Tucked away in Diamond Fork Canyon is a stunning and rare attraction: Fifth Water Hot Springs. Don’t forget to wear or bring your swimsuit for this scenic attraction, known for its hot pools and waterfalls. You will be stunned by the color and quality of the water flowing through several pools and surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.
The hot springs are about a half-hour drive up Diamond Fork Canyon outside of Spanish Fork, and at the trailhead there is parking and bathrooms. From the trailhead, follow the trail southeast along the east bank of Fifth Water Creek.
For most of the year, the hike is an easy 4.6-miles round trip. Once the road is open to the trailhead, the hike is appropriate for adults and children. Many say this is one of the most scenic hikes in Utah. On a clear night, you can see the stars while sitting in the natural hot springs.
There are several pools to choose from, and each provides a soaking opportunity. If you plan to visit Fifth Water, carry plenty of water—especially for children, since soaking in the pools can dehydrated you rather quickly.
“It is an amazing hike as you wind through the beautiful canyon with a river right next to you,” says Tanner VanValkenburg of Logan. “You can enjoy one of the nice relaxing hot springs for a little while and enjoy the view of the blue water.”
VanValkenburg says it’s hands-down one of his favorite hikes in Utah during the winter. He says it’s a perfect hike for families and friends.
The hot springs are very popular and draw crowds on weekends during warm weather. Several soaking pools are available. The water is clear and you can vary its temperature by positioning yourself at different points in the pools, and by regulating the water flows into the pools.
The lower waterfall comes right down next to the main soaking pool. The second (counting up from the bottom) is a photogenic multi-tiered waterfall that is worth searching out. A third waterfall exists further up the stream.
For more information visit utah.com/hiking/fifth-waterfalls-trail.
Take I-15 south to the US-6 (Price/Manti) Exit 258, Take the exit east towards the mountains all the way up Spanish Fork Canyon for about 11 miles. Not too far after the highway turns from one lane each way to two lanes you will see a turn off on the left side of the road that says Diamond Fork. Take that turn off and follow the road until you see a sign that says Three Forks Trail head.
Photos Courtesy of Tanner VanValkenburg