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 contains 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 its 4 section guides.

How many hot spring areas does this trail visit? 100

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

Are each of these 100 hot spring areas usable?

No, 4 of them are located on private property that is currently closed to the public.

Are each of these 100 hot spring areas on-trail?

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

  • 31 are visited by completing out & back segments 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 or trail-less 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 bikepacking.

Is this trail easy to hike?

With proper gear, adequate health, and backcountry navigation/survival skills, it was for me, but if any one of these is missing on your end, it could 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 and compass, climb steep grades without switchbacks, and handle a little road walking here and there.

On the other hand, 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 that are utilized by this route, in connecting these springs. They also want to see trail markers at junctions and new trail segments that would eliminate some of this trail's road mileage for thru-hikers while creating new trails for locals in those regions to enjoy as well.

What would you like to see?

Either way, I'd love your feedback.

Sign the HST NST PETITION

Where can I learn more details about this trail?

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