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Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area

Contact Info
About 25 miles southeast of Safford
State Parks
3,400 feet feet


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.

Hours + Fees

Open year round
Price Details:
$3 per vehicle


Picnic Area(s)

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
To get there from Safford, travel seven miles east on Highway 70. Turn right on BLM's Hakel Road and proceed 25 miles to the area. From Bowie, turn north on Central Avenue and continue two miles north to the Fan Road. Continue on the Fan Road for eight miles, then turn left on Hakel Road and proceed nine miles to the area. To there from Hwy 191, exit Hwy 191 near milepost marker 105 onto Tanque Road.
Customizable Directions

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