Location: Fifth Water Hot Springs are located along Fifth Water Creek. To get there, travel up Highway 6 through Spanish Fork Canyon until you reach the Diamond Fork Turnoff (about 11 miles east of Spanish Fork). Travel north up Diamond Fork Canyon for about 9 1/2 miles to the Three Forks Trailhead. Go through the gate, and do not cross the first bridge! Instead hike along the trail on the north side of the river until you reach a second bridge (about a mile up the trail). Cross this one and follow the trail another mile or so until you reach the hot springs. There is a fork in the trail before the springs, but they merge again further up, so it doesn't matter which one you take.
Time: The hike will take about 2 hours round trip. Add on the amount of time you want to spend exploring the waterfalls or bathing in the hot springs.
Description: The Hot Springs at Fifth water are a series of pools that have been diverted and walled in to create several naturally fueled hot tubs that are perfect size for sitting. Although the smell of sulfur can be strong, the water itself is very clear. The temperature will vary from pool to pool, and even from one area of the pool to another, so always check the temperature before bathing.
|sitting in lower cave (early June)|
|Looking out window of upper cave (June)|
|Upper window (late August)|
|Lower cave (August)|
Things You Should Know: - The road up Diamond Fork Canyon is windy and narrow in parts. You will also occasionally encounter cows in the road; so drive carefully.
- Parking at the trailhead can get pretty crowded on weekends, so get there early.
- The first time we went looking for the hot springs, we crossed the bridge. It was a pretty hike, but we didn't find any hot springs. Instead, hike along the river until you reach the second bridge.
- The hot springs often attract skinny-dippers (particularly in the evenings), so you might want to be cautious - especially with children in tow.
- Hikers occasionally see rattlesnakes along the trail during the warmer months, so have an experienced hiker take the lead.
- The trail is also popular for bicycles.
- I would strongly recommend bringing rubber-soled water socks or shoes that you don't mind getting wet while walking in the stream or pools. My niece cut up her feet trying to walk barefoot. Also, the rocks are extremely slippery from the white and green moss that collects on them from the water; so use extreme caution.
- Although the water is mostly clear, you will see small black ash particles floating in some of the pools, so be careful about getting water in your mouth or eyes.
- The waterfalls are best in the spring when there is a lot of spring runoff.
- There are plenty of camping spots in the canyon if you want to spend a couple of days enjoying the beauty of nature.
Nearby: Red Ledges Picnic area, Spanish Fork Peak, Scofield State Park, The Grotto