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The waters at Castle Hot Springs were first known by Apache and Yavapai Indians. These waters were medicinal to them. In 1865, Col. Charles Craig, a commander at Fort Whipple in Prescott, chased a group of Indians through the area. The Indians had jus raided a nearby mining camp. Col. Craig and his troops defeated the Indians and then stopped to rest near Salvation Peak. The men noticed that the rocks on the nearby mountains resembled castles and since there was a creek there, they named the area, Castle Creek.
The first original resort was opened in 1896. It was again known for its magical waters. The resort grew and many famous people came to visit. Some names included the Rockefellers, Wrigley’s, Cabot’s, Carnegies, Roosevelt’s and Zane Grey. Before this actually, one website says, that Castle Hot Springs was the “territorial winter capital”. This could have been during the original construction in 1896. The site included a house for the Governor as well as a jail. This would actually make sense because a nearby peak (behind Salvation Peak) is Governors Peak.
WWII also brought more people to Castle Hot Springs. Pilots were sent to the springs to recuperate. One of these pilots was John F. Kennedy. This special visit constituted the American flag to be flown 24/7 on the nearby Salvation Peak. However, in 1976, a terrible fire destroyed many of the buildings at Castle Hot Springs. Although, many are still standing. Caretakers remain at the spring to maintain it but it is no longer open. The only thing one can do is take in it’s beauty from the road.
The springs themselves are still very much active. The water comes from a depth from about 7,000 – 10,000 feet (based on its high quality) and produces about 200,000 gallons daily. The water maintains a 122 degree temperature which is actually the hottest known temperature in a spring that is not volcanically active.
Castle Hot Springs is a neat place and can be reached by taking the 74 to Castle Hot Springs Rd., then follow the Castle Hot Springs trail/Champie Ranch Loop to get to the springs. This trail (Castle Hot Springs Rd.) follows much of the old stage coach route which ran here weekly.
The flag atop Salvation Peak
Looking at Castle Hot Springs Resort from the road
Olson, Carl, and Kim Whitley. "Castle Hot Springs." Arizona Heritage Waters. Northern Arizona University, n.d. Web. 3 Jul 2010. <http://www.azheritagewaters.nau.edu/loc_Castle_Hot.html>.
"Castle Hot Springs." www.ghosttowns.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jul 2010. <http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/castlehotsprings.html>.
"Castle Hot Springs." AZ Ghost Town Stage. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Jul 2010. <http://www.azghosttownstage.com/castlehotsprings.htm>.