Verde Hot Springs – Yavapai County, AZ

Nestled in the heart of Yavapai County, Arizona, lies an iconic destination that has been a beloved tourist attraction for years – the Verde Hot Springs. Located in the region of Camp Verde and Strawberry, AZ, this thermal pool of mineral-rich water is known for its therapeutic and healing properties, making it a popular destination for visitors seeking a relaxing environment.

Upon arrival, visitors are greeted with several abandoned power plant buildings that date back to the closure of the Childs Power Plant in 1926. In addition to this, there is a vault toilet on site for those who require it. The mineral-rich hot water from Verde Hot Springs is said to alleviate physical pain and mental stress, making it an ideal destination for those looking to unwind and rejuvenate.

The community has also come together to maintain the trails in the area. This includes removing trash, providing safe access to areas, and sharing information with each other when they visit Verde Hot Springs. As a result, visitors can enjoy the stunning views and relaxing atmosphere that this iconic destination has to offer.

Hot Mineral Spring Pools

The main pool at Verde Hot Springs in Prescott National Forest.
The main pool at Verde Hot Springs in Prescott National Forest.

The Verde Hot Springs boast hot spring pools that are truly breathtaking. These pools are all that remains of a hot spring hotel that was established in the 1920s and tragically burned down in 1962. The pools are built into the concrete foundation of the hotel, which offers a stunning view of the Verde River. The water temperature ranges from 98 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, making for a truly relaxing soak.

Verde Hot Springs offers various activities, such as dispersed camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, besides its hot springs pools. The area is rich in wildlife, attracted to the riparian habitat, and also has ruins of a hot spring hotel. Visitors can explore the surviving foundation and spa area.

The hot spring pools are impressive. The biggest one is by a cave where hot water flows out. The tub there isn’t usable anymore, but the pool is nice to relax in. The middle pool is probably where the springs come from, but it’s too dark to check. The smallest tub is behind the colorful bathhouse and only fits one person.

The second pool at Verde Hot Springs.
The second pool at Verde Hot Springs.

One of the most unique features of the Verde Hot Springs is the apparent rule of clothing optional. This makes it a popular destination for nudists looking to soak in the mineral-rich waters. From the water outlet located in the graffiti-covered wall, mineral water is provided with bubbles of carbonic acid. The water has a metallic smell and is heated to a toasty 104 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for a relaxing soak.

The walls of the bathhouse are remnants of the hot spring hotel, while the ceiling is no longer present. During the day, direct sunlight floods the bathhouse, making it more comfortable to visit in the morning or evening. The pools are equipped with both surface and bottom drains, and the bottom is sealed with a bowling pin. This ingenious design makes it easy to drain and clean the pools, ensuring that they remain clean and hygienic.


The Childs Dispersed Camping Area is a highly sought-after spot for camping enthusiasts. Managed by the USFS, it is situated beneath the ruins of the former power plant buildings and lies within the Prescott National Forest.

The area provides a moderate uphill hike and a short walk through the stream to access the hot springs.

Camping at the Childs Dispersed Camping Area is free and permitted all year round. However, campers are limited to a stay of 5 days. The camping area has no amenities except for a vault toilet, so visitors are required to pack out all trash. It’s important to note that going without clothing in public is not allowed in this area.

If you’re looking for a camping experience that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance, then the Childs Dispersed Camping Area is a must-visit. With its stunning views of the Prescott National Forest and its proximity to the hot springs, it’s no wonder that this area is a favorite among camping enthusiasts. So pack your bags, grab your camping gear, and get ready to experience the great outdoors in all its glory.

How To Reach Verde Hot Springs

It can be reached from Camp Verde, Arizona, approximately 30 miles to the southeast, or from Flagstaff, Arizona, a distance of 86 miles. The forest roads are made of hard gravel and are steep; they also become muddy after it rains, so you should come prepared for whatever the weather throws at you. The 4WD comes in handy.

To reach Verde Hot Springs, some planning is required, but it is not a difficult journey. The journey begins at Camp Verde, which is located near the popular tourist destination of Sedona. Although the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend may be more widely recognized, Verde Hot Springs provides a distinct and private experience.

To reach Verde Hot Springs from Camp Verde, take Highway 260 southeast for approximately 8 miles, then turn right onto Fossil Creek Road, which is unpaved. Those planning to visit Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River Recreation Area must obtain a permit beforehand, but visitors to Verde Hot Springs can bypass this requirement by informing the ranger of their destination.

The next leg of the journey is an 18-mile drive south on dirt roads, so a car with high ground clearance is necessary for parts of the journey. It’s worth noting that following Google Maps from Phoenix is not recommended, as the suggested route can be dangerous.

Once at the hot springs, visitors will need to choose a route to cross the river, either by walking or swimming. The direct route to the hot springs recommended by Google Maps (Dugas Road) should be avoided. Instead, it’s best to walk about three miles upstream along the Verde River from Childs Dispersed Camping Area, a free campground. While there are no services available at the campground other than pit toilets, the walk provides stunning views and an opportunity to explore the geological wonders of the area.

When crossing the river to reach Verde Hot Springs, it is important to exercise caution due to the potential for dangerous water levels. It is recommended to check the weather forecast and turn back if necessary. Although the journey may require planning and preparation, the experience of soaking in the hot springs surrounded by natural beauty is rewarding.

Bottom line

What could be more relaxing than spending a weekend at a hot springs? Perhaps nothing. And what could be cozier than staying in rustic cabins with a group of your friends, while surrounded by lush forest? Again, perhaps nothing. What better way to wind down from the stress and strain of every day life than by soaking in some natural hot springs?

Armed with this knowledge, you’re probably thinking about signing up for this weekend getaway as soon as possible. While you would be correct in your assumptions, there are some logistics that need to be discussed before packing your bags and heading out for this amazing adventure. Just consider the above mentioned items and you will have a great weekend at Verde Hot Springs.

The weather

The springs are located in the Verde Valley, which is known for its mild winters. The average high temperature in the winter is only about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

The springs are open year-round, but they are especially popular in the winter months. Visitors can enjoy soaking in the hot springs, hiking, and picnicking. There are also several cabins available for rent.

[simple-weather latitude=”34.355307″ longitude=”-111.709869″ days=”5″ night=”yes”
units=”imperial” text_align=”right” display=”block” style=”large-icons”]

Local Information

Address: Child’s Power Rd, Yavapai County, Arizona, 86322, USA
LL: 34.20529, -111°41’50.5 (Childs Dispersed Camping Area)
Season: Year-round




Anne loves to explore the world and share her experiences through her blog. She loves to travel to places that are off the beaten path and find unique experiences to share with her readers. She also loves to share tips on how to make the most of a trip, from budgeting to activities. She hopes that her blog will inspire others to explore the world and enjoy the beauty of nature.