Fifth Water Hot Springs has a series of pools of different temperatures and milky blue hues in Diamond Fork Canyon, near Spanish Fork, Utah.
Directions to Trailhead
Diamond Fork Canyon is a turn off Highway 6 that connects Spanish Fork to Price and Green River. This trail is just over an hour south of Salt Lake City. There isn’t reliable cell service in Diamond Fork Canyon, so download your maps in advance.
Once you are on Diamond Fork Road, follow it for 20.4 miles to the Three Forks Trailhead. Three miles before the trailhead to Fifth Water Hot Springs you’ll pass Red Ledges and Diamond Fork Arch, which is a fun and quick stop.
Three Forks Trailhead and Trail
Three Forks Trailhead has a small parking area which isn’t ideal for such a popular trail, so unless you get there early you will have to park in one of the pullouts below of above the trailhead. Most of them are numbered and make sure you park completely off the main road, as most of the shoulders are narrow.
The trailhead has pit toilets and is well-marked.
This trail follows the Fifth Water Creek up to the hot springs.
The trail is especially beautiful this time of year.
There are a couple spots with reddish dirt.
Along the trail are some railings when the top off is further down.
There is a bridge and one place where the trail splits. They both meet up, but I definitely recommend heading left (the photo shows someone taking the unrecommended narrower way). The higher left route is a better trail.
There are some cool rocks and trees you will pass.
We also saw lots of dragonflies and damselflies!
When you are nearly there you start to smell sulphur, but is mostly dissipates by the time you get to the hot springs. The trail returns to following right near the creek.
Fifth Water Hot Springs
Where the hot spring enters the water, it is actually too hot for comfort (111° Fahrenheit!). It quickly mixes with the creek water down through all the pools and even hundreds of feet down the water is warm like bath water.
The kids loved playing in the water and digging up the mud from the bottom.
If you look upstream you see the water gets lighter and a little more milky in hue.
Each pool is a little different in color, temperature and depth.
Most of the time you see photo on sites you see them empty, because that does make a nice photo.
It wasn’t too crowded like it probably would have been on a Saturday, but I still edited out the people for the photo above. Here is one where I left them.
There are some little waterfalls and a bigger one above and a few below.
I realized I had way over-packed. I had brought a towel for me and each of my three kids and we easily shared one.
On the way back I saw a Steller’s Jay, but it flew away before I could get a clear shot. It was such a pretty day for the hike and perfect for my birthday adventure!
Stats: Distance – 4.5 miles (could be a mile or two longer depending on how close you get parking)
Approximate hiking time – 2-4 hours (include at least an hour at the pools)
Elevation gain – 636 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – sand, dirt, and rocks
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons – Year Round
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes
Other trails nearby are Red Ledges and Diamond Fork Arch, Escalante Cross, and Dripping Rock Falls. It’s a lot colder, but if you want to hike somewhere you can swim, try Silver Lake Flat Trail or Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon.