Located fifty-five miles northwest of downtown Phoenix and nestled safely among the canyons of the Bradshaw Mountains lie the hidden waters of Castle Hot Springs. One can be at the front gates of this paradise in just over an hour, however, unless invited, may only admire from outside the gate, as this resort is privately owned and access is restricted.
Castle Hot Springs enjoys a rich and elevated history. According to the informative bradshawmountains.com the Springs were discovered in 1867 by a regiment of troops commanded by Col Charles Craig during a pursuit of local hostile Indians. The troops discovered these rumored Apache healing springs while resting at Salvation Peak. Rumors spread that the hot springs “worked wonders, and healed all manner of illness and affliction. Ranchers, miners, solders, and wagon drivers all came to the springs to be healed and eventually the springs became a stop on the Phoenix Wickenburg stage line. Still another account has these springs being discovered by George Monroe. In his book Tragic Jack, R. Michael Wilson relays an article which appeared in the Arizona Weekly Miner on June 15th 1877. The article states that Monroe Springs were discovered by George Monroe and Ed Farley in 1874 and places it sixty miles south of Prescott, (This shows you how insignificant Phoenix was at this time.) It goes on to state that the springs were later re-located by Jesse Jackson May 27th, 1877 who intended on building and making a permanent residence there. Mr. Jackson was quoted as saying “We look for these springs to become the fashionable resort for all the invalids of Arizona.” It is quite possible that both these accounts are accurate, as Monroe may not have been aware of the previous discovery.
The springs are hidden deep among steep canyons that make up the southern drainage of the Bradshaw Mountains. The location actually seems ideal for a fortress or stronghold than a resort, and perhaps that was the idea when it served as the first territorial winter capital of Arizona before Arizona’s statehood. Arizona at this time was still quite hostile and the Indian wars were just coming to a close. The location also served as the first territorial governor’s residence and jail. It is also reported that the building’s balcony served as a convenient location for hangings. After all, it was the frontier, and some people just needed hanging.
Castle Hot Springs is listed as an Arizona Heritage Water. This body identifies the states most important scientific, socio-cultural, and historical water sites. This designation is quite special as it recognizes exceptional sites worthy of protection. Being a spring, this site requires, even more, protection as springs are neither “groundwater” nor are they considered “surface water”, leaving them to fall into a legal nebula and this lack of legal clarity leaves them open to exploitation.
Castle Hot Springs isn’t just another hot spring. It is fed by an enormous cistern created by the displacement of tertiary volcanic rock, tens of thousands of years ago. It’s what the Hopi would refer to as “deep rock water” in their prophecies. Rates of flow are reported between 150,000 and 200,000 gallons of water a day and the temperature of the springs at its emergence is 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the hottest, non-volcanic, temperature of a spring known in the world. The water is of exceptional purity, being both colorless and odorless, indicating a source depth of between 7,000 and 10,000 feet. The springs emerge as a waterfall through a crack in the wall of a cliff filling three deep pools, of which the lower ones are cool enough to bath in.
Not just another retreat.
If the patient/ guest list of this retreat is any indication, these springs weren’t generally frequented by the average Joe. From its early discovery, the location was scooped up by the government and turned into the territorial capital. The resort attracted many of the wealthiest and most prominent families in the country at the time. Among these families were the Rockefellers, Wrigleys, Cobots, and the Carnegies. Zane Grey also frequented the resort as did Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, and the Roosevelt family. Many were regular visitors.
During World War II, the resort was used for recuperating pilots, among them future president John F. Kennedy. This distinction earned a special dispensation, allowing the American flag to be flown 24 hours a day on nearby Salvation Peak. If you drive Castle Hot Springs road you will still see the U.S. flag flying there today, and is currently maintained by the Boy Scouts of America.
Fountain of Youth
Though our knowledge of these springs goes back only so far as the Yavapai and Apache, as I unfold the pages of history I find that they have always been believed to possess healing properties. In fact, the springs were held in such sacred esteem that even in times of war, temporary truces were called between tribes to allow for safe passage for the healing of the sick and wounded.
When the Americans moved in and laid claim to these springs it seems they were immediately recognized as healing waters, at first the common man took advantage of these waters but as word got out the site was promptly seized by the government and later, privatized. As you can see from above the guest list is quite exclusive and it seems only the ultra-wealthy, and well-to-dos were permitted access to these springs. Could it be that these springs actually possess healing properties aside from just a natural warm bath?
