If you’re looking for relaxing natural hot springs, look no further than the picturesque state of Utah. Scattered throughout the state are the most beautiful hot springs in the country. The waters contain therapeutic minerals and are situated within scenic, exotic areas. In addition to soaking in the natural pools, you can also enjoy dinosaur fossil hunting, mountain biking, five national parks, and the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City. When you stay at one of many incredible Utah vacation rentals, you’re only a stone’s throw from almost every unique, fun activity and attraction the state has to offer. For your next trip to Utah, consider spending a day soaking away your troubles, as well as soothing your mind and body in one of these five best natural hot springs.
1. Meadow Hot Springs, Millard County, Utah
Locals refer to these hot springs as Meadow and Millard interchangeably. The latter refers to the county, and the former to the quiet Utah town that is the location of the hot springs. The town is aptly named, offering staggering panoramas of pristine Utah grasslands as far as the eye can see. The springs are quite tranquil, too, boasting three pools with water temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The first pool accommodates a grown adult roughly chest-deep.
The springs are on private property, but the landowner ensures the springs are accessible to the public. Even so, call ahead to get the 411 about admission. The property owner erected a fence, a barricade of rocks around the springs, and walking trails between the springs for relative privacy and safer maneuvering. Meadow Hot Springs are roughly 5 miles south of Fillmore, just off the I-5. There is a parking area for your vehicle. There are rules posted at the springs instructing visitors on appropriate behavior.
2. Mystic Hot Springs, Monroe, Utah
Mystic Hot Springs now occupies a site first homesteaded in 1866. The nearby pioneer settlements remain intact, and it’s customary to tour the settlements before or after taking the waters. The springs belong to a privately owned resort, but you do not have to be a resort guest to take advantage of the springs. You only need to purchase a soaking pass. The waters emerge from the ground at 168 degrees Fahrenheit, cooling as they drain into and through eight large open-air bathtubs and two concrete pools.
Over time, the springs’ natural mineral deposits have reshaped the landscape into a heap of random mounds, with a tawny-to-gold hue when beneath the sun’s glare. Several of the tubs are recessed into the ground, and some are above ground. The resort’s owner is a creative type who welcomes pets and restless spirits. Adjacent to the springs are the Mystic Hot Springs trailer court, a site for camping and RV parking that is free to use. Nearby, there’s a fish pond, hiking and biking trails, and a dance floor. Yes, a dance floor. Summer festivals featuring local bands are quite common, and guests often take the waters before rocking out.
3. Lehi Hot Springs, Saratoga Springs, Utah
Accessible all year round, Lehi Hot Springs boasts three springs with comfortably warm temperatures of 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Lehi Inlet is home to the springs, which the county maintains with the help of passionate local volunteers. The springs are in the vicinity of Utah Lake, a placid, sprawling body of water you can see through the wilderness as you soak your way to baby-soft skin and better health.
Weekends during fall and winter are busy times. The springs close at nighttime; so does the adjacent parking area. County patrols issue tickets to individuals found on the property after closing time. Getting to the springs requires a trek of about 1/4-mile past the nearest railhead, over some marshy ground. Locals suggest you wear appropriate boots, bring a towel, and carry drinking water. The county enforces no hard and fast rules about attire at the springs, but bathing suits are advisable. These springs are local, popular, and family-oriented.
4. Fifth Water Hot Springs, Spanish Fork, Utah
Fifth Water Hot Springs looks like a man-made water park, but the landscape is entirely carved naturally, the result of millions of years of accidental, wonderful erosion. Nestled within snowcapped mountains, the springs consist of several hot pools fed by two principal waterfalls bringing cool water from the mountains. Owing to some spectacular mixture of minerals, the waterfalls and the pools have a shimmering bluish tint that is almost phosphorescent. Installed lighting lends additional sparkle to the scene.
The main waterfall and pools are the warmest, but the second waterfall and pools have hot spots interspersed with warm to tepid spots. You can experience different gradations of warmth just by moving around, according to locals in the know. There is a third waterfall further up that you’re welcome to , but weather conditions may not permit. Three Forks Trailhead or Rays Valley Trailhead lead to Fifth Water Hot Springs. The springs are free to soak in.
5. Homestead Crater, Midway, Utah
Homestead Crater is a must-see in Midway. It is a natural phenomenon. This amazing hot spring is an underground spring cradled inside of a beehive-shaped limestone cave that is 55 feet high and nearly 10,000 years old. The cave has a natural sunroof, permitting light during daytime hours. The cave’s interior remains nice and toasty all year, thanks to heat from the mineral water. The water percolates up from the earth, pooling and cooling within the cave to a safe, soothing 96 degrees Fahrenheit.
Homestead Crater offers soak and stay packages, but you can make reservations to enjoy just the crater for a certain amount per hour. Swimming, soaking, and paddle board yoga are the norm, but scuba divers and snorkelers flock from everywhere to experience this crater. In fact, Homestead Crater is the only vacation destination for hot snorkeling in the United States. A recently constructed tunnel through the crater’s adjacent wall permits easy access to visitors. Children are welcome.
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