Welcome to 160knots.com !
           
Flying into Agua Caliente Springs Airport !
           
Bellanca Super Viking
N4201B on the ramp. Agua Caliente Park in the background. It's a 1/2 mile
walk though the desert on a clearly marked trail but worth it.
           
Best time of the year to go?  Winter into early Spring when the desert is in bloom.
Flight time in a Super Viking from KAJO? 0.7
Food on the airport? No
Fuel on airport? No
Landing or Handling fees? No
Comments about arriving and departing.  From AFD: Wind permitting, use of Rwy 29 for landing and Rwy 11 for dep recommended due to 460? hill mile west of arpt.
Things to do at or near the airport. Hot Springs, Hiking and Camping all within walking distance.
Rate this stop with 10 being best, 5 average. This is a nice day trip. Go in cooler times of the year. 8.0
           
  
 

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Things to do in Agua Caliente !

I was looking for a short trip to a location I've never visited before and that's getting pretty hard to find.  Agua Caliente wasn't even on my list but I saw it on the sectional. I've always discounted this stop because I find few comments from pilots and what comments I do find are poor at best. Not much to do, runway in poor condition, tricky winds or simply too hot. I decided to give it a try anyway. They are all lying!

Descending into the valley I spotted the airport. To my surprise the ramp was full of planes. Someone on the radio was calling the location of hostiles. WHAT! I scanned the sky thinking I'd flown into an area being used by Air Force 1. Then saw the dust of choppers on the ground. A couple of USMC Osprey's were using the airport for an exercise. The USMC departed and I landed on runway 29 uphill with a slight tailwind capturing one of the last tie downs. Contrary to other reports the runway and ramp conditions are good. Tie down chains are provided and I suggest everyone used them. Desert winds are known to come up without warning.

I noticed most pilots climbing out of their planes wearing bathing suits and carrying towels. Seems many pilots frequent this place for an afternoon soak in the hot springs flying home a few hours later.

I set off up the marked trail to the park. The ranger station had a guide and after seeing the hot springs and camping area I hiked up to Desert Overlook for some pictures. In was January 31st but with recent rains the desert was already starting to bloom. Suggest you bring some water, a picnic basket would be really nice. The park is very well maintained. Camp grounds, bathrooms and showers are immaculate.

This is a good day trip for hiking and a soak in the springs. The desert has a unique beauty in the winter though early spring and this is a great place to avoid the crowds and enjoy it. Agua Caliente is a very relaxing place.

I think I've got it figured out. Pilots give this place less than stellar reviews to keep it a secret. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

Pictures from Agua Caliente Springs !
Agua Caliente Airport The flight line at Agua Caliente Springs Airport.
Agua Caliente Airport N957UM Arriving Aircraft.
Agua Caliente Airport John and Martha King on final
Agua Caliente Airstrip  Agua Caliente Springs Airport
Agua Caliente Hot Springs Walking to the park from the airport
Agua Caliente Springs It's about a 1/2 mile walk up a slight grade to the park.
A PDF of the park guide with camping locations, trails and other information.
Agua Caliente Park Stop at the Ranger Station and pay your fees.
Agua Caliente Camping Camping at Agua Caliente Park.
Agua Caliente Hiking The Marsh Trail up to the Desert Overlook
Agua Caliente Hiking Desert Foliage
Agua Caliente Pools A view from Desert Overlook of the pools fed by natural hot springs. The outdoor pools are a natural 90 degrees, the indoor pool is heated to 102 degrees.
Agua Caliente Airport The airport as seen from Desert Overlook
V-22 Ospre V-22 Osprey's came back for another mission while I was on Desert Overlook
V-22 Ospre V-22 Osprey's departing Agua Caliente. This was a 3/4 mile shot with a $89 camera.
Agua Caliente Regional Park The outdoor movie theater.
Desert hiking At this point the only thing missing was a horse with no name.

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Last Updated
February 11, 2010

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Frank Holbert
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