• Aria Zoner

Law of the Land on The Hot Springs Trail


Between Santa Barbara to Canada, hikers on The Hot Springs Trail will pass across not just mountains, but lands that are governed by many different agencies. With each new state and jurisdiction that is entered, new parameters are set. In this post, learn what kind of lands are visited and where we should be concerned, both now and in the future.


The Sheriff of Hikertown


Law of the Land on The Hot Springs Trail


The following breakdown includes what kind of trail treads are used during this journey and the agencies or jurisdictions that are governing them. It also lists where all known private land is that could possibly affect this trail in the future.


Part 1: The Coast Connect Trail - California

Section 1: Santa Barbara to Ojai

  • City of Santa Barbara

  • Beach

  • Bike Path

  • Public Roads

  • Mile 5.8-7.3: The HST follows a public trail that is signed and used often by locals. Trail here is sandwiched between private lands with No Trespassing Signs. *No camping this segment.

  • Los Padres National Forest

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

  • Closed Dirt Road

  • Miles 45.7-53.2: The HST follows roads past private property here. *No camping this segment.

Section 2: Ojai to Hikertown

  • Existing trails

  • Closed Forest Service dirt roads

  • Miles 126-128.8: The HST follows a road past private property here. *No camping this segment.

  • Los Angeles National Forest

  • Closed roads

  • Existing trails

  • The Pacific Crest Trail

Section 3: Hikertown to Tehachapi

  • Existing trails

  • The Pacific Crest Trail

  • Public Roads

  • Dirt Roads

Section 4: Tehachapi to Kernville

  • Existing trails

  • The Pacific Crest Trail

  • Sequoia National Forest

  • Forest Service dirt roads

  • Miles 266-268: The HST follows a forest service road past private property. *No camping this segment.

  • Mile 275.5: The HST has an XC option here that descends a steep hillside. *An Official Bypass Option here is made on Public Roads.

  • Miles 281-292: The HST follows Public Roads thru the town of Bodie/Lake Isabella. *No camping. Hotels.

  • Miles 298.5-300: The HST avoids hillside homes here as it’s makes its way up the Kern River, by following a road.

  • Public Roads

Part 2: The High Sierra Hot Springs Trail - California

Section 1: Kernville to Mammoth Lakes

  • City of Kernville

  • Miles 1-2: The HST follows public roads past private property. *No camping this segment.

  • Sequoia National Forest

  • Existing trails

  • Golden Trout Wilderness

  • Inyo National Forest

  • Sequoia National Park

  • Kings Canyon National Park

  • Sierra National Forest

  • John Muir Wilderness

  • Ansel Adam Wilderness

  • Devil's Postpile National Monument

The Inyo Crossing: Mammoth Lakes to Nevada

  • Public Roads

  • City of Mammoth Lakes

  • Inyo National Forest

  • Forest Service dirt roads

  • Inyo Crossing Mile 12.7: The HST crosses a Hwy 395 perimeter fence here

  • XC

  • Miles 22.7-23.2: The HST crosses 2 Department of Fish and Game fences while going XC here as it nears then reaches the Owens River. *An Official Bypass Option is made on a road which also has a bonus resupply option along it.

  • Inyo Crossing Miles 46-47: The HST follows a public road past private property as it make its way thru the town of Benton. *No camping or hotels this section.

Part 3: The Nevada Trail - Nevada

Section 1: Boundary Peak to Silver Peak

  • Nevada BLM

  • Inyo National Forest

  • Boundary Peak Wilderness

  • Existing trails

  • BLM dirt roads

Section 2: Silver Peak to Tonopah

  • BLM dirt roads

  • Miles 47-53: The HST follows a public road past private property while going thru Silver Peak. *No camping this segment.

  • Public Roads

  • Miles 85.5-90: The HST follows public roads past private property while going thru Tonopah. *No Camping this segment. Hotels are passed en route.

Section 3: Tonopah to Austin

  • Public Roads

  • BLM dirt roads

  • XC

  • Miles 102.9-112.5: The HST crosses the San Antonio Range going XC. There is no Official Bypass Option here other than to skip this segment.

  • Miles 123.2-127: The HST skirts the private San Antonio Ranch here. *Stay on trail which follows public BLM roads. *No camping this segment.

  • Arc Dome Wilderness

  • The Toyiabe Crest Trail

  • Toyiabe National Forest

  • XC

  • Miles 210.3-225.6: The HST climbs North Toyiabe Peak going XC. An Official Bypass Option is made here by following Forest Service dirt roads.

Section 4: Austin to Eureka

  • Mile 231.9: The HST crosses the Hwy 376 perimeter fence here.

