Castle Hot Springs – Jewel of the Bradshaws!

I had an opportunity to use my lift on a roofing project at Castle Hot Springs recently. I always enjoy getting my lift out on a new type of job, but the opportunity to poke around this former resort was irresistible! We anticipated only working with the lift a short time, and then we would be able to explore!

Castle Hot Springs Road leaves Hwy 74 just a short distance east of Hwy 60, near our home. Our directions, however, were to come in from the other end of Castle Hot Springs Road near Lake Pleasant. We were told to expect 5 miles of pavement, then 7 miles of gravel/dirt road. Towing the lift, I planned to go slow! The road was fine, only a few places with washboards and rough in spots. It crossed a series of ridges and washes, then a bridge across a (now dry) arm of Lake Pleasant before descending into the dry bed of Castle Creek. At the 7 mile point, we got our first view of the former resort.

The hot springs were used by Native Americans in pre-pioneer days for their medicinal properties. Early settlers also flocked to it’s waters and many of the buildings were built in the late 1800′s. There have been a number of devestating fires as well as changes in ownership over the years. Currently this private property is maintained by a caretaker and it OFF LIMITS. No entry is permitted! It is for sale – anybody got an extra $4 million? It would be a real steal!

The area has so much history, and is so unique, that I believe it should be purchased by the State or The Nature Conservancy and turned into an area accessible to the public. It has a unique natural history as well as a rich history of human use. The possibilities are endless, but it is going to take some big money – first to purchase it and then to take care of some much neglected maintenance and upgrades. Some maintenance is ongoing now, in an effort to dress it up for sale. This is where the lift came in handy!

Accessing the Roof with our Mini-Lift

The Roofers Had a Hard Time Getting to This Area!

Working the Other End of the Roof

I ended up being the lift operator, so we had to wait until all the roofing was done so that we could explore – we ended up only having about 30 minutes! And that included lunch! So, as soon as the lift was on the trailer, we headed up Castle Creek toward the lower pool…

The lower pool is currently stocked with Tilapia (non-native), and the water deep and is warm to the touch. Wouldn’t it be great if native fish could live there? Can you believe this is Arizona?

Looking Downstream over the Lower Pool

The middle pool is currently empty. Drained through the gate shown below. Obviously all the pools are man-made (but OLD!). I don’t know why this pool is empty.

Gate for the Middle Pool

 The water in the upper pool is said to be 110 deg. This is the source for Castle Creek! I recently sprained my ankle, and took the opportunity to soak it in the pool while we ate our lunch. It felt wonderful!

Hot Water Flowing into the Upper Pool

Below is the place I soaked. The water in the pool is turquoise blue and perfectly clear. There is no foul sulfur smell, like many hot springs I have visited. There is the constant sound of running water echoing between the walls of the canyon. What a place!!

Upper Pool and Stairway

As we walked back down the creek, the sun was backlighting everything making it look especially beautiful. I don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to the springs again, but I wish…

Backlit Palms and Grasses along Castle Creek

 UPDATE:

A customer of mine just gave me scans from a pamphlet advertising Castle Hot Springs – from 1907! Below are all the pages as images. Enjoy!