Arizona is a naturally varied state in the USA, with lush forests, mountains and canyons in the north while cactus-covered deserts fill the landscape in the south. The wildlands of Arizona feature some of the most stunning landmarks in the USA, including vast deserts, the Grand Canyon and over a dozen hot springs. Despite scorching temperatures, a dip in one of the ever-popular Arizona hot springs continues to attract those seeking natural remedies.
Bathing in hot springs offers health benefits including stress reduction, pain relief and increased blood circulation. Hot springs are formed when groundwater collects below the Earth’s surface. When the water hits solid rock it pools and is heated by magma forcing the water back through cracks in the earth’s crust. The hot springs in Arizona are located right across the state, with each offering alluring waters, tranquil surroundings and healing minerals and temperatures. Here are 11 of the best hot springs to visit when in Arizona.
- 11 Arizona Hot Springs
- Hot Springs Near Phoenix
- Hot Springs Near Las Vegas
- Hot Springs Near Safford
11 Arizona Hot Springs
Hot Springs Near Phoenix
1- Castle Hot Spring
One of the reasons Castle Hot Spring is a top place to visit is that it is the largest non-volcanic hot spring in the world.
The spring is located in the Bradshaw Mountains approximately an hours drive from the City of Phoenix.
The waters of Castle Hot Spring were first used by Apache and Yavapai tribes for their healing and rejuvenating abilities.
Since 1896 however, the waters have been frequented by historical figures and celebrities.
Castle Hot Springs oasis is inside an 1100 acre (445 ha) ranch which is accessible after a drive through the Sonoran Desert.
While at the resort visit The Farm, which grows over 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes which are used in the Harvest Restaurant.
Hikes through the Sonoran Desert climbs up the canyon walls and helicopter tours are also available in the area.
The spring is only open to guests of the resort, with room prices ranging from $1250 to $1600 USD per night.
Castle Hot Spring is at 5050 East Castle Hot Springs Road, Castle Hot Springs, Morristown, 85342.
Driving time from Phoenix: 1 hour.
2- El Dorado Hot Spring
An hour west of Phoenix lies the desert oasis of El Dorado Hot Springs, which offers visitors one of the most rustic and natural experiences of the hot springs in Arizona.
Varying in size, El Dorado includes smaller foot-bath sized pools to four larger stone pools for private bathing and one for communal bathing.
Clothing is optional in all pools.
El Dorado’s waters are odourless and tasteless and are frequently drank for their mineral properties, as well as being an excellent conditioner for hair and skin due to the natural pH levels present.
You can easily visit as a day trip from Phoenix, even if you plan to stay to watch the incredible sunset over the desert and Saddle Mountain.
The hot springs cost $15 USD per hour, or guests can stay overnight at the campground which includes hot spring access.
Showers, lounge areas and fire pits are also available for visitors.
El Dorado Hot Spring is at 41225 Indian School Road, Tonopah.
Driving time from Phoenix: 50 minutes.
3- Kaiser Hot Spring
The hot springs in Kaiser Spring Canyon near Burro Creek are hard to find but worth the hike.
The waters reach temperatures of 38°C here, offering a welcome warmth following the 1.5-mile hike to reach them.
The spring is surrounded by rocky crags and glimpses of green cactus, adding to the relaxing nature of the waters.
Hiking in the area surrounding the spring will take you through high basalt cliff canyons to Burro Creek.
Upstream there are three large pools surrounded by the cliffs and cacti.
There are no amenities so make sure to bring water and food with you.
Driving time from Phoenix: 2 hours 8 minutes. The nearest city to Kaiser Hot Spring is Wickenburg, a 62-mile (99 km) drive away. Kaiser Hot Spring can be found by taking US Highway 93 north from Wickenburg for 5 miles, continuing past Burro Creek Bridge. Follow the signs for Kaiser Spring Wash. Parking on the west side of Highway 93 north of the Burro Creek Campground is free.
4- Verde Hot Springs
Once a famous wellness retreat in the 1920s, Verde Hot Springs offers a deep soaking pool with water temperatures reaching 98.6°C (37°C).
The hot springs sit on the site of an abandoned hot spring resort which burnt down in the 1960s, leaving only the pool and fountains.
Verde Hot Springs is popular with hot spring purists, or nudists, so bear this in mind when visiting.
The remaining structures from the original resort are now adorned with a myriad of colourful graffiti from the 1960s, the most detailed of which can be found in the smaller bathhouse spring tub.
The pools are however tranquil and relaxing due to their location between Camp Verde and Payson.
Close to the hot springs are famous scenic locations Grand Canyon (the day hikes in the Grand Canyon are amazing), Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
From the car park, trek a mile to the springs through the beautiful landscapes and across a river. The hot springs are free to enter.
Verde Hot Springs can be found at 8375 AZ-179 Camp Verde.
Driving time to Phoenix: 3 hours.
Hot Springs Near Las Vegas
5- Arizona Hot Spring
The most famous hot spring in Arizona is Arizona Hot Spring in Lake Mead National Park.
Located along the Colorado River near the Hoover Dam, the pools are only accessible on foot following a hike through the canyon, or by paddling downstream from the Hoover Dam.
The hike is of moderate difficulty, but the reward of the hot spring at the end is worth the trek.
Detours on the trek can take in the Liberty Bell Arch, a rock formation with a natural cut-out resembling the Liberty Bell.
The waters have a beautiful bluish tint and the temperature is 109.4°F (43°C) at its source, however temperatures cool slightly by the time it reaches and disperses through the pool.
The spring forms several pools around 1000 feet (3.5m) from the river and is towered over by the walls of the canyon.
