Total Distance: 6.5 Miles
Elevation Gain/loss: 800 Ft.
Difficulty: 3 of 5
Exposure: Only on one of the dry waterfalls
Class: 2 and a bit of 3
Children: No, well maybe. They need to be at least 12-years old and capable of doing a 5-6 mile hike.
Time: 4-5 Hours (1 hour to hike down, 1.5 hours to hike back, and up to two hours at springs. Drive time from the Fiesta is about 30-35 minutes.
Bring: In additional to your ten essentials, at least two liters of water, some snacks for after the springs to replenish your energy as the pools will sap your energy, swimsuit (optional), towel, water shoes for walking in the springs (optional).
May 13th is almost the last day of the season and is the last weekend for the season. The trailhead closes on May 15th. I don't normally take the long route but for this day we will. That means if you want to complete the loop, you will have to climb a 20 foot ladder.
We will take the petroglyph route back out and past a couple dry waterfalls and past the skull face. The waterfalls are pretty easy to get up. One is a little more exposed than the other.
About the springs: The springs are in a narrow slot canyon and usually has three or four pools. The upper one is the hottest at 112 or hotter. The bottom pool, above the ladder is usually just above body temperature however, depending on how the pools are configured, it may be hotter, up to 105 degrees. The pools get cooler as you go downstream. The depth of the pools usually run from about a foot deep to a few feet deep. There is a 20-foot ladder near the last pool and can be quite intimidating.
WARNING: There is the potential for a specific type of amoeba called naegleria fowleri, aka the “brain eating amoeba” to be in the springs. This amoeba likes warm water and can cause serious injury or death. It’s easy to not get it by simply not allowing your head to go under the water and specifically making sure you don’t allow water to go up your nose. A little splash is OK. Just don’t hold your nose under water and inhale and you will be fine.
There is a short canyon on the way back that is only a few hundred yards from the trailhead. It’s called Spooky Canyon and if we are so inclined, we can spend a half-hour or so exploring it.
Please be aware that your Meetup organizers are not tour guides and are not park rangers. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. You are solely responsible for your own safety and well-being. By signing up for and/or attending this Meetup event, you acknowledge, understand, accept, and agree that hiking and other outdoor activities can be dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury and possibly death. The organizers of this group and current and former members can not be held responsible or liable in any way for the actions of any participant - including you - at any event. All attendees participate at an event at their own risk and are solely responsible for any damage to their property, and/or any injury to themselves or their guests. By signing up for this event, you affirm that you understand this disclaimer, and that you knowingly and voluntarily agree not to bring any type of claim arising out of or related to this Meetup event against the organizers of this Meetup group.