Feeling bummed that you don’t have any winter break plans like all your friends? Not anymore! Here are a few not too far away hot springs locations in Utah to heat up your winter break. Now, though these are semi-popular places you may have heard of or even been to before, here’s some advice and recommendations for your first (or next) visit.
1. Meadow Hot Springs
This beauty of a locale is in Meadow, Utah, and on average takes me two to two and half hours to drive to from SLC. If the drive looks like you’re in the middle of nowhere, and you’re seeing signs for towns you’ve never heard of, you’re on the right track. The initial road in turns to dirt, and within half a mile of the actual springs there are a lot of very large holes in the ground. Drive there using an SUV! During the winter the ground gets very muddy, and cars often get caught in the mud. However, if you don’t mind walking from a safe parking spot to the springs, don’t even worry about it!
These springs are deep natural pools on private land that a farmer lets the public onto as long, as the land is respectfully-maintained, and not littered on. There are three pools spread out over the land, surrounded by wooden fences. Most of them go pretty deep, and go from very hot to lukewarm. The first pool is popular for scuba divers and soakers, so bring an underwater flashlight and goggles for an even more amazing experience! The last two pools have a series of tropical fish that live in them (they were brought there intentionally- not naturally…) and one pool has a large deck you can run and jump off, or gaze into the pool from.
2. Mystic Hot Springs
Many online sites may say this site is public, and free-to-access but be warned, it is PRIVATE land and there is a $16 entry fee. The owners are super friendly, and own a mystical little shop where you pay for entrance to the land. This is a widely popular visitation spot, and, at times, can become crowded. But it is, nonetheless, a magical spot for picture taking, and exploring the natural hot springs that have been altered and designed for visitors to enjoy. Be mindful of the signs blocking off certain areas of the land, because some of the water in extremely hot and toxic. Other features of the land include several enclosures that have llamas, goats, peacocks, and more!
3. Diamond Fork Hot Springs
These hot springs follow after a hiking trail that can average anywhere from 2 miles to 10 (or so I’ve heard from others) depending on if certain parts of the trail are closed. I myself have never had to hike more than two miles to get to the springs. This hot spring is one of my personal favorites from over the years. It’s beauty is captivating, and looks exactly like the pictures. The hike to the springs is enjoyable, and there are often several multicolored pools along the way there. The pools have no fee to enter but may be crowded depending on the day and time you go. At the main attraction, there are several large pools and a waterfall you can further hike up. On and off there has been vandalism and several alterations to the pools, but to my knowledge they are now back in pristine condition!
I hope this advice was helpful, and can give you a few more fun and unique memories to fill up your winter break. Remember that even though some of these locations have been man altered to accommodate visitors, they are all still natural locations that deserve respect and cleanliness to preserve themselves. So, make sure to clean up any trash you create or see there, to make sure these places can stay just as amazing as they are now for future and returning visitors. Happy Holidays and Happy Adventuring!