Have you ever found yourself deep in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by nature’s beauty, yet in dire need of a luxurious break from the exhausting hike? I know I have. And that’s precisely why I want to introduce you to the majestic Fifth Water Hot Springs, also known as Diamond Fork Hot Springs.
Located in Diamond Fork, Utah, this stunning natural wonder will leave you in awe. With its multiple milky blue and green pools, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees, Fifth Water Hot Springs is a true oasis in the heart of the woods.
However, as marvelous as it looks, there are a few risks to consider before planning a trip, so let’s get started.
|Diamond Fork Rd, Springville, UT 84663, US
|Diamond Fork Hot Springs is about 1 hour and 14 minutes (71.8 mi) from Salt Lake City.
|All-Year. Might close during winter storms.
Where is Fifth Water Hot Springs Located?
Fifth Water Hot Springs is a hidden gem within the stunning Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The trailhead to reach this natural wonder is just an hour’s drive from downtown Salt Lake City, with the last 10 miles on a well-maintained dirt road.
To get there, drive 1-15 south until you reach Spanish Fork, then take exit 257 onto US-6E and continue 11 miles until turning left onto Diamond Fork Road at mile marker 184.
Notably, during the winter, a major storm can close the last 6 miles of the road to vehicles but don’t worry, you’re still out of luck! If you’re up for a little extra adventure, pack your bike, park your car where the road closure begins, and continue on your journey to the trailhead.
The added miles will be well worth once you arrive at the hot springs and have them all yourself.
How hard is Diamond Fork Hot Springs to hike?
The hike to the hot springs is moderate, with a 2.5-mile journey and 700 feet of elevation gain. This trek takes you through the heart of the woods and rewards you with the stunning beauty of multiple milky blue and green pools.
The trail starts at the Three Forks Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon. From the trailhead, follow the trail that stays on the east side of Sixth Water Creek.
After 1.1 miles, the trail crosses the creek and starts climbing up a side canyon, where you’ll find Fifth Water Creek and the hot springs. The final stretch from the Sixth Water Bridge to the hot springs is approximately 1.2 miles.
While the directions seem overwhelming, the trial itself is easily doable by anyone with the proper shoes and enthusiasm.
What’s Diamond Fork Hot Springs like?
Once you reach the hot springs, you will soon be astonished by the vibrant color and number of pools available. The area is also packed with gorgeous waterfalls. The first, smaller waterfall is conveniently located beside the larger soaking pool, while the second, upper one, features a more photogenic multi-tiered design. Further up the creek, you’ll find a third waterfall.
You can choose from a variety of soaking pools, most of them being man-made and surrounded by lush greenery. The hottest pools are located near the waterfall at the top. The water temperature at the source near the upper pools is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite hot, but you can easily block or release cold water into the pool and alter the temperature.
Note that the first few pools you will notice at the bottom may have a strong sulfur odor and may not be as warm, so don’t jump in the first options you come across; walk a bit further and grab a warmer spot!
Fifth Water Hot Springs gets pretty crowded during the weekends, so visiting super early or during weekdays could give you a more relaxed experience. Because seriously, that natural and peaceful atmosphere is what makes 5th Water Hot Springs such a magical place. With the sound of the nearby stream and the rustle of leaves in the breeze, the hot spring is a haven of tranquility that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Dangers of the wild: What creatures should you be aware of?
Fifth Water Hot Springs is a place to relax and rejuvenate and an opportunity to catch a glimpse of wild nature. So, while soaking in the natural hot springs, be prepared to encounter rattlesnakes and gopher snakes, especially during the summer when wildlife is more active.
As a bonus, you may also spot moose and cougars in the area, so try to be cautious and give these animals their space to avoid any confrontations.
As you immerse yourself in the serenity of the hot springs, remember that you are in their natural habitat, so keep a watchful eye and respect the wildlife.
How safe is the water at Fifth Water Hot Springs?
Plot twist: as wild and incredible as Fifth Water Hot Springs is, the recent discovery of dangerous toxins in pools has clearly given visitors second thoughts.
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Utah County Health Department have noted the presence of cyanobacteria in the hot pots. These bacteria can produce toxins that may cause skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation.
Here are a few recommendations to avoid any potential discomfort:
- dry off thoroughly after soaking,
- avoid hiking in wet clothes,
- shower immediately after soaking,
- Avoid contact with the algae growing on the sides and bottoms of some pools.
