Sunday, April 1, 2012

Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Utah

Yesterday was one of those beautiful, magical, warm Spring days on the Byway...spending the day with friends...discovering, exploring and enjoying a new place of natural beauty. We had a beautiful drive up through Park City, around to Heber and down into Provo and then down into the Diamond Fork recreational area further south near Spanish Fork. Then we hiked 2.5 miles along a beautiful mountain stream and pine forests ending up at natural hot springs and a beautiful waterfall.

Utah is full of these amazing places and I am happy I was part of exploring a new one yesterday. I highly recommend this place and I look forward to returning - maybe even camping up there.

If you drive south from Salt Lake City, past Provo, near Spanish Fork and pick up Route 6 south, you exit onto Diamond Fork Road into the Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Diamond Fork Road is a beautiful drive and passes by a number of recreational and camping areas. Several miles up the road you will find a turn off on the right for the Fifth Water Hot Springs, also called the Diamond Fork Hot Springs.

At the turnoff for the trail there is parking and an outhouse (hold your breath kids - it was very stinky). The trail head is easy to spot (don't be confused by the gate leading to more trails to the right - stay straight on up the trail to the left of the river). It is about a 2.5 mile hike up to the natural hot springs. The trail is clear and well maintained and follows a river all the way up. There are no facilities along the way or at the hot springs and you must carry out all garbage. It wasn't too crowded, but when we were headed down the mountain around 6:30/7 pm there were a lot of people still hiking up! Some were going to camp up there for the night, but some clearly weren't so I am not sure how they were going to get back down in the dark.

There are a number of different pools to soak in - all with varying temperatures - and there is a stream coming off the water fall that has cold water. At this time of the year the waterfall was way too cold to hang out in although there were some brave souls still going in there. Some of the pools are very hot. Most aren't very deep so you are sitting with just your legs in the water.

It is definitely a romantic place to go and there were several couples in some of the hot spring pools soaking up the romantic, peaceful, quiet environment. Utah is a pretty family friendly environment so there was no nakedness going on there like you might find in some other hot springs out west. So, remember to bring your swimsuit. And some sandals or water shoes because its pretty rocky to climb around the waterfall and the pools. It took us about an hour and a half to get up there and it was faster going down. Bring lots of water - the air/altitude in Utah always makes me thirsty.

Very much a memorable moment on My Scenic Byway...

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