LITTLE & BIG WARM SPRING. DUCKWATER, NEVADA


Ron Davis in Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada

Nevada has over 300 documented springs that seep or recharge water with a temperature range from just above freezing to right around the boiling point of water.   There are a number of crystal clear spring pools but unfortunately only one of these springs that I have seen have been able to be pushed  by diving into the spring itself.
Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
The Springs could be the result of the elastic yet stationary "thin" crust that allows water to be heated and rise from water pressure to the surface through fissure cracks in the basins of Nevada.  There is a theory that the geothermal caves and springs can be traced from northern Utah in a southwest directional line down into Mexico and further south into the volcanic belt of central America. This all great for us as we are able to enjoy some fascinated 90 degree warm springs with crystal clear blue water to soak in while we enjoy the day. 

Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada

One spring in particular is the Big Spring in Duckwater Nevada.  There are two springs in this area as well as a rim stone travertine waterfall where the spring water cascades over a hill. This waterfall was a visit in itself and worth the extra five minutes of driving around to locate the falls.
Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
The big warm springs is the popular visit for this area and is also apart of the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation.  This spring is a sacred place for the Shoshone and also a critical habitat for the Railroad Valley Spring fish.  This fish is native to the regional springs in close proximity to the big warm spring. 
Ron Davis at Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
Francesco Sauro, Daniela Barbieri, Ron Davis, Laura and I grabbed some breakfast in Ely, Nevada and headed out southwest to the town of Duckwater where these two springs are located. The Little warm spring has a few boils but it not that swimmable, especially when a human goes through the spring and disrupts the environment that that fish live in.
Ron Davis at Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada

On the other hand, the Big Warm spring is a large spring pool of 90 degree water with a resurgence in the crack about 18-20ft underwater. The spring pool appeared to be 40-50ft in diameter with a river running down stream.  We all got in the lightly scented sulfur water and it was really relaxing and nice to get into these crystal clear blue waters. Of course I brought a couple masks snorkels and a dive light to see if getting into the resurgence was feasible, more on that later. .

Laura at Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
We all continued down the springs noticing the schools of railroad valley spring fish swimming through the cattails and the occasional boils of water coming up form the ground.  It was a nice and enjoyable experience for everyone to get into the water and enjoy the hydrothermal activity that provides us with a nice natural pool of water. 
Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
Now for the resurgence.  There was a lot of gravel that would stir up and tumble as rocks were moved around from the entrance. There was a lot of breakdown that I could see but I could not get past the entrance resurgence.  The rocks could be moved in theory but how far down you would have to go to find a corridor is a mystery and with the moving of the rocks would introduce sliding gravel that could close up the entrance once again so it would take a considerable effort and could be potentially dangerous.
Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
On another serious note, the Shoshone reservation has built a nice park around this spring and has been offering the opportunity for open access to the springs for people to respect and enjoy themselves in so a official request would have to be granted in order for any special use can be considered. Nevertheless, this place is a real treat and a charming place to visit so I recommend visiting this spring if you are in the regional area.
Big Warm Spring Falls. Duckwater, Nevada
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