Duane McCullough, a researcher from Florida, has done extensive research on the topic of springs around the swamps of Florida and more specifically the legend of the fabled Fountain of Youth, the spring that would have been the ultimate feather in the cap of one Juan Ponce de Leon had he not been shot with a poisoned tipped arrow and died an early death. McCullough’s research is fascinating as well as refreshing. He approaches his work from a position that all springs contain a life force within them where ever natural springs are found. McCullough has found many springs within Key Largo containing waters with unique mineral composition due to concentrated nutritious sea salts. The natural cycles of the tidal pressures and seasonal freshwater flushing (containing gold) from the Everglades, mixing within the cracks in the coral bedrock of the upper Florida Keys create these springs unique in mineral content. This gold would concentrate here and be mixed with these springs creating a natural fountain of youth.
Mr. McCullough responded to me in an email saying “My research suggested that nanogold salts together with other elements like manganese – and perhaps other unique elements, when assimilated properly in the body may result in strong and durable cell connections – which can promote better cell memory and a much longer life cycle than those beings not exposed to said elements.” He goes on, “Dietary gold = durability theory concept. Memory is everything. Cell memory is mental memory, and the ability to remember equals longevity.” Personally, I think he is spot on. It is the cells ability to remember (uncorrupted programming / DNA ) that ensures it will replicate exactly as is and not mutate, hence aging and dying. I would like to add that these same findings were realized by David Hudson on his cotton farm right here in the Phoenix valley in 1975. Mr. Hudson’s findings centered around (monoatomic gold) and have been patented.
We know Arizona has plenty of gold. In fact, according to geologists the Bradshaw Mountain range is one of the most mineralized mountain ranges in the United States and as any local prospector hobbyist or adventurer will tell you, the amount of gold and heavy metals within the Bradshaw range is astounding. Sixty-three old west ghost towns will testify to this. It is not mined however due to the fact that these concentrations are insufficient to turn a profit, as the gold is diffused throughout the soil in the microstructure.
It is my thought that the natural rainwater passing through these soils on their way to the aquifers could, in essence, become mineralized and concentrated deep under these mountains and emerge as an artesian spring here. Could the non-volcanic heat have something to do with the chemical reaction deep underground? Allowing for Mr. McCullough’s theories, I see this unique spring’s hydrology and these mountains unique heavy metal concentration as the perfect union for actual healing springs and perhaps a real fountain of youth.
David Copperfield to has claimed to have discovered a fountain of youth on one of his eleven islands purchased in 2006 for $50 million dollars. To quote Mr. Copperfield. “I’ve discovered a true phenomenon.” You can take dead leaves, they come in contact with the water and become full of life again. Bugs or insects that are near death come in contact with the water, they’ll fly away. It’s an amazing thing, very, very exciting.” He also states, “We found this liquid that in its simple stages can actually do miraculous things-brown leaves turn green. It is natural. Simple organisms that are near death are rejuvenated. So we don’t know about the effects on humans, but we are doing research and development.” This island resort serves a vacation get-a-way for the ultra-elite today. For $37,000 a night, up to 12 guests have access to luxurious villas, private beaches, and the springs. Past guest list includes; Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Johnny Depp. I am no Sherlock but I sense a trend between the wealthy elite and private springs.
It is interesting to note that this spring is located north of Phoenix near the Hieroglyphic Mountain range. This name, of course, is explained away by saying that the mountain range received its name from local uneducated cowboys who mistook the abundance of local petroglyphs for hieroglyphs. But, could there be another reason these mountains received this name? This seems yet another Phoenix/Egyptian connection, and as we know the Egyptians were obsessed with longevity, and the preservation of the human body. Did these springs bare any weight on the decision of the ancient peoples who decided to construct a permanent civilization here? Are there more clues, ruins, or artifacts to be found in this area? John F. Kennedy supposedly found a cave just north of the springs which still bares the name he gave it, Black Cave. The area is extremely privatized as well. As one drives along Castle Hot Springs road they will notice “no trespassing” signs hanging on the barbwire fences almost the entire way and especially around the spring area. It would be an interesting study to pull the land records and see who actually owns this land and the change of ownership throughout the years. Perhaps I’ll do a follow-up investigation in the future and post it here.
So there it is. A mysterious private spring known for it’s healing properties throughout all its existence, privately owned with limited access. Some people would call the idea of a real natural fountain of youth preposterous and fanciful, but allow me to remind them of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually by researchers, and geneticists in the scientific field of life extension research. This dream once thought to be unattainable is making leaps and bounds every year. The secrets of DNA have been unlocked and it is only a matter of time before the organic machine known as the human body can and will be manufactured at will and by design. However, until this day comes or this technology is available to the masses, one can imagine that any life-extending resources will be coveted and circulated only among the elites of this world.