Early in the fall we hiked to Fifth Water Hot Springs. This 5 mile round trip hike is up Diamond Fork Canyon. The colors of the trees and water were fantastic this past year, and the distance was totally worth it.
Where: Diamond Fork Canyon, Spanish Fork
Grown up difficulty: easy
Five year old difficulty: moderate due to length
Length and elevation: 5 miles, 780 ft gain
To see: a bridge, the river, hot springs
This trail has become increasingly busy over the last few years. It’s great for day and night hikes, and parking is near impossible on weekends. Our hiking group went on a weekday morning and even then, parking was difficult to find. There is no cellphone service. Pack up lots of snacks, maybe lunch, and make sure you’re planning for the dip in the pools with extra clothes and towels.
The beginning of the hike has vault toilets. There is a bridge shortly after the beginning-don’t cross it! The bridge you will cross is about a mile to a mile and a half into the hike. There are a couple spots where people camp, and a couple spots where the trail has washed out. Remind your kids to watch their step! We passed a really neat twisted tree on the east of the river.
A little over a mile from the bridge, you’ll notice the smell of sulphur which means you’re getting close. The hot springs will be on the right side. There are several to choose from, with the lower ones being cooler generally than the upper ones. This past year, the pools were a gorgeous blue that stood out against the fall leaves.
We spent around 30-45 minutes in the pools before changing and heading down. These springs have become so popular and unfortunately people are not following the guidelines of “leave no trace“. Make sure to pack out what you pack in.
Because of the length of this hike, my kids were exhausted for the last half mile or so. We sang songs and played their favorite games (I spy and 20 questions), but be prepared for whining. And have extra snacks in the car! PS: The road up to this hike closes for the winter, resulting in a 14 mile round trip excursion.
Faves: the hot springs, the bridge
Hardest: the length
Gear: a good carrier (Kinderpack is my favorite), lots of snacks, a backpack for towels and plentiful food, lots of water, fleece and good shoes