- Do not dunk your head in the water,
- Do not drink or let pets drink it.
Of course, there’s always the option not to go to the pools and simply enjoy the scenery, which still very much counts too.
What’s the best season to visit Fifth Water Hot Springs?
Nature works wonders any season, so Fifth Water Hot Springs can easily offer a unique and enjoyable experience throughout the year.
During the spring, visitors can bask in the warm sun and take a refreshing dip in the hot springs. The lush greenery and running water make for a peaceful escape from the fuss of everyday life.
Winter, on the other hand, transforms the hot springs into a picturesque winter wonderland.
The steam rising from the hot water, combined with the snow-capped trees, creates a magical atmosphere that is truly unforgettable.
Plus, breathing in that crisp, cool air while loosening up those tight muscles in the warm mineral pools does wonders for the soul.
Autumn is also a great time to visit, with its warm colors and crisp air. The changing leaves provide a breathtaking backdrop for a relaxing soak in the hot springs.
Either way, no matter the season, Fifth Water Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating escape.
What to bring to Fifth Water Hot Springs trip
If you’re one of the enthusiastic ones desperate to visit Diamond Fork springs, there are a few essentials you’ll want to pack to make your trip comfortable and safe.
|If you’re one of the enthusiastic ones desperate to visit Diamond Fork springs, there are a few essentials you’ll want to pack to make your trip comfortable and safe.
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|A towel is also a must-have item. The hot springs are located in the great outdoors, so even on summer days, there can be a chilly breeze. Pack a towel to dry yourself off after a soak.
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|After you’re finished soaking, you’ll want to store your wet towel and swimsuit in a waterproof bag to prevent any water from leaking and soaking you on your way back.
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|Thick-bottomed sandals are also a good idea, as there are many hot pools you’ll want to explore and move around in. They’ll help protect your feet from sharp stones.
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|Fifth Water Hot Springs also strictly prohibits littering, so bring a few garbage bags to dispose of all your trash.
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|If you’re visiting during the winter, it’s a good idea to pack trekking poles, as the trail can get slippery and icy, and should help you avoid falling.
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*And WATER! The Hot Springs can dehydrate you quickly because of the minerals and heat. So take extra water, as there won’t be any water supply in the area.
There has been a fatal incident of a visitor being found deceased, likely passing out from dehydration and then drowning. While we don’t want to scare you, it’s essential to take hydration seriously and pack plenty of water.
Overall, Fifth Water Hot Springs is a breathtakingly beautiful and tranquil oasis located in Diamond Fork Canyon. And if you choose not to enter the pools for some reason, at least bring a camera to capture this gorgeous and Instagramable gateway.
Frequently Asked Questions
The trailhead has plenty of parking areas and a restroom. Note that parking on the street is against the law and might get you a ticket.
Diamond Fork Hot Springs reopened in 2021 after a year of being closed due to Covid-19 and has continued operating since then. However, remember that the roads might close during winter storms, so check the news before you leave.
Yes, there is no entrance fee at Fifth Water Hot Springs.
There is no reliable cell service in Diamond Fork Canyon, so it’s advised to download your maps in advance.
The Fifth Water Hot Springs route is 2.5 miles long. If you carry a heavy bag on the climb, you might need around an hour and a half to cover one way.
There aren’t any five-star hotels near the hot springs, so if you plan on spending the night there, pack a tent. There are several riverside spots for free camping near Fifth Water Hot Springs.
Yes, you can take your pets on your Fifth Water Hot Springs trip, but keep them on a leash and do not let them enter the pools.
During the winter, temperatures in the Diamond Fork region can drop as low as 22 °F, while in the hottest part of summer, temperatures might reach 90 °F.
No, nudity is strictly prohibited in the hot springs and, generally, in Utah. If you choose to enter the pool nude, you’ll do so at your own risk.
Yes, the hike is easy, and children above six should have no trouble with the trial. But if you plan on visiting during the winter, when the road may be wet and icy, make sure to carry all the gear you’ll need.
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the latest information about these hot springs sites, life happens, weather happens, and property owners happen. We always recommend you go to the official hot springs’ web page and/or the relevant state authority page to check conditions, times, and prices (where relevant) before you head out. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your soak!