I'm a traveler, writer, student, and teacher, currently living in Constantine, Algeria.
Published September 23rd 2017
Reward yourself with a soak and quiet seclusion
A trip to El Dorado Hot Springs will not shower you with a treasure of gold or untold riches, but with just an hour's drive to Tonopah west of the fast-paced, hustle and bustle of Phoenix, you can find this "Oasis in the Desert" and rejuvenate your body and spirit.
Take a break from the city, any time of year, and spend an hour or an afternoon relaxing in soothing mineral waters fed from subterranean springs. El Dorado has five private soaking pools and one communal nude-only pool.
I have been to El Dorado numerous times, both alone and with friends, and have found it to be equally welcoming. Upon arrival, you may be greeted by peacocks that roam the property and who might escort you to the entry area where you pay your daily or hourly fee before making your way to your preferred pool.
With such a long drive, you might need to take care of some necessary business before continuing to your soak. There are public toilets available, in a kind of outhouse style, fenced, open-air, very clean and always stocked.
Enter into a private getaway away from the hustle and bustle
Walking into your reserved pool, you will find a comfortable and peaceful retreat, with the trickling sound of constantly flowing water and a pool that beckons you into a warm, sparkling sanctuary.
You will want to bring water and towels, though if you forget, no problem. The hosts provide both for a small fee. There is some shade in each space, so you can ease out of the Arizona sun while you soak up the breeze and sounds of birds.
It's really hard to believe how quiet it is being so close to the I-10 freeway. I have never been able to tell if the place was packed or completely empty, as each pool area is fenced, and guests and hosts alike are equally still within and outside their reserved areas. Even camping guests don't make much of a stir.
Take a leisurely soak in The Corral. You won't want to leave.
Calling ahead to make sure you can get the pool of your choice is the best bet. My favourite is The Corral, but all of them are comfortable and inviting. I've always had luck with reservations, though sometimes have had to change the time I wanted to reserve by an hour or so. You will appreciate having a set time, so you can immediately enjoy your leisurely dip after your hour-long drive without an extensive wait for the next available pool.
An hour soak for two people will cost you $30. Kids under 16 get in free and they offer overnights for an additional fee.
I think after all this writing I've talked myself into another soak. See you there!