Home to the Grand Canyon, Arizona is a world-renowned destination. Moreover, this Southwestern oasis boasts at least a dozen natural hot springs perfect for a quick soak. The hot springs are situated all across the state — from north to south, east to west, and within driving distance of most Arizona vacation rentals. All the springs feature mineral-rich waters and pleasantly warm temperatures, all set in gorgeous environments with nearby attractions. Here are the five best hot springs in the state.
1. Roper Lake State Park Hot Springs, Tucson, Arizona
Roper Lake State Park surrounds the 32-acre Roper Lake. Purchased by the state in 1972, the site is formerly a private ranch located about 5 to 6 miles south of Safford. The geothermal mineral springs are about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, constantly feeding a large concrete tub measuring roughly 3 feet deep and 6 feet wide. The tub is close to Roper Lake, permitting views of the lake’s surroundings and nearby mountains. This is high Arizona desert, with sparse grounds stretching for miles punctuated by random clusters of hearty trees and desert grasses.
The atmosphere is very family friendly, and bathing suits are the inarguable rule. It’s customary to soak for about 15 minutes when others are waiting. Similarly, you should wait until others vacate the tub before entering if you arrive at a busy time. Inflatable rafts are welcome on the nearby lake.
2. Kachina Mineral Springs, Safford, Arizona
Safford is a small town in Southeastern Arizona containing close to six natural hot springs. The springs are clustered within miles of each other, providing a wonderful opportunity to create a piggyback itinerary. Kachina Mineral Springs is one such spring, nestled between the Paleo Mountains and Roper Lake, in the shadow of Mount Graham. The springs are available within a small retreat that offers 30-minute soaking sessions in private Roman-style rooms for a small fee.
There are spa packages consisting of various services, such as essential oil therapy, massage, reflexology, and sweat wraps. You do not need to purchase a package to take advantage of the springs. The atmosphere is quite serene, and the external property sits in the middle of a remote location, with postcard-worthy desert vistas and rejuvenating silence.
3. El Dorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, Arizona
Locals say that El Dorado Hot Springs is the closest you’ll come to an authentic, rustic desert hot spring. The city name, “Tonopah,” means “hot water beneath bush” in the Indigenous American language of earlier inhabitants. Located 45 miles west of Arizona vacation rentals in Phoenix, El Dorado is a small spa-like business that pumps odorless, tasteless mineral water from a subterranean spring. The waters are 106 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit, although this varies one or two degrees seasonally.
The property consists of campgrounds you can rent overnight for a fee, or you may show up, soak, and leave. Soaking sessions cost by the hour, but children under 16 soak for free. There are six soaking pools, including a small duck pond. Each soaking pool has a name corresponding to its scenic splendor: The Desert View pool overlooks Saddle Mountain and the verdant expanse flanking its base. The Stargate pool is illuminated from beneath, cradled within an intimate copse.
4. Arizona Hot Springs, Lake Mead National Recreation Area
The Arizona Hot Spring is one of several located in and around Lake Mead National Recreation Area, on the boarder between Arizona and Nevada, in the Temple Bar Marina. The spring is at the end of a moderately challenging loop trail, just downstream from Ringbolt Rapids. As a result, locals sometimes call this spring the Ringbolt Spring, Ringbolt Springs, or Arizona Hot Springs. The area is closed during the summer, when the weather hits a dangerous 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
The spring issues from the intersection of two faults, from the interior of a slot canyon. It fills several stone pools located 1,000 feet from the nearby river. The canyon walls are almost vertical, with an interior space spanning 6 to 9 feet. The waters are typically 111 degrees Fahrenheit, although they tend to cool as they travel between the pools and beyond. The pools in question wind through the canyon, providing an otherworldly soaking adventure. Locals recommend visiting between October and February. The recreation area has associated admissions, lake use, and campground fees. You may pay at the recreation area entrance or purchase passes in advance via snail mail.
5. Essence of Tranquility, Safford, Arizona
Essence of Tranquility is a very no-frills ranch-inspired resort just outside of Safford. Artesian springs feed indoor and outdoor tubs with water ranging from 102 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. The indoor rock-lined tubs are private, closed-off, and clothing optional, but the outdoor alternative is clothing-required and communal. Children under 6 soak for free, and adults may pay by the hour or by the day. There are lodge fees for overnight stays in tiny houses called casitas. You may also grab a meal in the communal kitchen, soak, and leave.
Like other hot springs in or near Safford, Essence of Tranquility looks up at Mount Graham. Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness and the Galiuro Mountain district are in the same area, with papyrus plants, palm, eucalyptus trees, and mesquite grass peppering the landscape.
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