Rent a kayak or canoe from Willow Beach to reach the hot springs, or simply float down the waters of the Colorado River taking in the incredible landscape.
Tours run to Arizona Hot Spring from Las Vegas, the nearest city to the springs, and over the state border in Nevada. Entry to the park per vehicle is $25 USD, however, access to the springs are free.
Arizona Hot Spring is within Lake Mead National Park.
Driving time from Las Vegas: 50 minutes.
6- Palm Pool Waterfall
A warm waterfall dropping down to the cooler waters of the Colorado River, Palm Pool is an interesting hot spring location to head to.
While soaking in its waters is not available, visitors can feel the warm waters of the waterfall as it cascades down the mountain into the colder pool below.
The nearest city to Palm Pool Waterfall is Las Vegas, over the state border in Nevada.
Palm Pool Waterfall is seven miles (11km) upriver from Willow Beach on the east of the river. Look out for the single palm tree at the river’s edge marking its location.
7- Pumpkin Spring Pool
Within the Grand Canyon and taking its name from the unusual rock formation leading from the hot spring, Pumpkin Spring Pool is a beautiful hot spring to visit.
The murky green waters sit inside a unique limestone rock formation which has been coloured and carved by water flowing over the edge of the pool, leading to the spring being named ‘Pumpkin’.
It is however only able to view, as the waters here contain a deadly concoction of lead, zinc, copper and arsenic.
Many visitors to Pumpkin Spring simply come for a photographic opportunity on road trips as it is easily accessible from the main road.
For closer views, rent a kayak and row along the waters of the Colorado River to mile 212.9 where the spring is located.
While in the area, take in the spectacular views across the Grand Canyon or head out on a hike through this natural wonder.
The nearest city to the spring is Flagstaff, which is a three-hour drive from the spring.
Pumpkin Spring Pool is in the Grand Canyon at mile 212.9 along the Colorado River.
Hot Springs Near Safford
8- Hot Well Dunes Spring
With its waters flowing since the 1920s, Hot Well Dunes Spring reaches temperatures of 106°F (41°C).
In 1928, an oil driller found the hot water pocket 1600 feet (490m) underground and although the site wasn’t suitable for oil, it has made for a wonderful and peaceful location to take a dip.
A popular spot with ATV drivers, Hot Well Dunes Hot Spring offers two hot spring tubs.
The water is fed into the pools from underground hot springs using solar-powered pumps.
The springs are located within the 2000 acre Hot Well Dunes, which are frequented by riders on the dunes, hikers and campers.
The dunes are located at the site of an ancient and now dried-up lake bed, which now forms the camping ground.
Parking nearby the springs is $3 USD per vehicle per day, and access to the springs is free.
Hot Well Dunes Hot Spring is at BLM Safford Field Office, 711 14th Avenue, Safford.
Driving time from Safford: Safford, the nearest city to the spring is a two-hour drive away. See directions here.
9- Roper Lake State Park Hot Spring
A three-hour drive from Phoenix is Roper Lake State Park Hot Springs, which is a natural hot tub in the middle of a serene desert location.
The waters in this single hot spring reach 98.6°C (37°C) and are only accessible during the day.
The pool was created by park rangers and consists of a rock-lined pool filled with the natural spring water.
Roper Lake State Park Hot Spring is a popular spot to visit with families.
While in the park, take advantage of the beautiful scenery by taking a hike, going fishing or wild swimming in the lake.
The park is popular with bird watchers and species spotted range from Cardinals and Great Horned Owls to more common birds such as Egrets and Kingfishers.
Visitors to the lake can also camp within the park, or rent a cabin.
Staying in the park varies in cost, however, bathing in the spring is free.
Roper Lake State Park Hot Spring can be found at 101 East Roper Lake Road, Safford. The nearest city to the park is Safford which is a short drive away.
Driving time from Safford: 11 minutes.
10- Essence of Tranquility
A commercial resort in southeastern Arizona, around a two-hour drive from Tucson, the calm waters of Essence of Tranquility ranges from 98.6 to 104°F (37 to 40°C).
Within the facility are five private pools and one communal pool.
The private baths are all uniquely decorated with drapes and fencing, with inspiration from Roman baths, Japanese Gardens and beaches at sunset on offer.
Essence of Tranquility offers guests the option of $8 USD for an hour in the waters or $15 USD for three hours.
Guests also have the option of staying at one of the casitas on-site, or in the campgrounds.
Further treatments are on offer through the resort including massages and relaxation therapies.
Essence of Tranquility is at 6074 South Lebanon Loop Road, Safford.
Driving time from Safford: 9 minutes.
11- Kachina Mineral Springs
Kachina Mineral Springs takes advantage of naturally heated waters pumped into two indoor baths.
The waters come from the Pinaleño Mountains and Roper Lake.
The spa is between Mount Graham and Roper Lake, with spectacular views over the mountain and the famous telescope there visible from its grounds.
The natural mineral baths are in Roman-style tubs with waters reaching 42°C.
The waters here are tasteless and odourless, and offer healing properties through the 20 minerals found in it.
Bathing in the hot spring water is believed to cleanse your body of toxins and rejuvenate the skin, and improving functions of the liver and kidneys.
As well as thermal baths, Kachina Mineral Springs also offers further relaxation and wellness services including massages and reflexology.
A number of packages are available at the spa, starting at $50 USD for their basic spa package which includes two 10 minute soaks in the springs warm waters.
Kachina Mineral Springs is at 1155 West Cactus Road, Safford.
Driving time from Safford: 8 minutes.