  • BLM dirt roads

  • XC

  • Miles 246.2-251.2: The HST crosses the Tequima Range XC. There is no Official Bypass Option here other than to skip this segment.

  • Mile 251.2: The HST visits the Monitor 3 Well here, a ranching water source that you can drive to and as well. *Camping not recommended here.

  • Mile ~273.4-276: The HST follows a Forest Service road thru private land along Faulkner Creek. I’ve talked with the land owner on the phone and was given permission to pass thru – along with everyone else (big game hunters included so be careful in this area). A few campsites are passed and the place feels wild but this parcel may be sold and new owners could have the right to block access to the National Forest. No official bypass has been established at this time. The hiking here is excellent.

  • Miles 279.4-285.7: The HST follows BLM roads as it passes by 2 private ranches.

  • Public Roads

Section 5: Eureka to Harrison Pass

  • Public Roads

  • BLM dirt roads

  • Existing trails

  • XC

  • Miles 322.6-350.8: The HST crosses the Diamond Range XC. There is no Official Bypass Option here other than to skip this segment.

  • The Pony Express Trail

  • Humboldt National Forest

  • National Forest dirt roads

  • XC

  • Miles 387.8-393.2: The HST climbs and descends Pearl Peak and the Dragon’s Tail XC. There is no Official Bypass Option here other than to skip this segment.

  • Forest Service dirt roads

Section 6: Harrison Pass to Lamoille

  • Ruby Mountain Wilderness

  • The Ruby Crest Trail

Section 7: Lamoille to Wells

  • *The Ruby Crest XC Bypass follows a public road past private property. No camping this segment.

  • XC

  • Miles 441.3-451.9: The HST crosses the northern Ruby Crest XC. Use the Lamoille Resupply Option to bypass this segment on public and Forest Service roads.

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

  • Public Roads

  • East Humboldt Wilderness

  • East Humboldt Highline Trail

Section 8: Wells to Idaho

  • Miles 511-515.9: The HST follows public roads and it passes thru Wells. *No camping this segment. Hotels.

  • Mile 515.9: The HST passes thru 2 unlocked gates that contain Threemile Hot Spring.

  • Mile 520-530.5 – The HST follows public roads past private property. *No camping this segment.

  • Jarbidge Wilderness

  • Existing Trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

Part 4: The Idaho Soaktennial Trail – Idaho

Section 1: Nevada to Hammett

  • Bruneau-Jarbidge Wilderness

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • BLM roads

  • Public Roads

  • Existing Trails

  • Mile 95.1: The HST follows public roads past private property here. *No camping.

Section 2: Hammett to Atlanta

  • Boise National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Public Roads

  • Miles 120-121: The HST follows public roads past private property. No camping this segment.

  • Miles 183.3-193.1: The HST follows a public road past campgrounds and private property.

  • Existing trails

Section 3: Atlanta to Stanley

  • Sawtooth National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Public Roads

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

Section 4: Stanley to Bench Creek

  • Public Roads

  • Sawtooth Wilderness

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

  • Public Roads

  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area

  • Existing trails

Section 5: Bench Creek to Whitewater Ranch

  • Salmon Challis National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

  • Existing trails

Section 6: Whitewater Ranch to Red River Hot Springs Resort

  • Payette National Forest

  • Existing trails

  • National Forest dirt roads

Section 7: Red River Hot Springs Resort to Warm Springs TH

  • Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Existing trails

  • Public Roads

Section 8: Warm Springs TH to Hoodoo Pass

  • Clearwater National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • National Forest dirt roads

  • Existing trails

Section 9: Hoodoo Pass to Mullan

  • St Joe National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Stateline Trail

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

Section 10: Mullan to Clark Fork

  • Coeur D’Alene National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Public Roads

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

Section 11: Clark Fork to Samuels

  • Kootenai National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Public Roads

  • Existing trails

  • Forest Service dirt roads

Section 12: Samuels to Canada

  • Kaniksu National Forest

  • The Idaho Centennial Trail

  • Public Roads

  • Existing trails

  • Priest Lake State Park

In Summary:


Please be aware that closed roads along this trail can still have service and motocross traffic on them. I wish these segments were hiker only, but hey, that's the Law of the Land. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the discovery process of getting to know this trail, and have a safe journey while you're out there on it. Do so most freely by avoiding private property and camping away from roads.


Stay tuned for updates regarding new trail segments which could remove some of these road miles and private property frontage areas. Until then, don't wait up.


Go celebrate your freedom...with a hike!

#HotSpringsTrail