Jordan Hot Springs, Gila National Forest – April 28

We hiked out to the Jordan Hot Springs the morning of April 28. The hike is up the Little Bear Canyon 7 miles one way requiring a climb up and over a high ridge to get to the Middle Fork of the Gila River. Then you follow the river upstream making at least 15 river crossings until you reach the hot springs located up a side canyon. 
We started off from our campsite and planned to pick up the trail halfway between our campsite and TJ Corral. 
Jon had put in a couple of coordinates into the inReach to help make sure we knew where we were going. We followed a canyon wash up to the top of the ridge. By the time we got to that point, we realized that we weren’t on the Little Bear Canyon Trail. We found a trail at the top which seemed to be in the right place and direction, but turned out to be the West Fork Trail that followed the top of the ridge line. 


Jon found a way down the ridge via a steep but manageable wash. It got pretty hairy at times and required passing around and through quite a few large patches of poison ivy, one of my least favorite things in the world. 
We made it down to the bottom of the canyon and found the trail up the Middle Fork.
 We came across a few people doing the Continental Divide hike on their way to Canada. We eventually found the hot springs. There were two older men and a young man. They had only just arrived ahead of us. 
The Jordan hot springs are more like warm springs than hot springs. They are up a small canyon where the water pours out of an opening in the rocks over a small waterfall to collect in a large pool. It is shady, peaceful retreat. 


We talked with the other occupants and just enjoyed the waters. We eventually got out, changed back into our hiking gear, had a little lunch and started back. 
For the return trip, we followed the actual trail back. 
It spent a very long time walking across the top of the ridge. I’m actually glad we came up the other way even though it was a little longer. By the end, we had hiked for a little more than 15 miles with a lot of elevation change. It was certainly worth doing. 
At our campsite, there was a fairly large RV sharing the parking lot. We met our new neighbors after dinner. They were a very nice retired couple from the Netherlands. We shared their fire and we talked for a long time. We finally went back to the Fuso and slept well. 

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