Verde Hot Springs – Yavapai County, Arizona

Even though it used to be a resort and is now in ruins, Verde Hot Springs is still a highly prized location for its hot springs. Camp Verde, and Strawberry, Arizona, are the two nearest towns to this location, in Yavapai County, south of Sedona.

What is Verde Hot Springs?

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

Verde Hot Springs is a rural property in Northern Arizona that allows guests to stay in rustic cabins while enjoying the natural hot springs on the property. The property is located in Yavapai County, Arizona, about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix.

In 1922, the hotel at the hot springs was constructed. Before it was destroyed by fire in 1962, it had a considerable amount of notoriety. There are a few different hot springs pools available for your enjoyment. In order to get to Verde Hot Springs, you are going to have to take a long, winding, and often steep journey on forest roads, a short but steeply uphill trek, and wade across the river.

Although there are many options for hot springs in Arizona, Verde Hot Springs is unique in that it is not located in the desert, but instead is situated in the Southwest’s largest Ponderosa Pine forest. This forest covers around 12,000 acres, and is the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway.

The hot springs themselves are a mix of natural wild water and water that is circulated through a filtration system. The water is at a constant temperature of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a perfect temperature for soaking. The water is also naturally enriched with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. These minerals make the water even more therapeutic and beneficial for your health.

How to get there

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.

Leaving from Camp Verde, head east on Highway 260 approximately 6.8 kilometers, beginning at the White Bridge in the center of town. Make a U-turn at the Forest Road 708/Fossil Creek Road intersection and continue straight. Follow it for another roughly 15 miles until you reach the intersection of Forest Roads 708 and 502, which is located there. Travel south on Forest Road 502 for a distance of 6 miles.

Because the road quality is quite poor in this part, you should drive extra cautiously until you reach the Childs Power Plant on the Verde River.

A little less than a mile of upstream travel is required to get to the hot springs from the campground.

Check-in and check-out times

Since this is a rural property that is not open year-round, the hours of check-in and check-out will vary from season to season. During the offseason, guests can check in as early as 3 pm on the day of arrival, and must check out by 10 am on the day of departure.

During the high season, guests can check in as early as 6 pm on the day of arrival, and must check out by 10 am on the day of departure. This is the perfect way to ensure that the property doesn’t get too busy during the high season, while still providing enough time for guests to enjoy the hot springs and other amenities.

The experience

The experience at Verde Hot Springs is unlike any other. It’s unlike any other hot springs experience because it is so unique. The hot springs are nestled in a lush forest, surrounded by tall pines, ferns, and cacti. This is in stark contrast to the dry desert climate that most people associate with Arizona.

If you’re someone who loves the tranquility of nature and the sounds of crickets chirping at night, this is the experience for you. The natural hot springs are amazing. The water is warm and feels great against your skin, and it’s enriched with minerals that are great for your health. The hot springs are open 24/7 and you can use them as much as you like. You can even bring food and drinks inside the hot springs, so you can stay and hang out there all night if you like.

Things to bring with you

– Swimsuit: You’ll probably want to wear a swimsuit while lounging in the hot springs as well as in the pool. Be sure to wear something that covers your upper thighs, but keep in mind that this is a clothing-optional establishment.

– Towel: Bringing a towel is a great idea since there are places to sit in the hot springs where you may want to dry off.

– Cash: Although there is an onsite store, it’s always a good idea to bring some cash with you in case you want to buy something from the store like snacks and drinks.

– ID: Bring your ID in case you want to purchase alcohol from the store.

– Flashlight: The hot springs are open 24/7 and the pathways can get a little dark, so it’s a good idea to bring a flashlight with you so that you can see where you’re going.

– Water bottle: Bringing a water bottle with you is another good idea so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day.

– Hat: The sun can be very intense in Arizona, so it’s a good idea to bring a hat with you so that you can protect your face and head from the sun.

– Towel: Bringing another towel with you is always a good idea. There are multiple places where you can sit in the hot springs and dry off your body and towel, so it’s nice to have another towel with you for these occasions.

Important note: Stay safe!

Verde Hot Springs is a wonderful and unique experience, but it’s important to keep safety in mind while visiting. Since this is a clothing-optional establishment, it’s important to keep your swimsuit on at all times while lounging in the hot springs and pool area.

While the hot springs are open 24/7, the pool area closes at dusk and reopens at 9 am the following morning, so be sure to keep your swimsuit on while in the pool area during these hours. As with any outdoor activity, there is a risk of injury and illness while visiting Verde Hot Springs. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and if you feel sick at any point, make sure to head back to the cabin so that you can rest and recover.

Pools of Mineral Water Spring

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

Because the rest of the resort was destroyed, Verde Hot Springs only has its primary pools left, and they are very breathtaking. Both of these are constructed within the hotel’s concrete foundation, and the hotel itself has a deck that looks out over the Verde River. The temperature of the water varies from 98 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to the hot springs pools, there is scattered campsites, multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian riding, and rocks that look really cool. Because of the riparian ecosystem, there is a large number of different animals in this region.

Camping in Separate Locations

This is a highly popular scattered camping spot that rests beneath the ruins of the previous buildings that made up the power plant. It is managed by the US Forest Service. It’s tucked away in the Prescott National Forest, if you were wondering. From 1908 until 2004, the Childs Power Plant was in operation for more than 90 years. From where you are, getting to the hot springs requires only a short walk up the hill, as well as some swimming upstream.

At the Childs Dispersed Camping Area, camping is free and allowed throughout the entire year; however, you are only allowed to stay there for a maximum of 5 days. Because there are no utilities here but a locked toilet, you will need to pack out all of your rubbish. It is against the law to go around here without any clothing on.

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.

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