Verde Hot Springs Hike
The Verde Hot Springs hike takes you along an easy trail to a hot spring at an abandoned resort. Perched along the Verde River, the pools were constructed in the 1920s when this area was a tourist attraction. A fire in the 1960s destroyed the resort, but the foundation and pools survived. Abandoned ever since, the pools are open for public use and offer a unique spot to get a soak in.
The hike to the hot spring is quite easy. It’s about two and a half miles long with only about 61 m of elevation gain. There are concrete steps that lead down to the springs in the final few feet of the route. Hikers of all skill levels will be able to complete it. You will need a high-clearance vehicle to reach the trailhead, though.
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Route Description for Verde Hot Springs Hike
Back in the 1920s, a sliver of the banks of the Verde River was converted into a resort to attract tourists to this little desert oasis. Plenty of visitors came here each year, and the resort was actually rumored to have been one of Al Capone’s hideouts.
In the 1960s, a fire ripped along the banks of the Verde River, destroying most of the resort. It was abandoned, with the only remaining structures being the foundation and the hot springs. Today, the hot springs still stand, with colorful graffiti and paintings decorating the concrete structures around the pools.
The pools might feel a little eerie with their abandoned past, but they’re pleasantly warm and normally not overly busy. The river next to you flows along as you soak, creating a relaxing atmosphere.
The hike to the hot springs is fairly relaxed, although the drive to the trailhead may test your patience. We recommend bringing a high-clearance vehicle if you can. From the dispersed camping area, you’ll follow the old road upstream.
Watch for a path, marked with cairns, that leads towards the river on your left. Take this path. There is a river crossing required, but we recommend turning back and trying another day if the water is running too high or fast. This area is susceptible to flash flooding, so the water levels at the river crossing can become very dangerous if there’s been recent rainfall.
Across the river, follow the trail downriver towards the site of the old resort. There are a couple of pools you can pick from with different water temperatures. Enjoy the colorful painting and graffiti while you soak, watching the river trickle along beside you.
When you’re ready, you’ll return to the trailhead using the same route as before.
Hiking Route Highlights
Verde Hot Springs
The Verde Hot Springs were all that was left behind after a fire in the 1960s destroyed a thriving tourist resort on the banks of the Verde River. The resort was said to have been one of Al Capone’s hideouts, but all that remains is several pools of varying temperatures and a few concrete structures, now covered in paint and graffiti.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the Verde Hot Springs open?
While the springs are normally open, this area is subject to wildfires. Occasional closures may be enacted to protect visitors if fires are burning nearby.
Is it safe to swim in the Verde River?
Swimming is allowed in the river, and you’re responsible for your own safety if you choose to swim.
Do you need a pass for the Verde Hot Springs?
No pass or permit is required for this area.
Insider Hints for Verde Hot Springs Hike
- Visit during the week if you can to enjoy a quieter experience.
- This trail is pleasant year-round since the pools are always hot!
Getting to the Verde Hot Springs Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the Verde Hot Springs hike is on Child’s Power Road.
Verde Hot Springs Hike Elevation Graph
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Verde Hot Springs Hike Reviews
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