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Hot Springs Relaxation in the Arizona Desert

Josh and I wanted to celebrate our third anniversary with a quiet getaway.

When you’re constantly on the road, the idea of wanting to escape might seem silly, but it’s remarkably refreshing to disconnect from work and reconnect with each other.

Being in Arizona, we wanted to explore some place new to us, so I began my research.

El Dorado Hot Springs in Tonopah, Arizona

My only other experiences with hot springs had been accompanied by a sulfuric smell. Not so romantic.

So when I found El Dorado Hot Springs in Tonopah, just west of Phoenix, I knew we had found a winner. Taken directly from their website:

“El Dorado Hot Springs is located above a subterranean hot spring of pure, odorless, tasteless mineral water. The water is naturally heated by Mother Earth to an average of 107 degrees, with a pH of 8.2. Some say that it’s like bathing in liquid silk.”

Our Private Accommodations

We drove from Flagstaff to Tonopah on a Friday afternoon, going from Ponderosa pines to Saguaro cacti in just a few hours.

These huge cacti can only be found in the Sonoran Desert

We arrived at the rustic El Dorado Hot Springs at sunset, where we had booked a private room for the evening.

Hot spring sunset in the desert

We chose to stay in the Motel California, which has a standalone building that includes a queen bed, kitchenette and bathroom, as well as a fenced in yard with a fire pit, lawn chairs, a soaking tub, rinsing tub and outdoor shower.

Desert luxury at its finest

The Experience of Soaking

Our very own soaking tub was plenty large for the both of us, about the size of a hot tub.

Soaking in the birds, trees and stars at night

El Dorado is pet-friendly, so we left Bo to patrol the rig and brought Gabby with us.

She hates water but accidentally dove right into the hot spring when we first arrived. She wasn’t happy with being wet, but we loved how soft her coat was once she dried out.

The gemstone waterfall was a nice touch

As advertised, the water left our skin feeling silky and clean. Whenever the temperature would cool off, all we had to do was push some of the water out of the tub drain, and fresh hot water would take its place automatically.

For guests who don’t have their own private tubs, there are other private and public soaking options.

One of several private soaking areas, some of which offer an open desert view

The Setting

When our fingers and toes became too pruned to soak anymore, we explored the rest of the rustic setting, which included vintage signs and vehicles.

Wonder if this Ford could pull our 5th wheel

El Dorado was also home to an informal menagerie, including peacocks, chickens, a turkey and a cat.

Unfortunately, the male never gave us a full tail feather display

The turkey was a true character, enjoying chasing after the cat and women’s feet.

Peaceful soaking to the tune of gobble gobble

We had a great time at El Dorado Hot Springs. The water was perfect, and the setting was beautiful. We left as relaxed as we had hoped.

If you’re looking for pampered luxury, this isn’t the place for you. But if you enjoy rustic, quiet places to rest, give El Dorado a try when you’re near Phoenix.

What’s the best hot springs you have visited on your travels?

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