Agua Caliente Scenic Drive
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"Hot Water"

Named for the hot springs in the area used for medicinal purposes in the late 1880's and early 1900's.

Location

The road begins approximately 57 miles west of Phoenix, just south of Arlington. From Phoenix, take I-10 west to State Route 85 exit (to Gila Bend), head southbound on SR-85 towards Gila Bend. After 6 miles, turn right and head west at the Palo Verde/Arlington turnoff on Old Route 80. Follow road through Palo Verde, Hassayampa and Arlington (road turns into old SR-80). About 14.1 miles south of Arlington near the Gila Compressor Station you see a street sign marked "Agua Caliente Road." Turn right at that exit and you are on the road.  You will cross a BLM portal sign after one mile.  (See Map)

Description

A drive on a maintained and mostly dirt road through a natural Sonoran Desert area formed by the Yellow Medicine Hills and the Gila Bend Mountains. Beautiful desert vegetation expecially in the spring when the ocotillos, brittlebush and palo verdes are in bloom. The rugged Eagletail Mountain Wilderness and Saddle Mountain areas loom to the north, and Face Mountain to the south. The route passes by the old Sundad ghost town (hike over or use a four-wheel drive for this!). The hilly parts of the route offer expansive desert views of plains and mountains. Volcanic landscapes and features abound. Black Butte, Fourth of July Butte, Yellow Medicine Butte and Face Mountain are all noticeable landscape features. The southern part of the route climbs onto the Sentinel Plain Lava Flow, a stark landscape of lava 15 to 45 meters thick, the largest flow in the state. There are several old mine sites along the route in Sundad and the Jackpot and Dixie Mines.

Best Season

Due to the summer heat, it's recommended only for travel October through May. Spring is best with the blooming desert flora. Do not drive after heavy rains. It is advised that you contact BLM's Lower Sonoran Field Office or the National Weather Service for current road conditions and weather forecasts.

NEARBY RECREATION SITES AND AREAS

EMERGENCY SERVICES

In case you encounter unexpected trouble:

  • Nearest Hospital: Gila Bend or Buckeye
  • Nearest Law Enforcement: Gila Bend or Buckeye

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


  Lower Sonoran Field Office 
21605 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027-2929
Phone: (623) 580-5500
Fax: (623) 580-5580
Field Manager:  Ed Kender
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., M-F