The desert air is cool as the sun goes down, and the mist rises above the hot water and wafts through the cacti. It might sound odd, but hot springs in the desert can be a great way to relax after a day of adventure. And Arizona is full of hot springs, thanks to ancient volcanic activities during an earlier chapter of earth’s geologic history.
But is it a good idea to soak in a hot spring in a hot Southwestern destination like Arizona? When I visited Jordan, I learned the expression “when it’s hot, you drink hot.” It refers to the sweet, hot mint tea that you drink no matter the weather or time of day. I’d like to think the same thing applies to hot springs in a hot climate like Arizona: there’s never a bad time.
If this sounds like a good idea to you, read on for my list of the best hot springs in Arizona. While you can’t dip in all of them (some are actually too hot!), you’ll see there’s a variety and surely at least one you want to visit.
1. Arizona Hot Spring
Out of all of the hot springs in Arizona, Arizona Hot Spring, also known as Ringbolt Hot Spring, is the most famous. Situated in the Lake Mead Recreation Area, Arizona Hot Spring is about the journey as much as the destination.
To reach the hot springs, you’ll need to either take a 2.5-mile hike or boat ride along the Colorado River. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with multiple pools with 110°F water and a 25-foot waterfall!
2. Castle Hot Springs Resort
Castle Hot Springs Resort stands out from the rest of the hot springs in Arizona for two different reasons. First, it’s a resort, which means that you can stay overnight, enjoy farm-to-table meals, and pair your dip in the hot springs with spa treatments. The second aspect that makes Castle Hot Springs Resort stand out is the fact that it’s the hottest non-volcanic natural hot spring in the world!
3. Clifton Hot Springs
Clifton Hot Springs is a little under-the-radar gem. Situated in the little town of Clifton, this hot spring was once a place for soldiers and miners to relax. At the start of the 20th century, there were thoughts about turning these hot springs into a bathhouse, but the plans were unsuccessful in the long run – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t visit these naturally heated pools today!
4. Cofer Hot Spring
Cofer Hot Springs is another hidden gem. As a matter of fact, it’s so much of a secret that it’s often confused with the nearby Kaiser Hot Springs, even though they’re two different spots! Simply put, if you’re ready for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Cofer Hot Springs may be one of the best hot springs in Arizona for you.
5. El Dorado Hot Springs
Situated just an hour from Phoenix, El Dorado Hot Springs is a popular day trip from Arizona’s capital city. While there, you can soak in stone pools and porcelain clawfoot bathtubs that are filled with water naturally heated to a warm 107°F. There’s even a clothing-optional section if that’s something you’d like to try.
6. Essence Of Tranquility
Essence of Tranquility is where you want to go for a no-frills, off-the-radar getaway. You can book a casual casita for a night and spend your entire day enjoying the hot springs. With five private stone pools and one communal pool, there are a few different options for you to choose from. And if you call ahead of time, you can even add a spa treatment to your day.
7. Gillard Hot Springs
Gillard Hot Springs is one of those spots where you want to follow the “look but don’t touch” rule. With water temperatures of over 180°F, you’ll get some pretty bad burns if you try to take a dip. Instead, you can simply enjoy the canyon walls and bright green trees in the Gillard Hot Springs area.
8. Hannah Hot Spring
Hannah Hot Spring may be one of the most secluded hot springs in Arizona. In order to reach this lovely natural wonder, you’ll need to hike 8.3 miles on a tricky trail through a canyon! But at the end, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing natural hot spring pool with 133°F water. And the best part? You’ll likely have this hot spring all to yourself!
9. Hot Well Dunes Hot Springs
Most people venture to Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area for off-roading and camping. But this recreation area is also home to the hidden Hot Well Dunes Hot Springs. There are two cement pools that boast water at a naturally heated 106°F. But be prepared! To reach Hot Well Dunes Hot Springs, you’ll need to put your off-roading skills into action.
10. Kachina Mineral Springs
Situated in the little town of Safford, Kachina Mineral Springs is one of six hot springs in the area! As a matter of fact, many people like to “hot spring hop” from one hot spring to another.
Kachina Mineral Springs stands out from its competitors, because you can enjoy a variety of spa treatments while also soaking in the hot springs. Enjoy a massage, a sweat wrap, or a reflexology treatment.
11. Kaiser Hot Springs
Kaiser Hot Springs is where the locals like to go. To reach this amazing Arizona hot spring, you’ll need to tackle a 1.5-mile hike. (It’s important to note that the trail isn’t very well marked.) But the shallow, 100°F pool is definitely worth the effort!
12. Lost Man Hot Spring
Lost Man Hot Spring is situated on the Nevada-Arizona border, just a few miles south of the Hoover Dam. Since it’s close to a major tourist attraction, you’d think that it would be one of the most popular hot springs in Arizona, but that’s not true. As a matter of fact, this hot spring has managed to remain a secret for the most part.
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to boat, kayak, or hike to Lost Man Hot Spring?
13. Pumpkin Spring
Pumpkin Spring is simultaneously the coolest and the most dangerous spot on this list of hot springs in Arizona. Located inside of the Grand Canyon, the bright orange rock that makes up Pumpkin Spring actually looks like a pumpkin! Unfortunately, you can’t go into the spring, due to the extremely high levels of arsenic, lead, zinc, and copper. But you can take loads of pictures!
14. Verde Hot Spring
Verde Hot Spring is definitely one of the most well-known hot springs in Arizona. Situated within driving distance of Sedona, Flagstaff, and Prescott, hundreds of people soak in these 102°F waters every year.
It is important to note that Verde Hot Springs is sometimes inaccessible due to dangerous weather and road conditions.
Did one of these hot springs in Arizona catch your eye? Let me know any questions you have about these Arizona hot springs in the comments!