From roaming desert landscapes to the Grand Canyon, Arizona is known for its myriad of stunning geographical features. In addition to these notorious landmarks, Arizona is also home to some of the best naturally occurring hot springs thanks to the underground geothermal activity.
Rising to the surface at a rate of 30 to 50 gallons of water per minute, each hot spring comes with its own unique history. Whether you prefer a luxurious all-inclusive resort or a rustic spring in the middle of nowhere, Arizona has something for everyone.
While visiting the spring’s, especially those with public access, remember to take home your personal belongings, as well as any waste produced during your stay. Preserving these natural features ensures continuous access for future generations.
Also, being that Arizona is an extremely hot state, with temperature often upwards of 100° F, make sure to plan your trips accordingly. Bring plenty of water and supplies to make sure your body can withstand the desert conditions. Many hot springs are next to a river or body of water, which you can utilize to cool down if you feel like you’re overheating.
Here are among the best hot springs in Arizona, in no particular order:
Arizona Hot Springs (aka Ringbolt)
The Arizona Hot Springs, also known as Ringbolt, is one of the most popular, and famous, hot springs in Arizona. Although it is a bit of a trek to get to, if you are up for both the drive and the 3.1-mile hike, it is well worth the experience. While the springs are beautiful on their own, part of this location’s magic lies in the journey itself.
The hot springs rest between two canyon walls made of the red rock, which you often see in the American Southwest. There are two options for the hike to the hot springs: the Hot Springs Canyon trail which approaches the springs from behind and the White Rock Canyon which approaches the springs from the river.
The trailhead has an easily accessible parking lot on the north side of State Route 93, about 3.5 miles south of the Pat Tillman Bridge. The trail options, themselves, are both pretty easy to hike with traffic being moderate.
When preparing for the hike, be sure to account for not only the high heats of the Arizona desert but also the hot temperatures of the pool. Plenty of water as well as something to eat is essential to reach the hot springs. Make sure that whatever you pack you also take home when leaving the spring!
It is advised not to put your head under the water due to dangerous amoeba that can live in the springs. Although contracting an infection is rare, it’s better to be cautious, so signs are posted reminding guests to take precautionary measures.
Castle Hot Springs
With an extensive history dating back to the American Indians from the Apache and Yavapai tribes, The Castle Hot Springs Resort offers a luxurious experience tucked away in the Bradshaw Mountains. The hot springs have been known for their healing benefits for centuries due to the mineral-rich waters.
More than just a desert oasis, the resort offers experiences like paddleboard yoga, farm tours, and mindfulness classes during the duration of your stay. In addition, this all-inclusive paradise provides chef-curated meals, a bar that incorporates farm-fresh ingredients into their cocktails, and multiple types of massages given in cabanas alongside the spring water creek.
The Castle Hot Springs Resort is easily accessible, located just northwest of Phoenix. Although this hot spring is pricier, and requires a reservation, if you are looking for a luxurious desert getaway, this destination will fulfill all your needs.
Kaiser Hot Springs
Kaiser Hot Springs, located in Burrow Creek, Arizona, is a free, naturally occurring hot spring with open access to anyone. In order to soak in these calming 100 degree F pools, you will have to make a 3-mile round-trip hike.
Kaiser is definitely a rustic and earthy spring, positioned on the side of rock hill. The springs itself is just one pool with rock built up along the side to form it. The area is also home to numerous wildlife, with many guests reporting sightings of wild mustangs.
If you are planning a trip to Kaiser, make sure you have a vehicle that can handle the dirt road conditions. Kaiser is in the middle of nowhere, so you are going to need to prepare with enough food and water to handle the Arizona heat.
Directions to the trailhead can be found here.
Verde Hot Springs
Located along the side of a river, near Pine, Arizona, the Verde Hot Springs consists of two pools; a smaller one surrounded with art-covered walls and a larger one just off the side of the river.
To reach this spring, you will travel down a long dirt road, traverse a river, and finish the journey by hiking. Accessibility to this hot spring is quite difficult, but a one-of-a-kind experience is worth the effort.
This hot spring definitely requires a fair amount of preplanning compared to the previously listed locations. Having a vehicle that can not only handle the dirt road but also the potential impact of weather conditions is important in order to avoid getting stranded.
Make sure you have a secure, water-proof backpack that won’t affect your balance when trying to reach the spring. You will be required to cross the river by walking or swimming, depending on the water levels. Additionally, you are going to need to prepare enough food and water for the day. Verde hot springs are difficult to access and off the beaten path, but it’s well worth the effort.
Each hot spring in Arizona has unique aspects and features that sets itself apart from others. Take a chance, and try visiting one of these beautiful locations!