Verde River Hot Springs
Along the Verde River in Arizona is this hidden gem known as the Verde River Hot Springs. For years I had heard of this magical location and was lucky enough to experience it myself! Now I must warn you, 4 wheel drive is a MUST!!! I am the type that attempts to take my car everywhere but high clearance is needed when driving down to the verde river campground.
To get there…
The Drive In | Take I17 to exit 285 (General Crook Trail), go east for about three miles, then turn right on East HWY 260. Go about 8 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 708, where the sign says “Fossil Creek & Verde River.” Now comes the 19-mile drive down a dirt road. The road quality varies from OK to downright dangerous, so go slow. At the intersection with Forest Service Road 502, turn right.
You’ll go past the Childs Power plant, and the sign above till you end up in the Verde River Campground. You will want to park on the right side of the campground, nearest to the power plant.
By Foot | Once you’ve parked and waved at a few hippies, follow the trail in front of the truck in the image above! This trail will soon break off into two directions…keep right letting the trail lead you near the power plant and up to the road. Follow this road until hitting a giant fallen cactus in the road, there should also be a X spray painted on a rock. This is when you must go left, following a not so traveled trail toward the river. This trail will lead you to a banked area where the Verde River is low enough to walk across.
I’m 5’5 and the water only came slightly above my knee! After crossing take the trail leading to the left, if you spot palm trees you’re headed in the right direction. Pass the palms and before you know it you’re in the middle of a desert oasis! I must warn you, people are often times nude… at first it was uncomfortable, but they are very respectful!
Have a safe trip!