- 12.75 Miles
- 1,189′ Elevation Gain
- 3,902′ Elevation Loss
- 14 Total Miles (includes cumulative elevation gain)
If you’re starting from Big Arroyo Junction, then you have a climb that goes slightly higher than Kaweah Gap (but your start elevation is much higher than Hamilton Lakes), otherwise if you went further the night prior then its just a short bump and a long way down. The trail is mostly high altitude before you drop down into the Kern River valley and its pretty dry and hot. Once you start dropping, it drops very fast and before you know it you’re on the valley floor. Once on the valley floor its a 2 mile hike up to Kern Hotsprings. Camping spots really don’t exist before getting into Kern Hotsprings, so you really need to make the push.
Once you’re in Kern Hotsprings, you suddenly realize it was worth the effort. The water temperature was easily over 100dgrs, and made quick work of our sore muscles. There is a small privacy wall, and you can easily jump between a hot pool, warm pool, and ass cold pool (the Kern).