 10 dudes with there jocks out lmao

Perfect weather today to hike up to the falls in Palm Trees.

By far my most favorite trail, very strenuous and a lot of water crossings, no shade but going through the water is a great cool down. This place is very untouched by people, I hope it stays this way so I can bring my kids here one day. Also bring a gun for rattle snakes

One of the best trail for hiking for beginners, really awesome view and so quiet for meditation lovers or relaxation

This is my all time favorite trail so far. I have only done it once but will hope to again, my son and I hiked it in 2015. We hiked in early August and the weather was excellent. Breathtaking views at every turn. The altitude is a challenge, but if you are reasonably fit and take your time you will be well adjusted by the time you summit Whitney. One of the best weeks of my life!

Awesome drive when the road is clear, beautiful lakes, forest, rock outcroppings and views. Lots to see and do. A must drive. Signature hike is the Bumpass Hell hike, with lots of hot springs and pools, volcanic features, and more. Don't forget to take water.

Awesome trail! Extremely difficult incline to go down and especially back up after soaking in the springs. But it’s all worth it for the soak, view and body high at the end!

27 days ago

My current PR parking lot to top flats is 34min.

Gorgeous canyon views!

hiking
1 month ago

I am trying to hike this weekend 4/28.. I see some roads are closed. Will I be able to hike to summit still?

Thanks for any advice !
Scotty

Amazing views from the canyon! Wild flowers along the trail in mid April.

Not easy to find but worth it when we finally did! Follow Ney Springs Rd. Park at the first turnout on the left and walk up the road to the right. If you’ve reached the bridge you’ve gone too far. There are no trail markers! Walk up to the right, the creek will be on your left. You will see some ruins from the old Ney Springs Resort on your right...almost there! When it starts getting steep veer to your left, climb down the rocks and behold Faery Falls!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike last summer- beautiful and well worth all the switchbacks!

So much fun and amazing view all the way. Like to go up in hot spring to the peak since the view from trespass is better. It is better when you are going down hill and appreciate the view on the way back when you already done the hard work going up.

hiking
1 month ago

Just as interesting as Bumpass Hell, but without the crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

Great view of all volcano types. Good trail and grade.

1 month ago

Awesome trail. Not much shade or coverage. Beautiful scramble in the end.

Did this in 2016. Had to take an alternative route as the main trail was closed for renovations

You can make this a great day hike, or camp out right before the canyon narrows for an awesome overnight. We camped out and had an amazing time. Bring lots of water as there is none on the trail, and depending on the time you go, may not be any at the falls.

It’s so nice & the water feeels great but a lot of weirdos lol

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