Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area
SAND, SUN, WATER & FUN A day at the beach? Well, actually, the sands at the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area were a beach surrounding a lake approximately two million years ago. What remains today offers one of the most unique recreation spots in Arizona. Where else does the opportunity to ride in sand dunes and soak in relaxing hot tubs exist at the same location?
This 2,000-acre area of rolling sand dunes provides a great opportunity for off-highway-vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts. The Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area is an area that has been designated "open" to vehicles. All types of vehicles including sand rails, ATV's, motorbikes, and four-wheel- drive trucks are allowed to ride anywhere within the fenced boundary. There are low, sparsely vegetated dunes for those preferring a slower paced ride, while several larger dunes provide a challenge for the adventurous rider. OHV use is allowed outside of the fenced area on existing roads and trails.
Hot Wells sprang into existence by accident back in 1928, when drillers seeking oil under the sand dunes broke into a pocket of hot water at a depth of 1,920 feet. The artesian well, producing over 250 gallons of water per minute at 106 degrees Fahrenheit, has been flowing ever since. The remains of the early drilling equipment can still be seen approximately 100 yards west of the well just off the entrance road. The hot mineral water is great for soaking aching muscles after a day of riding the dunes, relieving the pain of arthritis, or just relaxing from the stress of the day. While this water feels great, it is important to remember that it is 106 degrees.
Bike paths may be available; please check with park services for more information.
There are campsites that have a picnic table and campfire ring, but if you don't need these amenities feel free to pick any undeveloped spot that meets your needs (excluding the parking areas and vicinity immediately around the tubs and wildlife viewing ponds).
Trails may be available; please contact park services for more information.
Off Highway Vehicles
This 2,000 acre area of rolling sand dunes offers an open riding area for OHV's.
RVing may be permitted; please contact park services for more information.
Fall, winter and spring are the best times for visiting.
From Safford, AZ take I191 south to Tanque Rd. east to Haekel Rd. south. Follow the signs to the Recreation Area.