I have not seen such a weird and beautiful place.
A quint hotel that started their business in the 1920s was burned down a long time ago; the ruin had to be known as a hideaway of nudists, which remains even today in some cases.
On the way I lost my car.
It is not so difficult to get to Verde Hot Springs if you know the right way.
The starting point is a small town, Camp Verde, close to Sedona famous for various sightseeing tours.
The well-known scenic sites, like Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend may become run-of-the-mill if you experience Verde Hot Springs.
Drive the highway No.260 about 8 miles from Camp Verde to southeast, and turn right into Fossil Creek Road.
A ranger will ask you to stop the car, because you need a pre-paid permission to get into the Fossil Creek Permit Area.
Fortunately, Verde Hot Springs is located almost on the border line of the area, so that the ranger will allow you to pass.
You will drive to south around 18 miles on the dirt road, which just requires a high-clearance vehicle.
On the other hand, if you depart from Phoenix and trust Google Maps, it is almost certain to follow my failure to destroy the car.
As stated below, you must choose the route crossing the river by foot.
Dugas Road, the way directly to Verde Hot Springs is extremely rough beyond imagining.
Driving down the valley of Verde River, there is Childs Dispersed Camping Area.
The primitive place is for experienced campers.
It is about 3 miles’ walk to the upstream.
The hot spring is on the opposite side of the river, but you need to go the long way around due to the depth and current of the river.
The trail on the floodplain was completely disappeared, but I finally found the safe place to cross the water.
The water was around upper legs-deep.
It is important to check up the weather for the water level, and to go back if you think it dangerous.
Weird and Beautiful
There exists the ruin of a hotel started their business in the Jazz Age and burned down in 1962.
The lodging facilities were bulldozed but the basement around bathrooms remains.
The spectacle is perfect on the terrace cliff of the Verde River.
There is a cavern in the front side.
I explore the inside and found a tub-like structure.
There may be the source of the springs, but I gave up the searching due to the darkness.
There is a large outdoor pool beside the cave.
The water is around 99 degrees F, without smell.
It seems that the source is different from that of other two tubs.
The depth is over 6 feet, so that adults cannot reach the bottom.
The bottom of the pool is the natural bed rock, and bubbles come up, which means that the water is straight out of the ground.
Behind the colorful bathhouse, there is the smallest tub for a person.
Now let’s get into the space full of historical graffiti.
There is a tub for around 4 people.
The depth is conformable to soak sitting on the bottom.
The apparent rule is clothing optional.
The water outlet is just under the graffiti of the feminine tree.
The mineral water is around 104 degrees F, has metallic smell with bubbling carbon dioxide
The walls are original of the hotel, but the ceiling is disappeared.
Nothing obscures the strong sun, so that it may be more comfortable to soak avoiding daytime.
The water discharge can be done from the water surface and from the bottom of the tub, which is normally blocked by a bowling pin.
This structure enables to keep cleanliness by completely discharging the water for the cleaning of the tub.
During the first attempt I lost my car due to my lack of preparation, and had been in the depths of despair.
However I finally sorted out my feelings, and reached the Garden of Eden.
It was just incredible.
Verde Hot Springs, Tonto National Forest, Arizona, U.S.
- Walk-in: Yes
- Lodging: No (Close to Campsite)