Out of all the hot springs in America, the most well-preserved ones are located in the state of Arizona. There are natural and primitive springs, and there are springs that resorts and spas are built around.
What better way to relax after a long day than to sit in a geothermal pool in a natural, scenic setting? You’ll experience Arizona’s beautiful landscape while relieving body aches, stress, and other afflictions.
Take a look at our eight picks for the best Arizona hot springs to visit and soak in!
Mohave County, Arizona Hot Springs
1. Ringbolt Hot Springs
The Ringbolt Hot Springs, also called the Arizona Hot Springs, is the most famous and popular spring in Northwestern Arizona. It’s located in a slot canyon at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, along the Colorado River near the Hoover Dam. Close by is the Nevada border.
There are four pools that are separated by rocks, with temperatures at 95–110 degrees Fahrenheit. To protect visitors from the effects of the state’s hot temperatures, these pools are only available between October and May.
Ringbolt Hot Springs has a dispersed campground; you’ll need to bring your own amenities and set up your own bathroom. As you explore or soak in the springs, you’ll see a 25-foot waterfall surrounded by the canyon’s walls. Other views include the unique vegetation and wildlife.
2. Kaiser Hot Spring
Free and open to everybody is the Kaiser Hot Spring, the Arizona hot spring with the clearest water near Wikieup. The spring is a tiny oasis that’s hidden in the Kaiser Spring Canyon—the best place for avoiding crowds! Guests who hike here may soak naked or in their swimsuits.
Water seeps out of the earth at 12 gallons per minute in the two shallow, gravel-bottomed geothermal pools. Its temperature is 99–100 degrees Fahrenheit, and every year, the pools are maintained for guests and hold 2–3 people.
There are no onsite amenities at Kaiser Hot Springs, so bring food, water, and sturdy footwear for the 1.5-mile hike. If you’re looking to set up camp nearby, the Burro Creek Campground will welcome tent and RV campers.
Yavapai County, Arizona Hot Springs
3. Sheep Bridge Hot Springs
Under the Sheep Bridge are the most beautiful, clear freshwater hot springs in Central Arizona: the Sheep Bridge Hot Springs. Built in the 1940s to move sheep across the river, the bridge was later destroyed and rebuilt for hikers to cross.
With the 98–105-degrees-Fahrenheit springs surrounded by cliffs, it serves as the best secluded getaway for visitors seeking a good soak. The springs are open throughout the year and are lined with river rocks, each holding 2–3 people.
When you’re not relaxing in the springs, you can jump in or rope-swing into the Verde River. Besides the nearby hiking trails, admire the views of the hills and mountains from the bridge. Even the suspension tower of the original bridge still stands as an attraction!
4. Castle Hot Springs
If you’ve never taken a dip in a hot spring, Castle Hot Springs is the best place for a first experience! Located northwest of Phoenix in the remote Sonoran Desert, the lush greenery makes this Arizona hot spring easy to spot.
It’s the world’s largest non-volcanic hot spring that served as a natural remedy for the Apache and Yavapai tribes. The nearby mountain naturally heats the springs at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Guests can enjoy the sounds of cascading water while relaxing around rock formations.
Nearby is the historic and luxurious Castle Springs Resort, built on a natural underground well of hot water. The water temperature in the private tubs is 98–105 degrees Fahrenheit for guests who prefer relaxing in cooler waters.
5. Verde Hot Springs
Verde Hot Springs used to be a resort from the 1920s until it burned down in the 1960s. Only a stone foundation and two 6-foot-deep hot springs are left. Guests may soak with or without swimsuits and bring their leashed pets along, provided they stay out of the springs.
The indoor spring is surrounded by stone ruins that are covered in artwork. The outdoor spring is next to the Verde River and will hold several people. Both springs are heated at 98–104 degrees Fahrenheit and are free to the public.
Other than soaking, this off-the-grid Arizona hot spring offers other activities like hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Nearby is the Childs Dispersed Camping Area, which allows campers to stay for five days. The only amenity there is a vault toilet, so pack plenty of food and water.
Graham County, Arizona Hot Springs
6. Essence of Tranquility
Essence of Tranquility is one of the most accessible hot springs in Arizona. At this rustic resort and campground in Safford, you may stay in cabins, tents, or casitas (tiny cottages). While you’re here, you’ll have access to the cooking area, restrooms, and common sitting areas.
There are six hot springs: five private tubs and one communal spring, all heated at 98–105 degrees Fahrenheit. The private tubs are in little uniquely decorated houses, where clothing is optional. The communal spring holds up to 10 people and requires guests to wear clothing.
Soaking in the springs here isn’t the only way guests can unwind and rejuvenate! Essence of Tranquility also offers select spa treatments, such as massages, reflexology, essential oil therapy, and ear coning.
