The Hot Springs Trail, by Aria Zoner

FAQs - Hot Springs Trail

Get to know the Hot Springs Trail, a multi-sport adventure trail to 100 hot springs. 

How long is The Hot Springs Trail?

The HST is comprised of 4 parts, totaling 2,421.4 miles.

Part 1: The Coast Connect Trail

303.8 miles

Part 2: The High Sierra Hot Springs Trail

329.6 miles

Part 3: The Nevada Trail

607.3 miles

Part 4: The Idaho Soaktennial Trail

1,180.7 miles

Are the section guidebooks the same as the official guide?

Yes, the main guidebook is the summation of these 4 section guidebooks.

How many hot spring areas does this trail visit? 100

There are 64 wild, 22 semi-developed wild, and 14 resorts.

Are each of these 100 hot spring areas usable?

No, 4 of them are located on private property, and are closed to the public at this time.

Are each of the 100 hot spring areas along this trail, 'on-trail'?

  • 58 of these areas are located on-trail, requiring no extra effort to visit. 

  • 31 are visited by completing out & back hikes of various lengths.

  • And finally, 11 of these areas are located *off-trail.

*Mileages for these off-trail areas has not been included in the overall hiking mileage; however, these areas will be visited 'on-trail' if following the recommended resupply and multi-sport options.

What are the current trail tread percentages?

XC (off-trail) = 4.9%
Existing Trails = 45.3%
Jeep or ATV Roads = 11.56%

Dirt Roads = 15.84%

Gravel Roads = 8.10%

Closed Roads = 1.26%
Paved Roads = 8.28%

The majority of XC miles are encountered in Nevada, as ridge-running.

The majority of paved and gravel road miles are found in the final section of the Nevada Trail and sections 1-3 of the Idaho Soaktennial Trail. These sections can be hiked but are also legal to pedal and are therefore recommended for bike-packing.

Is this trail easy to hike?

With proper gear, adequate health, and backcountry navigation/survival skills, yes, but if any one of these is missing, it may be difficult in places.

WATCH: How Hard is the Hot Springs Trail?

How many resupply opportunities are there? 47

Part 1: CCT - 11

Part 2: HSHST - 9

Part 3: NVT - 6

Part 4: IST - 21

How many Farmer's Markets are accessible from this trail? 16

4 are held immediately along the trail.

5 are held within 0.5m of the trail.

7 are held along an official resupply option.

Are permits required anywhere along this trail?

Yes, in the High Sierra. Get a free, self-issued interagency backcountry permit, en-route, in either Kernville (if going Nobo) or Mammoth Lakes (if going Sobo).

Is this really a National Scenic Trail?

No. It's a proposal for one.

Why? Were you hoping it was?

You see, some people want this trail to stay wild, for it to be an adventure that only the hard-cores can do - people who can navigate by map alone, climb steep grades without switchbacks, and handle a little road walking here and there.

However, there are also people who want to see this trail become an NST, for it to be used as a way to help prevent these springs from getting overgrown or overrun by riff-raff. They want to see it used as a leveraging piece to restore the old corridors and trails utilized by this route, in connecting these springs. They also want to see trail badges here & there plus a few new trail segments get built that would eliminate some of this trail's road mileage for thru-hikers. 

What would you like to see?

Either way, I'd love your feedback.

Sign the HST NST PETITION

Where can I find additional information about this trail?

For answers to the deeper questions, get my free INSIDER'S GUIDE TO THE HST.