Springs - Ancient waters for us today

Spud rock spring. It is a small pool of water surrounded by boulders, with green vegetation along its edges.
Spud Rock spring, Rincon Mountain District, 2010

NPS Photo

A park intern crouches at the edge of a spring pool and dips a hand into the water. They are surrounded by lush and vibrant spring vegetation.
Park intern collecting spring monitoring data for Italian Spring at over 7,000 feet elevation in the Rincon Mountains

NPS Photo

Springs occur whenever water from underground expresses itself on the surface of the earth. Multiple springs occur throughout the Rincon Mountains. Many, like Italian Spring, flow year-round and are essential water for hikers on the Arizona Trail. Many tinajas are also spring fed. One of the best known springs in the park is Rock Spring, just a few steps upstream from Steel Tank. Scientists studying the origin of water in the park's springs have found that the water has very slowly worked its way down through cracks in the rocks. The cool, clear water in some desert springs may have fallen as rain or snow dozens - or perhaps even thousands - of years ago.

Last updated: April 12, 2021

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