It might surprise some to know there are hot springs in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada near the Grand Canyon South Rim that are reachable on a road trip. You’ll likely need at least three hours behind the wheel to arrive at the closest one, so plan for an overnight or multi-night adventure, unless you prefer longer day trips.
The USA’s southwest region can get very dry and hot in the summer, so some of these are seasonal and only from October to mid-May. Always bring plenty of water when soaking in hot springs, even if it’s cooler out. The heat can be very dehydrating, especially in a climate like Arizona.
It’s also critical to check if roads to the thermal pools are open, as this part of the country gets high-intensity flooding from time to time. If exploring other parts of the Grand Canyon State, check out other Arizona hot springs for your itinerary.
Here are the closest hot springs to the Grand Canyon, Arizona, in order of proximity:
Verde Hot Springs – 187 miles | 4.5 hours
Note: Due to recent wildfires and development, the routes to these springs have been restricted off and on throughout 2021 and 2022. While the springs are not blocked, the trek is many miles long on challenging roads, making walking an improbable choice. Before attempting to visit, check the state of the pathways.
One of Northern Arizona’s most famous geothermal pool regions is a few hours south of the Grand Canyon, and getting there can be difficult. Verde Hot Springs was established in the 1920s as a resort, and all that remains are remnants that comprise a few walls, steps, and pool enclosures.
However, the uphill approach to these waters is well worth the effort, with soaking temperatures ranging from 92° to 104°F.
The art gallery room, an open-air cement space with vivid artwork around the pool, is a favorite area to wade in the water. The outdoor pool along the river is the most prominent spot to soak. Visitors who want to camp can overnight at the Childs Dispersed Camping Area for up to five days, although there are no amenities other than a vault toilet.
Kaiser Hot Springs – 196 miles | 3 hours
Kaiser Hot Springs, located about 60 miles south of Kingman, is a rural geothermal pool that’s an excellent treat after a trek in Warm Springs Canyon. After hiking a short distance from the parking area, you’ll run into a myriad of natural desert treasures before encountering a nice stone-walled, manufactured bath.
Even though the pool is not spacious enough to swim in, it is knee-deep and ideal for relaxing and soaking. The water temperature is approximately 99°F, which gushes out of the rock, although the rest of the pool is around 93°F.
To get to Kaiser Hot Springs, guests must trek 1.5 kilometers each way, which takes about an hour out and back. This climb and bath are particularly appealing in the spring and autumn when the weather is more relaxed, and camping is accessible nearby at the Burro Creek Campground. Keep an eye out for wildlife sightings such as donkeys and horses in this region.
Mystic Hot Springs (Utah) – 205 miles | 3.75 hr
This lovely thermal pool resort, formally called “Monroe Hot Springs”, is the ideal way to rejuvenate yourself and connect with nature. Although not a fancy hotel, this establishment offers a one-of-a-kind Bohemian ambiance that will leave you with beautiful memories and tranquil thoughts.
Mystic Hot Springs showcases some of the most unusual bathing tubs you’ll ever see, allowing you to enjoy a pleasant bathing experience outdoors or even beneath the night’s stars. Visitors that are into no-frills and rugged atmospheres love this place.
Before becoming a tourist destination and bathing spot, Mystic Hot Springs was a stop along the famed “Old Spanish Trail,” where travelers would stop for a rest. The cost of soaking is included in reservations at one of the property’s accommodations.
Visitors who want to stay the night can make bookings at the Pine Cabin or one of the various buses that have been converted into residential lodgings. There are also typical campsites and RV sites; however, water passes must be bought when camping.
Red Hill Hot Springs (Utah) – 206 miles | 3.75 hr
Set in the outskirts of the town of Monroe, Red Hill Hot Springs is tucked against a red hill, hence the name. These thermal waters are mostly primitive, but they have a modest parking lot and a vault toilet.
The soaking area is open all year long and accessible to everyone at any time, despite being private land. Visitors that enjoy basking over scenic natural beauty while soaking will love the seclusion of this memorable environment.
There are four small natural pools on-site, big enough to fit just a few people at a nice. The area is heavily trafficked, so it’s best to come in early mornings to avoid larger crowds, especially during the weekends. Visitors who prefer more trendy, developed soaking pools can head to Mystic Hot Springs, which is only about a mile away from Red Hill.
Castle Hot Springs – 221 miles | 3.75 hr
Castle Hot Springs Resort, located just north of Phoenix, is a premium boutique facility that offers all-inclusive accommodations and natural mineral pools. The geothermal springs and resort amenities are only accessible to overnight guests, and day passes are not an option at this time.
The property’s on-site spa has a full menu of treatments and wellness activities perfect for indulging in some self-care. This haven also boasts five-star cuisine with freshly harvested ingredients and various everyday activities such as biking, hiking, wildlife watching, boating, archery, via ferrata, water aerobics, and more.
One of the top features at Castle Hot Springs is the three natural bathing pools nestled along a canyon shaded by palms. These waters, which flow freely from the earth below, are a therapeutic blend rich in lithium, magnesium, and bicarbonates and are excellent for raising spirits and easing physical discomfort. The pool at the top is the warmest at 106 °F, followed by the middle pool at 96 °F and the third pool at 86 °F.
The resort’s quaint housing options, which include sky view cabins, spring bungalows, and a three-room cottage, are a pleasure in and of themselves.
Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Springs – 240 mi | 3.75 hr
The sizzling and remote Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Springs is hidden along the Colorado River, just south of the Hoover Dam. It’s the ideal location for anyone wishing to unwind or enjoy some downtime while reconnecting with nature. Visitors have to trek on a 5.8-mile loop to reach these three geothermal pools through a beautiful and tight slot canyon.
This trail system is only open from October 1 to May 14 due to extreme heat, and the parking lot to the trailhead is located along US Highway 93.
Walking at a steady pace, most people can complete the loop in about four hours, but allow some extra time for soaking. Pets are allowed on the trail, and there are primitive locations for visitors that want to camp in a tent.
Even though the springs are safe for soaking, be aware that there’s a chance of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba being in the water, so going underwater or getting in with open wounds isn’t recommended. It’s rare and typically enters through the nose.
Gold Strike Hot Springs (Nevada) – 242 mi | 3.75 hr
The Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail, located just outside Las Vegas, is a seasonal hiking trail leading to lovely natural mineral springs pools. Because of the high summer temperatures, the route is only available from October 1 to May 14 (closed from May 15 to September 30).
When the path is closed, it is walled off with locked gates and tightly enforced; anyone who does not comply may be fined if detected. During open season, parking is free, and the trailhead is obvious.
The natural geothermal baths maintain temperatures ranging from 85 to 105°F, depending on the time of year. The walk to the hot springs is a 6-mile out and back that is quite strenuous but well worth the effort for this reward.
Scrambling and rope use is required on portions of the path, which might be challenging for some people. However, the rest of the trail is pleasant and boasts impressive landscapes.
While the Grand Canyon by itself is a fantastic experience, it doesn’t hurt to add a visit to a soaking pool for some extra relaxation. Keep this list handy for your next journey through this beautiful state.