ARIZONA’S CASTLE HOT SPRINGS HEATS UP WITH THE STATE’S FIRST FERRATA COURSE
A Wild West paradise reminiscent of a classic John Wayne movie, Castle Hot Springs is an American Southwest travel gem offering a new way to experience the rugged terrain of the picturesque Bradshaw Mountains and the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona. As domestic travel continues to gather steam and Americans seek naturally distanced and reenergizing getaways that allow them to reconnect with nature in a warmer winter climate, the historic property—a 2020 Conde Nast Traveler Hot List Winner made up of 30 standalone cabins and bungalows—has launched exciting new adventure travel programming for guests across its expansive 1,100-acres, including Arizona’s first-ever Via Ferrata cable climbing course. These new nature-filled pastimes will join the resort’s existing outdoor programming, including the eponymous hot springs pools forged over centuries from the Earth that serve as the property’s heartbeat.
The Iron Way: Arizona’s First Via Ferrata Course
An exciting new addition this fall is Castle Hot Springs’ new state-of-the-art Via Ferrata adventure course––a cable protected climbing route that takes guests to new heights in the majestic desert mountains. The Via Ferrata experience—Arizona’s first, which is available to guests at an additional cost— is overseen by expert adventure guides, with both intermediate and advanced climbing courses available.
Fitting into Castle Hot Springs’ ethos as a historic property inspired by its surrounding natural elements, the Via Ferrata (Italian for ‘Iron Way’) enhancement is an apropos addition to Castle Hot Springs’ suite of guest activities. First developed in the Italian-Swiss Alps during World War One, the first iterations of the steel-enforced cable climbing routes were developed to transport soldiers and equipment across the rugged mountain terrain. By the late twentieth century, the mountaineering-like expedition grew popular amongst outdoor adventurers and has since become an established mountain activity, with specialized equipment, grading, and systems.
The Via Ferrata experience at Castle Hot Springs also includes access to some of the most impressive views across the expansive property, offered via the new Aerial Walkway, connecting two peaks of the Bradshaw Mountains and taking guests to new heights—more than 200 feet above the canyon floor below.
The Castle Hot Springs Via Ferrata experience will be offered for parties of 2-4 guests per guide via three routes varying in difficulty, including The Castle Creek Aerial Walkway ($75 pp; approximately 1 – 1.5 hours duration) and The Climbing Wall ($225 pp; approximately 3.5 – 4 hours duration).
More Treks, Trails, And Thrills At Castle Hot Springs
In addition to Castle Hot Springs’ new Via Ferrata, the resort’s adventure team has introduced additional programming to meet any visitor’s skill and confidence level. Each of these activities offers guests the opportunity to reconnect with themselves and the Great Outdoors:
Guided hikes through the adjacent trail system for dramatic desert landscapes—including brand-new trails ranging in difficulty level
A new Petroglyph tour for guests to explore the physical and anthropological history on the historic property, including etchings and script in the Bradshaw Mountain rock face, dating back millennia
Desert archery in a clearing within the canyon, just below the Via Ferrata course
Horseback riding along craggy trails in the Sonoran Desert
Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga classes taught in one of the hot springs’ three thermal pools
Fitness classes including yoga, meditation, and tai chi
Fishing, boating, and water sports in nearby Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Enhanced Farm program that now includes a blooming floral garden and an agave farm intended for distilled spirit production; guests are welcome to participate in the interactive Farm Tour by tasting rare varieties of heirloom tomatoes, citrus, edible flowers and herbs, and indigenous ingredients
A one-of-a-kind, outdoor-driven adult getaway (ages 16 and up only) accessible via helicopter or automobile, Castle Hot Springs is conveniently located just an hour’s drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport yet remains a perfectly remote hideaway for those seeking to disconnect in a naturally distanced environment. Nightly rates at Castle Hot Springs start from USD $900 inclusive of meals and activities for two.