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Utah is arguably one of the most stunning states in the United States, with a collection of national parks. It is full of dramatic landscapes, hidden gems, and places just waiting to be seen. One of the state's lesser-known gems is Fifth Water Creek, with its relaxing hot springs not far from Salt Lake City. Set in amongst the picturesque Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, these hot water springs are a popular destination for folks from Salt Lake City.

The springs are nestled in the Diamond Fork Canyon - a folk from the Spanish Fork Canyon. There are several soaking hot water springs where one can dip in and relax one's muscles. These are along the Fifth Water Creek that flows into the Diamond Fork River and are easy to explore along the trail. For those wanting to go sleuthing for hot springs, there are plenty of undeveloped and largely unknown hot springs in Oregon.


The Fifth Water Hot Springs & Waterfalls

Not only are there hot water springs, but there are waterfalls - including a lower waterfall plunging down right next to the main soaking pool. It is only around 50 feet from the base of the waterfall. Another waterfall is multi-tiered and is worthy of an Instagram post or two. A third waterfall is to be found further up the stream.

  • Waterfalls: Three Waterfalls
  • Water: Clear And Clean (With The Smell Of Sulfur)

The water in the pools is clear. It should be noted that while it is illegal to go in the nude, it is not uncommon to see people soaking in their baby suits - families and those uncomfortable with nudity should bear that in mind.

As with many hot-water pools, the temperature varies depending on where one is in the pool in relation to where the hot water spring is bubbling into the pool. Be careful not to just jump in without checking the temperature first.

  • Note: They Can Be Busy On Weekends In Good Weather

While Fifth Water Creek's hot springs may not be as famous as Salt Lake or Zion National Park, they are still popular. So visitors can expect to see crowds drawn to them on weekends during warm weather.

Related: Looking For Something To Do In In Arkansas? Visit Hot Springs National Park

The Fifth Water Hot Springs' Trail

The Fifth Water Hot Springs Trail is accessed via the Three Forks Trailhead in the Diamond Fork Canyon or from the Rays Valley Trailhead on Rays Valley Road. The main pools are located around 2.5 miles from the Rays Valley Trailhead.

There is a bathroom and plenty of parking at the trailhead; avoid street parking to not get a parking ticket. Along this hike, one can see three scenic waterfalls and a few very nice hot springs.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 4.5 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 172 Meters
  • Time To Complete: Approx. 2 Hours

Follow the trail until the water turns milky blue and the smell of sulfur starts to permeate the air. At this point, one knows one is getting close to the hot springs. The effort of the hike will be well worth it when one finally gets to soak in the thermal springs.

The trail is also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring a pouch along for the hike.

Related: Eureka Springs: Visit The Secluded Victorian Getaway Of The Ozarks

Visiting The Fifth Water Hot Springs In The Winter

Ahhhh... What beats soaking in a hot water spring in the middle of the winter with snow all around? Come to the Fifth Water Hot Springs during the winter, and the experience is transformed into a winter playground. The snow is normally well-packed, so it is typically easy to hike along to the hot pools without snowshoes.

  • In Winter: Normally Accessible During The Winter
  • Snowshoes: Typically Not Needed On The Compacted Snow
  • Vehicle: 4WD May Be Needed

The catch is that one may need a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to the trailhead. There can also be seasonal road closures to watch out for, but when the road is open to the trailhead, the hike is normally suitable for most healthy people.

The trail is open year-round, but it can be a 10-mile or longer round-trip hike with road closures.

Next time in Salt Lake City, put the Fifth Water Hot Springs on one's bucket list regardless of whether it's summer or winter, sunshine or rain.