The road to Castle Hot Springs Resort was easy but that is what we were looking for as we needed to get some miles on the Jeep before we ventured onto a trail/road a little more challenging. The road begins in the small town of Morristown, about 10 miles southeast of Wickenberg on highway 60.
From Wiki: Castle Hot Springs, sometimes referred to as the “grand dowager” of Arizona resorts, is located just 55 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix in a valley surrounded by the rocky cliffs and crags of the Bradshaw Mountains. The site enjoys a rich and lengthy history stretching back to the pre-settlement Apaches who attributed healing powers to the hot, clear water that poured out from the canyon rock. Castle Hot Springs served as the first territorial capital of Arizona as well as a retreat for wealthy businessmen, politicians, and even presidents.
This is what the resort looks like today. It still appears to be somewhat maintained, however I don't believe it accomodates any commercial visitors or parties. It is fairly remote, as the road to the resort is not easily traversed. Two-wheelers can go there, however it is pretty rough road, from either direction. One can get here from the other end, Pleasant Lake.
Snack break on the way to the resort.
Not sure what it is, coachwhip, gopher, whipsnake. Anyone know for sure? He was right in the middle of the road, so we waited for him to cross before we drove on. He was about 6 feet long. Creepy!
Miles of road similar to this, and at a slow speed, 10mph, one can see just about everything riding along. Can't go too muchfaster as the road has washboard ridges all along, making the ride a little shaky. Any faster (to avoid the shaky ride) and you can't negotiate the many turns.
This part of the resort is just west of the main house and lodge. I believe this area was used for cookouts and possibly for assembling and staging horseback sojourns through the many trails in the area. The building at the end here is a barn/stable.
The old barn/stable down the road from the main lodge.
Directly in front of the main house, the road traverses right through the river bed, and continues in the river bed for about three miles. Pretty rough.
After driving on past the resort and up a small rise, looking back reveals many other palm trees. Up the canyons left and right one can see various stands of these trees. My research indicates tha some of these species are native and some are not, ie, California Fan, Date Palm and others well. History tells us that Indians in this area ate small date-like fruit from some of these palms. Interesting!
This stand was near the road away from the resort and actually continued up into the canyon to our left.
Further down the road about two miles, we ran into a small community of about six homes. In between these homes we saw many pieces of heavy equipment used to work the mines in the area. Not sure what was mined.
Boring probably, but it just reminded me of what was once here and a part of the culture that once supported a way of life.
Well, the sun is getting low in the sky, and we still have a lot miles out of here, and back to Goodyear and our home on wheels. So, we better close for now. Our next blog will be about a very interesting ride to the Tonapah-Belmont Mine. Till then, Joe & Nancy.