Hot Well Dunes - Hot Springs in Arizona


Near I-10, in the desert between Tucson, Arizona, and El Paso, Texas.

Geothermal water was springing up at a campground where ATV enthusiasts were gathering.

ATV playground

Probably it is because I only visit remote hot springs, but when I lived in the United States, I was surprised to see how many unpaved roads there are.

Perhaps pickup trucks are so popular in the United States due in part to the condition of the roads.

Information Board

Perhaps it is for the same reason that ATVs have become a popular leisure activity.

Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area is a campground for these enthusiasts.


The wilderness created by the drying up of an ancient lake is the playground for ATVs.

There are geothermal wells here that were built to drill for oil.

Rules and Regulations

The entrance fee to the campground is $3.00 per vehicle (as of this writing).

I fed what little bills I had into a metal box and searched for the hot springs.

Deposit Fee

Two circular pools

Perhaps it was the result of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior, but the site was well maintained despite its remote location.

Two Tubs

There were two fenced-in pools, one in the front left and the other in the back right.

The water used was not self-fed but pumped up.

Solar Water Pump

A large solar panel marked the shed, which contained a pump that appeared to be used for pumping water.

It would be great to be able to soak in hot water on a camping night, but that dream will never come true.

Closer Tub1

Perhaps because it relies on sunlight for its power source, it is not possible to soak in the hot water once the sun sets.

The pools, which were round enough to accommodate about six people, were sturdily constructed.

It looks clean.
I'm sorry it's so inexpensive.

The water temp was around 106 degrees F.

Since there was nothing to block the strong sunlight while soaking, it felt warm enough even at this temperature.


It was free-flowing water without added tap water or chlorine.

There was enough gushing water, and the overflowing water was sucked into the sandy soil.

Farther Tub1

Let's take a look at the other pool.

Except for the positioning of the handrails and benches, I could find little difference.

Farther Tub2

The temperature here was slightly warmer.

In 1928, records show that thermal water gushed out when 1,600 feet underground were dug for oil drilling instead.

Water Outlet

Instead, the water is tasteless and odorless and has no smell of oil.

It can be said that it was a big miss for oil drilling.

From the Tub

On the other hand, we can enjoy hot springs in this way thanks to a fiasco nearly 100 years ago, so it is hard to know what is a failure and what is a success.

Hot Well Dunes, Safford, Arizona, U.S.

My rating

Type: Walk-in, Lodging (campground)

Rule: Clothing required

Chlorination: Not detected

Water temp: Up to 106 degrees F

Official website

  • Writer

Hot Springer Ken

A hot spring enthusiast based in Japan. Toured over 300 North American hot springs while working in Texas from 2016 to 2022. For updates, visit X or Instagram!

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