There are four well known hot springs in Black Rock-High Rock Country. In the past, these springs were vital to the survival of early emigrants crossing the Black Rock Desert. The water was first cooled, and then consumed by both livestock and people. Today, visitors experience these hot springs as interesting natural formations that are best viewed from a safe distance since only one can be swam in.
Hazards at Hot Springs
Despite the inviting appearance, some hot springs are hot enough to kill. Some of the hazards are:
• 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns causing disfigurement or death
• Loss of consciousness from chemical fumes
• Cuts from sharp rocks or broken glass
• Bacterial irritations, such as swimmer’s itch
• Bacterial diseases, such as meningitis
Scalding is the leading hazard. In Nevada, many of the hot springs are hotter than 150° Fahrenheit. Some hot springs are hotter at 180° F. The average temperature for home hot tubs in 104° F. Skin is scalded within three seconds in 140° F water.
Stay Out and Stay Alive!!!
All hot springs on public lands are considered dangerous. It is impossible to tell how hot a spring is by looking at it. In fact, on hot days when no mist rises the water can appear cool. Never assume the temperature of a hot spring is suitable for soaking. It is perilous to stand too close the edge of a hot spring because the banks are typically slippery and steep.
Look for posted hazard signs or fences. If present, heed them! They are there to warn visitors about the danger of scalding water or other hazards. Never remove posted hazard signs; it could result in serious injury or death to other persons or their pets.
No camping within 300 feet of any water source.
Black Rock Springs
Black Rock Springs is about a tenth of a mile northwest of Black Rock Point. This spring is extremely hot, and all precautions should be taken when approaching the spring. There are two overlapping pools at Black Rock Springs. The smaller, deeper pool reaches unknown depths and should not be entered due to extreme temperatures. The larger, more shallow pool also has very hot temperatures. This spring flows into a marshy area where temperatures drop considerably. An old sheepherder’s wagon lies south of the springs.
Please be considerate of this piece of history and do not climb on it. A beautiful view of the Black Rock playa can be seen expanding south of the spring. This spring can be reached by following the western arm of the playa. Follow the main dirt road north, and it will lead you to the springs. The road to the spring is only accessible in dry conditions. Do not attempt to drive on wet playa conditions or you will get stuck. It can be days before someone comes by so be prepared with sustainable supplies just in case.
Double Hot Springs
Double Hot Springs has a fence around it and should not be entered. In the past, it has scalded, with fatal results, humans and pets. It is a beautiful spring with incredibly clear waters.
Use extreme caution around this spring whose pools are approximately 180 degrees. For some distance, the water in the streams carrying runoff from the springs is almost as hot. In addition, the banks of the springs are very steep and slippery. If you fall into the springs, you cannot get out in time to avoid serious injury. People have died after falling into the springs. Do not dip your hand or put your foot into the springs to test the temperature. Be extremely careful when walking on the paths around the springs.
Keep your dog on a leash and your children close around Double Hot Springs. Dogs will jump into the springs and almost always die when they do. Dogs have scalded their tongues by drinking from the streams and have burned their feet when crossing the streams.
About 50 yards downstream is a soaking tub which lies on private property.
This spring can be reached from the same road as the Black Rock Springs. When heading north, there will be a sign at an intersection to the east of the springs that points towards Hardin City. Turn west at this intersection to get to the springs.
Soldier Meadows Hot Springs
Soldier Meadows Springs lies north of the Fly Canyon Road. Man-made dams have created a series of shallow pools. Like all hot springs, they should be approached with caution, and will be very hot. The Black Rock Range lies to the east of these pools, and they give a good view of Soldier Meadows.
Trego Hot Springs
Trego Hot Springs is a natural spring located on the east side of the playa. When the railroad tracks were being built, water was struck and a ditch was created, quickly filled with water, creating the current spring conditions. This makes it the only hot spring in the area that people can swim in. It is one of the easier hot springs to locate. It can be accessed off of Jungo Road. When heading east, it is on the north side of the road. It can also be located by driving across the playa. It is located off of the twelve mile access road off of Highway 34, north of Gerlach. From there, head east across the playa, staying on the dirt road. Once across the playa, there will be two railroad track crossings. The railroad crossings are unmarked, and everyone should stop and proceed with caution when crossing the railroad tracks.
Do not camp close to these springs. Please regard the 300 foot rule, as this is for your safety and so others may enjoy the springs as well.