A trip to Kaiser Hot Spring near Wikieup, AZ is good medicine for anyone needing to unplug from it all and bask in the beautiful surroundings and the soothing quiet of nature. It’s a scenic, moderate hike that’s close enough to do as a day-trip from the Phoenix area.
Bonus: There’s a mineral-rich hot spring to soak in.
What to expect on your hike to Kaiser Hot Spring
No need to rush this hike. Take your time to absorb the sights and sounds (or lack of) in the mile or so journey down the dry river bed to the spring. Wear clothes you can get wet in and bring water, snacks and a towel to make the most of it.
Some people call it a warm spring; I call it a hot spring. I didn’t bring a thermometer but based on my experience with my hot tub at home, I would ballpark the Kaiser Spring water temperature at 100 degrees (38 Celsius).
I would ballpark the Kaiser Spring water temperature at 100 degrees (38° Celsius).
The trail isn’t well marked, but apparently it’s well traveled, especially by locals. Although the hike is fairly easy, the surface is coarse sand, which requires more effort than packed dirt trails.
Hiking shoes are a better choice than flip flops or river shoes. If you’re solo, consider packing a book or journal. There are plenty of amazing places to stop and immerse yourself in nature.
You may not have the spring to yourself when you go, but you need not worry about big crowds either.
If someone’s in the pool when you arrive, it’s to your advantage to take a break on a nearby rock in a place where the pool’s occupant(s) can see you. Chances are they’ll get the hint and let you take their place in short order.
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Video of the Kaiser Hot Spring experience:
How to get to Kaiser Hot Spring
If you’re traveling from Kingman
Take Hwy 93 south from Wikieup and look for the center median crossing just before the Kaiser Spring Wash Bridge and take a left. If you miss it, just continue over the bridge that crosses Kaiser Spring Wash and do a u-turn at your next opportunity, then follow the steps below.
If you’re traveling from Wickenburg
Take Hwy 93 north from Wickenburg and continue about 5 miles past the Burro Creek bridge. Look for a sign that says Kaiser Spring Wash and slow way down to get ready for the next right-hand turn on to a narrow dirt road that essentially u-turns to the right.
Where to park
Unless you have high-suspension with 4WD, take a left at the fence opening shown below rather than going through it. You can park your car in a nice, flat lot, then hike under the bridge down into the dry river bed. (Scroll down for map)
After you park, follow the wash “down stream” for about a mile. You’ll know you’re getting close when you pass by a tall canyon wall on your right with a sizable cave at ground level.
You may get the feeling you went by the spring or went the wrong way, but you really can’t miss it because the water from the spring spills out into the wash.
Read to go? This map will help you get there: