Article: 19900701023

Title: DESTINATIONS

19900701023
199007010023
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DESTINATIONS
Buckhorn Mineral Baths
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IMAGINE AN EXHAUSTING DAY OF riding that ends with your aching body soothed by hot mineral water being circulated in a whirlpool bath. Your treatment continues as attendants wrap you in towels, elevating your body’s natural heat as you lie in a darkened room relaxing.
Charles Davis
Photographs
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DESTINATIONS

Buckhorn Mineral Baths

Mesa, Arizona

IMAGINE AN EXHAUSTING DAY OF riding that ends with your aching body soothed by hot mineral water being circulated in a whirlpool bath. Your treatment continues as attendants wrap you in towels, elevating your body’s natural heat as you lie in a darkened room relaxing. Soon you are awakened by a Swedish-massage artist who kneads away the tension from sore muscles.

A dream? Nope. Welcome to the Buckhorn.

Curiously, this oasis of relaxation began not as a bath house, but as a house of taxidermy opened by owners Ted and Alice Slinger on a remote stretch of U.S. Highway 60, just outside of Apache Junction, Arizona, in 1936. While Hollywood was busy making Apache Junction one of the Wild West capitals of the movie world, the 1 930’s and ’40’s found the Slinger’s shop catering to the real cowboys of Arizona, who often would arrive with a game animal in need of Ted's taxidermy skills.

Business was good, but obtaining water in this arid location was a constant problem. The Slingers had to buy water by the gallon and haul it to their shop. In 1939, the Slingers drilled their own well, which struck 1 12-degree water that contained many minerals claimed to have curative powers. Using this water, the Buckhorn expanded to contain guest rooms and other attractions, and soon became the Southwest’s largest bath house and, eventually, a great place for a hot-water, muscle-relaxing break from two-wheeled travel.

—Charles Davis

Information

Buckhorn Mineral Baths 5900 E. Main St. Mesa, AZ 85205-0050

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The Buckhorn is a place to hop out of the saddle and into an old-style hot-springs experience.
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