Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
829.00 ft (252.68 m)
Trail type
3.65 mi (5.87 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The La Madre Spring hike takes off from Willow Springs Trailhead. At the trailhead there is a great picnic area with tables and vault toilets.

Begin the hike by walking the rough, rocky 4x4 road that continues straight out of the parking lot. While it is possible to drive further up if you have a capable vehicle, I’d recommend just parking in the paved lot.

Just a short ways up the road you’ll pass by a prehistoric kitchen -- a donut shaped mound that Native Americans used to prepare baked foods. You’ll continue straight along the 4x4 road until you see two large signs, one for the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness (on the left) and one for the La Madre Mountain Wilderness (on the right). At this point you’ll leave the road behind and take a slight right on what still appears to be an old track of some kind.

You’ll work your way up through what will begin to feel like a proper forest, one with pinyon pine, juniper, and scrub oaks. The colorful sandstone cliffs to your right stand out prominently. Soon you will walk past the remains of an old homestead site. All that is left today are the foundations of two houses.

The next highlight is the spring itself. Although only a small trickle of water, this spring served a vital purpose by providing water to many people from Native Americans, to white settlers. La Madre of course means “mother” in Spanish. The spring is named after the surrounding La Madre Mountains.

The official trail ends at the water, but an unofficial trail can be followed a distance up toward the spring headwaters. Once satisfied with your explorations, return back to the trailhead the way you came and enjoy the fantastic views the return trip provides.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Admission Fee

Open Year-round



Homestead remains. Mountain views.


Trail shared with a 4x4 road.

Trailhead Elevation

4,568.00 ft (1,392.33 m)

Highest point

5,310.00 ft (1,618.49 m)


Vault toilet
Historically significant
Family friendly
Geologically significant
Big vistas
Big Game Watching
Native artifacts
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area


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