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We recently spent some time with our daughter and her family in Las Vegas.  We were very happy to find some great hikes.  Flowers were blooming, the temperatures were in the 70’s and 80’s and the sky was a stunning blue, perfect.

Gold Strike Hot Springs are just east of Boulder City.  The hike is about 4 miles round trip to the first hot springs and about 5 miles if you go all the way to the river.  We headed out with our handsome grandson,  our 7 month pregnant daughter, son in law and a friend.

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It was a gorgeous canyon and we headed out in high spirits even though we were loaded down with 3 liters of water a person.  Which seemed like too much at the time, but ended up being just right.

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The hike is easy in the beginning.  You walk in an open dry wash on a gravel trail that gently trends down.  Early on you pass quite a few car parts rusting under the desert sun.

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The canyon slowly narrows.

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We came to our first rope to assist with the friction down climb.  We sat for awhile and watched a few other hikers go down and then our son in law gave it a try and deemed it safe for the baby in the backpack.

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Mark has years of experience carrying babies as we took many such hikes with our kids when they were little, so he felt very confident with our grandson on his back.  As for  our grandson, he loved the experience,  he kept saying to everyone we saw,  “I’m a mountain climber!”.   Sometimes though, you could hear him whisper,  “Be careful, Papa”.

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The trail continually winds down the lovely canyon.

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We go down a few more ropes and climb up and over many big boulders in the heat of the sun and when we get to the first hot springs we decide to continue on  towards the Colorado River.  Cold water sounds just a bit better at this point.

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We now follow a small stream down the steepening canyon walls.

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Down another rope to the second hot springs.  Again, we decide to keep going.  Other hikers tell us that the last hot springs at the Colorado River are the biggest and best and the river does sound inviting.  We question them on the difficulty, but get very different replies.  Some say there is one rope left and not too hard, others say it would be too dangerous with the baby.  Not knowing what the true case is we decide to hike until we deem it too hard.

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Which ended up not being very far.  The steepness increases and there ended up being many more ropes to climb down.

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Papa and myself pull off our shoes, pull out the snacks and enjoy the moment while our daughter, son in law and their friend continue on.

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Our grandson had  fun playing in the small stream.

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Eventually our party returns.  They didn’t make it to the river either as one rope was in a waterfall and had the possibility of slamming our daughter’s prego belly into the cliff face. Not safe. Time to head back to those hot springs and take a soak.  Bliss.

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Hiking back was, of course, harder as all that gentle downhill had to be made back up and we were all a little tired.  Some more than others.

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We did see a lot of lizards, butterflys and one rattlesnake on our return hike.

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Plus a dragon.  It’s not often you see a dragon.

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Going up the roped sections did feel easier though.

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We were glad when we entered the sandy wash, but soon realized that it was slower going UP.

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We all had a little melt down or two, but  steadily trudged on,

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Knowing milkshakes were coming!

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This was a really fun and beautiful hike and the next day I realized what an all over body work out it was too!  We look forward to going back, without the baby, and making it to the last hot spring and river.

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