Castle Hot Springs

Elixir for what ails you.

Arizona's own hot springs, bubbling at 122 degrees Fahrenheit, brought national attention to the Castle Hot Springs resort.

Castle Hot Springs has been a site of healing and recreation dating to at least the fifteenth century. Advertisements hailed the waters' curative powers, which drew numerous local and national visitors to the “grand dowager” of Arizona resorts. Castle Hot Springs served as retreat for business and political leaders and the wealthy. Among those who frequented the resort were some of America's most notable elites, including members of the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Roosevelt families, as well as the novelist Zane Grey.

Castle Hot Springs benefited from the tourism boom to Arizona in the late nineteenth century, as tuberculosis patients moved to Arizona for its favorable climate. Advertisements hailed the waters' curative powers, and the spring even became the territorial winter capital.

Following a devastating fire, in 1976, Castle Hot Springs closed. Since then, the property has changed hands multiple times. Only two buildings remain, along with a the grounds, pool, and golf course.

The hot springs are fed by an enormous cistern created by the displacement of volcanic rock tens of thousands of years ago. The reservoir produces water at 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Images

Visitors enjoying the sun outside of the Palm House in Castle Hot Springs.
Visitors enjoying the sun outside of the Palm House in Castle Hot Springs. Source: Peoria Historical Society Date: 1908
Image from advertisement for Castle Hot Springs.
Image from advertisement for Castle Hot Springs. Shown are bathers outside Castle Hot Springs Hotel. A devastating fire in 1976 destroyed much of the original property. Source: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/castlehotsprings.html Date: c. 1960
Two bathers relaxing from the elixir of 'magic waters.'
Two bathers relaxing from the elixir of 'magic waters.' Early advertisements claimed cures for numerous diseases and ailments. While the springs may not have had magical cures, they seemed to have been relaxing. Source: Joe Hull, CASTLE HOT SPRINGS
Date: c. 1920
Guest going on morning ride from Castle Hot Springs.
Guest going on morning ride from Castle Hot Springs. In addition to the various pools and springs, the resort offered various outdoor activities. Here a gentleman is out for a morning ride. Source: Peoria Historical Society Date: c. 1900
Hot Tub at Castle Hot Springs.
Hot Tub at Castle Hot Springs. This is one of the bathing springs at Castle Hot Springs. Source: Peoria Historical Society Date: c. 2000
Castle Hot Springs Resort
Castle Hot Springs Resort This is a place less than 50 miles from Phoenix that few have taken the time to see. It has an amazing Arizona history. Built in 1896, it served on several occasions as the winter Territorial Capital. It had the first Arizona telephone (telephone #1), first electric light bulb, and in 1945 a wounded John F. Kennedy spent 3 months here recuperating. A fire in 1976 shut the resort down. Creator: William Flynn Date: c. 2010
Road outside of Hot Springs.
Road outside of Hot Springs. To reach Castle Hot Springs today, it suggested that one use a four wheel drive vehicle. It is accessible through Lake Peasant County Park. Date: c. 2005

Location

Metadata

William M. Bercu, Ph.D., “Castle Hot Springs,” Salt River Stories, accessed May 19, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/246.