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Agua Caliente Ghost Town, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2 of 5 
no permit
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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Distance One Way 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 208 feet
Elevation Gain 206 feet
Accumulated Gain 208 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.69
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Ruins & Historic
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8  2015-03-30
Oatman Massacre / Fourr Cemetery
10  2015-03-30 kingsnake
53  2015-03-30
Oatman-Sundad-Aqua Caliente
27  2015-02-24 kingsnake
29  2015-02-24
Gila River Valley Meander
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 102
Routes 257
Photos 9,646
Trips 759 map ( 6,988 miles )
Age 60 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb
Sun  5:42am - 7:37pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Enjoy the soothing waters
by kingsnake

Agua Caliente, was named for the hot water spring which was used as a spa from pre-European times until the water was drained dry by farmers & ranchers in the late 1940s. I read somewhere that the Indians who massacred the Oatman family stopped here for a relaxing bath with their two young captives, Mary Ann and Olive Oatman. On March 30, 1862, nearby Stanwix Ranch / Stanwix Station, a stop on the Butterfield Overland Stage, was the site of the western-most battle of the Civil War. The California Column, of that war, also stopped at the Agua Caliente hot springs to partake of the soothing waters. The reputation spread, and in 1897 a 22-room spa was built. The spa was used during World War II by the officers (of course) of nearby Camp Horn.

The spa building is still standing, and intact, but it is signed off with "no trespassing" warnings. There is also a large satellite antenna outside. It looks like the grounds are occupied, so best take any pictures from the road. Just southwest of the spa, on the west side of the road, is an intact old stone building, which is fenced off and has metallic screens over the windows. The rest of the Agua Caliente, on the east side of the road, opposite the farm, is free to explore.

The stone buildings of Agua Caliente are all in ruins, with only one small shack still standing. In all, there are the remains of several dozen buildings, some fairly substantial. The largest building, with most of the walls still intact, is about 25 x 50, and surrounded by a curtain wall, either to form a courtyard, or as fortification against Indians and/or bandits. Other than beer bottles, the only identifiable artifacts were a couple of small refrigerators. (The type with a small inner box that serves as a pseudo-freezer.)

On west side of the road, the Pioneer Cemetery has burials from 1880 to at least 2007. More recent burials at the south end, older at the north, nearer the ruins. I found at least one grave that was obviously empty. (Spooky.) Many of the older graves are marked with only a wooden cross, or have no remaining memorial and are now only mounds.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your walk/tour to support this local community.

2015-02-27 kingsnake
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To walk/tour
    From Gila Bend ... West 28.0 miles on I-8. Exit 87 at Sentinel. North on Agua Caliente Rd. / 571st Ave. (seriously) for 10.2 miles. Left on Old Agua Caliente Rd. for about a mile. The Pioneer Cemetery will be on your left, while the cabin ruins are on the right across from the farm. The spa is just around the corner.
    page created by kingsnake on Feb 27 2015 8:51 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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