Who doesn’t love a good hot spring? We sure do, and they don’t get much more picturesque than Fifth Water Hot Springs in Diamond Fork, Utah. Fifth Water Hot Springs – also called Diamond Fork Hot Springs – is a stunning milky blue oasis along Fifth Water Creek, with multiple pools made for soaking.
Just over an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, Fifth Water Hot Springs is a very popular hiking destination, partly because of how beautiful it is but also because of how easy it is to access. Fair warning, this isn’t a hidden paradise or secret spot, but you may still get lucky and have the place to yourself like we did. In any case, we have tips to help you make the most of your trip to Fifth Water Hot Springs.
HOW TO GET TO FIFTH WATER HOT SPRINGS
The trail to Fifth Water Hot Springs starts off Diamond Fork Rd. It’s easy to find on Google Maps by searching Fifth Water Hot Springs Trailhead, or you can just follow the map below. The car park at the trailhead is clearly signed so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.
WHAT TO BRING TO FIFTH WATER HOT SPRINGS
Prepare for your trip to Fifth Water Hot Springs with our must have travel essentials.
Light jacket: Columbia Men’s Watertight Jacket (click for price), Columbia Women’s Waterproof Jacket (click for price)
Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Insulated water bottle: Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle (click for price)
Hiking Sandals: Teva Women’s Hurricane Hiking Sandals (click for price), Teva Mens Hurricane Hiking Sandals (click for price)
If you’re interested in photography and/or videography this is the gear we can’t live without:
To see our complete camera gear read this post here.
BEST TIME TO VISIT FIFTH WATER HOT SPRINGS
We recommend getting to Fifth Water Hot Springs early, as in arriving by sunrise early. Not only will there be far less people but the creek and pools will be a striking milky blue colour. By the time we left the sun had already come up over the mountains and the water was far less vibrant compared to when we arrived. If you don’t care to see the bluest water then another awesome time to visit is during the night. Hot springs and star gazing is a pretty epic combo.
Avoid weekends at all costs unless you enjoy crowds, and check to make sure schools aren’t on break either because this is a very popular spot amongst BYU and UVU students. Something to keep in mind when you do go very early in the morning however are nudists. It’s not uncommon to see people getting their kit off and soaking in the pools. To each their own, but if this doesn’t sit well with you then you might actually prefer a more crowded time.
MORE UTAH TRAVEL GUIDES
HIKING TO FIFTH WATER HOT SPRINGS
We started our hike at daybreak when the moon was still high in the sky. The trail is very well established and easy to follow, but if you want to plan ahead, AllTrails is a fantastic resource to check out before you set off. The entire hike is 4.6 miles round trip, or 7.2 kilometres, with a very moderate incline. If you visit in the winter this might end up being a 13.2-mile hike with road closures forcing you to park well away from the trailhead, so keep that in mind.
We followed the trail along Sixth Water Creek for the first mile or so, which eventually becomes Fifth Water Creek. From the bridge crossing its another 1.2 miles to Fifth Water Hot Springs. You’ll start smelling the sulfur well before you reach the springs, so that’s how you can tell you’re headed in the right direction.
Like we mentioned, nudity is a thing at Fifth Water Hot Springs but if you don’t believe us, then heed this very clear warning below. If you’re visiting Fifth Water Hot Springs with kids, keep this in mind!
WHAT TO EXPECT AT FIFTH WATER HOT SPRINGS
The closer we got to Fifth Water Hot Springs the bluer the water became. It was such a unique shade of blue we hadn’t seen anywhere else. This is why we really recommend going early. This blue just shouldn’t be missed.
We finally reached Fifth Water Hot Springs and it did not disappoint! We were still nice and early so the water was steamy, the soaking pots were a startling blue and the temperature was perfect. We spent our time jumping from pool to pool and testing the waters, literally.
We couldn’t possibly leave Fifth Water Hot Springs without busting out the drone for a few snaps. If you have one, definitely bring it as it offers such a cool perspective. But if you’re a drone photographer, you’ll definitely want to be here before the sun passes overhead to get the best blue water lighting.
WATERFALL AT FIFTH WATER HOT SPRING
Before you leave, don’t forget to hike all the way up past the last pool to check out the waterfall at the very end. It’s not the biggest, but it was still cool to venture up to and explore. There are two more hot pots beyond the waterfall but this is where the spring originates and it’s usually too hot to swim in.
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WHERE TO STAY IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
There’s no shortage of accommodation in Salt Lake City, but having all those options can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the best place to stay. We’ve chosen our top picks for budget, midscale and luxury hotels in Salt Lake City to make things easier for you.
BUDGET: SLC HOSTEL
SLC Hostel is located in the heart of downtown SLC and our top pick for budget stays. With deluxe bathrooms in common areas, radiant heated floors and modern technology, it’s the best option for budget backpackers and digital nomads not looking to break the bank.
MIDSCALE: LITTLE AMERICA HOTEL
Little in name but not in stature, Little America Hotel is the largest hotel in Salt Lake City with 850 rooms and a history dating back 60 years. It’s a little up there on the midscale ranking but still offers affordable prices with very well maintained facilities.
LUXURY: GRAND AMERICA HOTEL
If you fancy the finer things in life and don’t mind splashing some cash, Grand America Hotel is the pinnacle of five star accommodation in Salt Lake City. Everything here is, well… grand. The pool, gardens, restaurants and rooms all live up to their name.