Castle Hot Springs

Surprise, Arizona (Yavapai County)

Last Updated: 07/07/2021
3.3 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Length: 27.39 miles
Highest Elevation: 3300 feet
Duration: About 1 hour, 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Surprise
Nearest Town w/ Services: Surprise
Official Road Name: Castle Hot Springs
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Phoenix District
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Highlights

Highlight: Castle Hot Springs
Located in an isolated desert canyon north of Phoenix, Arizona there are springs that have long been known as a natural healing ground. First known by the Apache and Yavapai Indians, the hot springs are fed by an enormous cistern created by the displacement of tertiary volcanic rock. Each day, this underground reservoir produces 200,000 gallons of water at 122 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1865, Col. Charles Craig, a commander at Fort Whipple in Prescott, chased a group of Indians through the area. His men noticed that the rocks on the nearby mountains resembled castles and since there was a creek there, they named the area, Castle Creek. This route will bring you past several old and new private properties located within cliff-lined canyons. The trail is an easy but very scenic access route to many other trails in the area. Although much of the route is privately owned, the scenery along the route offers is truly worth the drive.

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Weather

7 day forecast for Castle Hot Springs

Route Information

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead - North (0 mi)
The trail begins at the dirt and where the BLM Information signage is located at along the edge of the road. Travel north on the gravel road. There is no parking or camping along this section of the route.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 33.910475, -112.324732

Starting Point: Phoenix, AZ Highway 17

Travel north on I-17 for approximately 25 miles to the AZ-74/Carefree Highway exit and then travel west for approximately 11.5 miles. Turn right (north) on Castle Hot Springs Road and travel north for 4.5 miles. Turn left (north) at the trailhead signage.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (7)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Arizona National Forests and State Lands are back open for travel. There are still some very important fire restrictions in place. These restrictions can often change by specific areas.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Due to extremely high fire danger, exceptional drought conditions, resource availability, and increased fire activity, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Arizona State Land Department will implement closures to State Trust Land throughout Arizona. These closures are also in conjunction with our USFS partners. As of 8am on June 25, 2021, closures will be implemented on state-owned and managed lands in all 15 counties. All state-owned and managed lands are closed to entry for recreational purposes, including hunting, camping, and off-road vehicle use. Target shooting and fireworks are prohibited year-round. AZ State Land Closures Notice
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nice trip to Castle Springs and beyond. This road is in great shape and can easily traversed with the family sedan. To make the trip worthwhile be sure to read the history of the hot springs. Awesome story.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Nice easy dirt-road/ trail. We went later in the day and saw a lot of OHV trailers but not very many on the trail, so that was nice. Great desert scenery, and easy drive. We stopped twice to get out and hike around a little and the trail only took two hours.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Not so much a trail but a road. No concerns and any vehicle can do this. Only concern would be if there was rain maybe. Scenery was great though. Something cool to do that stress free and to just enjoy the ride. This trail ends at lake pleasant which has some dispersed camping on cow creek road. Took about 1.5 hours. I paid for the permit online. Wasn’t sure what it does cause I never got an email from the website with instructions but I did it just in case.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Stock 2017 Jeep Cherokee Limited Very unique drive through the Hieroglyphic Mountains on Castle Hot Springs Road. I started in Morristown, AZ on US Highway 60 and drove NW towards Castle Hot Springs. I was anxious to see if the road was passable due to the recent heavy rains. Less than two weeks ago Castle creek had washed out the road near the Lake Pleasant end. Happily, I passed two road graders who were just finishing knocking down the washboard and filling in all of the washouts. The views into Hells Canyon Wilderness area are amazing. Be sure to check out the views of Little Hells Gate and Crater Canyon. I did a side trip into Cedar Basin to check out the Garfias Wash trailhead on the West side of the wilderness. I turned South off of Cast Hot Springs Road and slowly navigated down the unimproved Cedar Basin Road that creates the western boundary of Hells Canyon Wilderness.. This road was near the limit for a stock vehicle, careful tire placement and decent technique were necessary. I made it about 2 miles down Cedar Basin Road before a washout forced me to turn around. I checked the registry at the Garfias Wash trailhead found that more people than I had imagined make it down there, mostly 4x4's and trail riders. If you have the time I suggest stopping and doing the day hike into Hells Canyon of Garfias Wash, it is RUGGED. I then returned to Castle Hot Springs Road and continued NW then SE towards Castle Hot Springs. The crossings at Castle Creek were all repaired and the road was excellent all the way out. At the Lake Pleasant bridge I met the Sheriff's Department as they closed any and all parking areas and lake access points due to the corona virus lock down. They are still letting traffic through but the anything within the park boundaries is closed. Great way to spend the day self isolating though!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a cool drive, with great vistas and interesting scenery, like passing through the section cut through solid rock, and the strange resort area that seems to appear out of nowhere.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Bobby Nelson

Mapping Crew - Arizona

While living in the Midwest, I developed a passion for searching out new trails and hidden spots. That passion continues to this day in the beautiful southwestern United States. My wife and I are full-time RVers who travel from region to region exploring every nook and cranny we can find. While we're getting to know the locals, we gain insight into these areas, then passing on that knowledge onto our subscribers. We truly enjoy traversing long, beautiful back-country routes with epic campsites, but we equally enjoy pushing the limits on difficult rock crawling trails. Our rig was built to do everything and that's what we hope to share with our subscribers. Please visit our website https://www.xploremor.net to follow us and for opportunities to join us on our adventures. You can also view our vast video library on YouTube XPLOREMOR. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqvpVThlbR-IwMLX4tlRRcg
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