Verde River Hot Springs, Arizona

Hot Springs



Permit Req.







Hidden amongst graffitied ruins, the Verde Hot Springs is a unique Arizona hot spring experience that I think is a must-see.

The reason I love this spot so much is that it’s a unique combination of primitive and developed. In the 1920s, a resort was built around these hot springs where visitors could come and enjoy the springs and the natural scenery in a comfortable setting. However, the resort burnt down in 1969, and the ruins and the hot spring pools were abandoned and left to deteriorate.

Now, the concrete pools and walkways sit amongst the ruins of the resort, which have been decorated in colorful graffiti. The once-developed pools have become primitive and left to return to their natural form, but they are still available to the public to enjoy.

Hot Spring Pools

So, as I talked about above, the pools at Verde hot springs are the remnant of the old resorts that burnt down in the 60s. This means that they are manmade pools but don’t have the maintenance that they would have had when the resort was functioning. The remaining structures, like the concrete walkway and stairs, make the area easier to traverse but, in my opinion, they also add to the atmosphere.

The atmosphere here is unparalleled. All the remaining walls, fenceposts, and staircases are adorned with art that has been layered over the years to create a riot of color. There is even a painting of the original resort. This artwork, combined with the beautiful natural surroundings, makes these pools absolutely breathtaking.

There are two pools at Verde hot springs. The smaller of the two is known as the Art Gallery because the small square tub is surrounded on three sides by walls of art. It was once indoor, but now the roof is gone, giving you a unique indoor/outdoor experience. This pool is also the warmer of the two at 102 F.

The second pool is outside alongside the river. It is larger, deeper, and slightly cooler, 99 F. I think this one is my favorite because it can fit more people so you can hang out with your friends, soak in the healing mineral water, and take in the stunning natural view.

These hot springs are popular with naturalists, so they are both clothing optional.

Thank you to One Adventure At A Time for the video.

Other Amenities

Since these pools have become primitive, there are no extra amenities other than a pit toilet. This means that it’s essential to bring sufficient water and food for the hike and the time you spend at the hot springs. You will need to pack in and pack out all your trash to leave the space as clean as you found it.

Other activities in the area include hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

Dogs are allowed on leashes on the hike, but they are not allowed inside the hot springs.


If you want to stay overnight, I would recommend camping at the Child’s Dispersed Camping Area. 

Located in the Prescott National Forest, the campground sits just below the ruins of a former power plant in a very aesthetically pleasing spot. They are open year-round, and they are just a short hike and wade through the river from the hot springs.

There are no amenities here except a vault toilet, so please pack in and pack out all your trash and belongings.

Location/How to Get There

I should start this off by saying that reaching these hot springs is not for the faint-hearted. The drive to get there gets quite rough, and the hike is very steep in parts, so you should go in prepared if you want to enjoy your experience fully.

The hot springs are located off the beaten path around 30 miles southeast of Camp Verde or 86 miles south of Flagstaff. You will be led off the main highway before taking some gravel or dirt roads to reach your final destination.

Please note that the last 6 miles of road to reach the trailhead is very rough and can be very dangerous. For this reason, it is key that you use an appropriate vehicle to prevent getting stuck or damaging it.

The trailhead is accessed from a parking lot, which requires a permit to use. The trail to reach the hot springs is 2.5 miles out and back, so it is not long. However, you will gain 118 ft in elevation over this short distance, so it is a rather steep hike. You will also have to wade through a shallow river at one point during the hike.

Due to the drive and the steep trail to reach them, the Verde Hot Springs may not be accessible for a lot of people.


Address: Childs Dispersed Camping Area, Child’s Power Rd, Yavapai County, AZ, 86322
Phone: (928) 203-2900