7. Kachina Mineral Springs
Like Essence of Tranquility, Kachina Mineral Springs is another Safford, Arizona hot spring that functions as a day spa. The few differences, however, are that this resort isn’t a campground, and it has only two springs.
In the Roman-style tubs are mineral-rich spring water with an average temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The water comes from the Pinaleño Mountains and Roper Lake and contains healing properties.
Guests are treated to massages, sweat wraps, reflexology, and essential oil therapy when they’re not soaking in the springs. At their request when booking appointments, guests will receive spa packages with a variety of detoxifying and rejuvenating treatments.
8. Hot Well Dunes Hot Springs
The Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area has one of the hardest-to-access hot springs in Arizona. Located in a unique outdoor area managed under the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the two hot springs are free for guests.
The springs’ temperatures vary according to the season, but their average temperature is around 106 degrees Fahrenheit—sometimes reaching 115 degrees! Pets are welcome here but must be on a leash and stay out of the springs.
Hot Well Dunes has 2,000 acres of off-road trails and sand dunes. These features make this the best Arizona hot spring location for ATV, dirtbike, and other off-road enthusiasts. Campers and hikers also find it popular as they camp in the area’s tent and RV sites.
Arizona Hot Springs for Sightseeing Only
The following two hot springs are worth visiting during your vacation in Arizona. Unfortunately, there are certain conditions about them in which taking a dip is too dangerous.
9. Gillard Hot Springs
Off the Black Hills Byway in Greenlee County is the 180-degree-Fahrenheit Gillard Hot Springs, the hottest spring in Arizona! It emits 400–500 gallons of water per minute into the Gila River, gradually increasing the river’s temperature.
The highest temperature a human can endure in a hot spring is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit but only for 10 minutes. Thus, you can only admire Gillard Hot Springs while on land. It and its landscape will make a good addition to your sightseeing itinerary!
10. Pumpkin Spring
The rock formation of this hidden geothermal spring in the Grand Canyon is how the Pumpkin Spring got its name. It may paint a colorful picture with its blue–green water contrasting with the orange rock, but it’s only for sightseeing.
The Pumpkin Spring contains lead, copper, zinc, and high levels of arsenic, making it the most toxic hot spring in Arizona. The briefest touch of the water won’t kill you, but vacationers are strongly forbidden from soaking in it.
Still, don’t let that stop you from capturing the beautiful but deadly spring on camera while boating in the Colorado River!
Arizona Hot Spring Tips
Before traveling to these hot springs, here are a few tips to keep in mind before taking a dip:
Watch the Weather
Unless you’re only sightseeing hot springs in Arizona, soaking on a very hot summer day is not a good idea. The state’s potential for three-digit temperatures plus sitting in a hot spring will equal higher risks of heat illnesses or worse.
Some springs will say when they’re open to the public in regard to the weather, so check their schedule before going. To avoid dehydration and other heat illnesses, bring some potable water with you, and don’t soak during peak temperatures.
Leave No Trace
Whether or not these hot springs are situated on or near a campground, please abide by the Leave No Trace principles. Anything you bring to the hot springs needs to go with you when you leave.
The less impact on the land and spring, the better they’re preserved; that’s why some Arizona hot springs have limited amenities. In addition, keep your items away from the spring so they don’t fall in.
Dip, Don’t Dunk
As it is for a hot tub at a community center, dip and soak, but no dunking. High temperatures are a known health risk, but they’re not the only reason for keeping your head above water.
Arizona hot springs contain a bacteria called Naegleria fowleri, which is infamous for eating the brain. That may seem like a reason to not go in a hot spring period. Luckily, this bacteria can only access your brain through your nose, so you’re safe as long as you avoid dunking.
Note the Crowds and Etiquette
Hot springs are popular for those who like getting away for a good soak, especially during holidays and peak months. Unfortunately, some of these springs won’t hold a lot of people due to the size and number of pools. In some cases, you’ll have to wait for guests to leave.
Because some hot springs allow nudity, you may be sitting with guests who are in that state. It’s up to you whether or not you want to wear your swimsuit. If you desire your personal space when soaking (swimsuit or not), some springs have private tubs as a preference.
Soak it Up in Arizona’s Hot Springs!
Though the desert heat can be unbearable, the heat of Arizona hot springs is an exception for vacationers and campers. Surround yourself with the natural scenery of Arizona while you relax in the healing and rejuvenating hot springs!
Check out our hot springs guide to learn more about these natural and extraordinary geothermal pools.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Sarah Keck is a long-time resident of the Midwest and loves its warm and cool atmosphere. She takes any walking or hiking opportunity with open arms and likes to learn and write about the best trails.
Sarah’s first camping experience was her church’s teens’ and twenties’ summer conference years ago. Her favorite activities were exploring the campground and sitting by the fire, listening to the wildlife.
As time went on, Sarah looked forward to camping and other vacation opportunities. Writing for Beyond the Tent has opened her eyes and mind to the country’s many beautiful destinations.