Arizona Hot Springs – White Rock Canyon Hike

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(Fig. 01)
White Rock Canyon Cover
MAP-White Rock Canyon
(Fig. 02)
MAP-Arizona Hot Springs
(Fig. 03)
The trail from the parking area leads directly into White Rock Canyon. Once in the canyon, there is no way out until you reach the end at the edge of the Colorado River. From this point the trail heads south and is easy to follow for the first several hundred feet, however it then becomes very hard to follow. Turning too soon into an area that looked like a trail, we actually spent more than 40 minutes hiking up the wrong canyon. There is a lot of loose gravel along this portion of the trail requiring you to be quite careful.
02/04/2013 Trip Notes: From the parking lot and trailhead (Fig. 02), you cross under the highway (Fig. 04) and follow the wide desert wash in a southwest direction as it leads you to the mouth of White Rock Canyon (Fig. 05). Once you enter the canyon (Fig. 06) the geology of its high cliffs provide some stunning views, as evidenced by (Figs. 07 & 08). After 2.2 miles the canyon opens up to a wide beach on the eastern shore of Lake Mohave (or the Colorado River) (Fig. 09). In addition to some fellow hikers and overnight campers, we encountered several mallards (Figs. 10 & 11), as well as some Canada Geese. The view upstream in (Fig. 12), and downstream in (Fig. 13) were taken from this beach. As we followed the trail downstream along the river we weaved in, around and above several small coves, refer to (Fig. 03), each of which provided some of the most scenic views (Figs. 01, 14 & 15) of the Colorado River that I have ever experienced.

Because this trail becomes hard to follow at times, we actually spent more than a half hour hiking up the wrong canyon before we finally found the right trail that led us to Hot Springs Canyon. Once we entered this cool, narrow canyon, we were surprised to find that the canyon floor contained running water and that we had to scramble up over several small, and quite slippery waterfalls (Fig. 16 & 17) before reaching the small box-like canyon and the main waterfall with its 20-foot ladder (Fig. 18). Shortly after scaling the waterfall you come upon the main hot spring. The sandbagging of this area (Fig. 19) helps to maintain a large pool (Fig. 20) of 110-degree water that is nearly knee-deep, requiring you to remove your hiking shoes if you want to continue in this direction to hike out of the canyon. We chose to retreat in the same direction that we came, back to the river mouth of White Rock Canyon (Fig. 21).  Our 1/2 mile hike in the wrong canyon, the hike to the hot springs, and this 2.2-mile return with a 900 foot elevation gain back to the trailhead made for a total of nearly 7 miles. Needless to say, Harvey and I were both exhausted by the end of the day.  
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Slideshow Description: The slideshow above contains 82 pictures that were taken on a hike thru White Rock Canyon to the Arizona Hot Springs.