Exploring hot springs is an amazing adventure that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The rush of excitement and awe as you dip into a soothing turquoise pool, surrounded by stunning natural beauty, is something that cannot be described in words. You can let go of your worries and truly unwind in the calming ambiance that hot springs offer. It’s a place where you can feel a connection with nature, leaving you with a profound sense of peace.
It’s important to know that hot springs are not your typical resort spas. They offer minimal amenities such as changing rooms and trash cans, which ensures that their natural beauty is preserved. This only adds to the wonderful experience of visiting these hot springs. However, remember to be respectful of nature and pack out your trash.
I’m confident that I can inspire your next adventure with my top hot spring recommendations in Utah. I’ve also answered popular questions from my community so that you can be fully prepared for your unforgettable journey. Let’s embark on an epic adventure and discover the hidden gems that Utah hot springs have to offer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you soak in every hot spring?
The first step to enjoying a relaxing soak in natural hot springs is to confidently research the best ones to visit. While some hot springs are off-limits and too dangerous to soak in, with a little research, you can easily avoid them. For instance, the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park are not soakable, so it’s important to steer clear of them. Always double-check the water temperature before taking a dip and avoid springs that appear to be boiling or steaming excessively. If you’re new to the hot springs scene, with a little digging, you can easily search for them online. However, if you can’t find the information you need, proceed with caution as that could be a sign of inadequate maintenance. Trust in your research and enjoy a safe and restorative soak in the hot springs.
What's with the smell?
The answer to your question is sulfur. Sulfur binds with oxygen to form sulfate, which occurs naturally in hot springs and is responsible for the eggy odor. The strength of the smell is determined by the depth of the hot springs and the speed at which it sends water to the surface. In short, the smell is normal and actually indicates that everything is working fine.
Can hot springs cause diseases?
Naegleria infection is a rare but serious disease caused by an amoeba found in warm freshwater. It’s important to be cautious and avoid submerging your head when in lakes, rivers, or hot springs to prevent exposure to the amoeba. However, if you want to soak in hot springs and there are no extreme warning signs, the risk is minimal and it’s safe to proceed. Just keep in mind that any water source comes with a slight risk and take necessary precautions to protect yourself.
Should you shower after going in a hot spring?
Some people don’t recommend showering after soaking in a hot spring because it reduces the effects of the nutrients and minerals in the water. However, when you have sensitive skin or visit an acidic spring, you should take a shower to prevent possible irritations. I always take a shower after a soak, if it’s possible.
Is everyone nude?
Nudity is legal and frequently observed at hot springs, but not everyone is nude. If it makes you uncomfortable, then please be polite and be respectful.
Can I take my kids there with me?
Meadows Hot Springs
Meadow Hot Springs in Utah is an incredibly beautiful natural hot spring that is an absolute must-visit destination in Utah. It is undoubtedly one of the best hot springs in Utah, and is a popular spot for locals and tourists. Luckily, it is easy to find even though there are no signs. The well-maintained dirt road leading there is suitable for most vehicles, and the walk to the hot spring takes only a few minutes. It’s about a quarter-mile at most from the main parking area. You can drive to most of the hot springs when the roads are passable. However, take caution in the winter when visiting the springs. The road ditch easy and become messy quickly.
There are 3-main pools to soak in. The main hot springs are accessible year-round where you can bask in crystal clear deep water that hovers around 100°F. The other two pools are a little cooler in temperature and you might even be surprised to find fish swimming in them.
Dispersed camping is allowed in the area, and both the hot springs and camping are free of charge. So, donate a small amount to support the upkeep of private land, on which these hot springs are located.
Keep mind that crowds can gather, and you need to be respectful of the area and use it responsibly. Kindly leave no trace, clean up after yourself, and be considerate of others. Always remember to act responsibly and stay safe while swimming.
Mystic Hot Springs
Mystic Hot Spring’s unique charm sets it apart from other hot springs around Utah. Located only 2.5 hours from Salt Lake City or Zion National Park, trust me, visiting Mystic hot springs is worth the drive.
Let’s talk about the soaking experience. Mystic offer two concrete pools and six vintage cast iron bathtubs that provide a heavenly bathing experience. This includes a mineral waterfall massage in the more shallow pools or peaceful meditation in the deeper pool. The water temperature ranges from 99 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and is maintained at that temperature.
While it does cost $25 per adult and $12.50 for children 12 and under, I think the charm, cleanliness, access to showers and exclusivity is worth the price. You can book your tickets here. When you book, you can choose what time you would like to soak. We went from 4-6pm so we could soak while enjoying the stunning sunset.
Mystic Hot Springs has more than soaking, they also offer grassy campsites, unique hippie buses, pioneer cabins, full RV hook-ups, and concerts! Plus the bathrooms are kept clean and well-maintained, even if they are a bit of a walk from the pools.
Red Hill Hot Springs
Red Hill Hot Springs, located just four miles from the popular Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah, is a breathtaking and rejuvenating destination. Set amidst stunning gray hills and shimmering canyons, this well-kept community site offers four glowing red pools filled with mineral-rich steaming water. A perfect balance between civilized and wild, this destination provides ample facilities such as seating areas, a grill, fire pit, and even a nearby pit toilet. Relax and soak in the hot pools, ranging from burning hot to comfortably warm, while enveloped in golden rocks.
Red Hill Hot Springs is covered with thermophiles. Please avoid damaging the mineral rocks and scrambling over them. If you want to get a better look at the source, head up the path behind the parking lot, leading to an awe-inspiring lookout spot featuring a super-hot” pool, naturally heated to a temperature of around 154°F!
Although the pools are clean, keep in mind that the red dirt may stain your clothes, so choose attire wisely. Additionally, the wet rocks can be slippery, so wearing the right shoes is essential.
Overall, Red Hill Hot Springs is a perfect year-round destination for everyone seeking to relax and revive their spirits. So why not head over to this magical destination and enjoy nature’s beauty while soaking in mineral-rich hot pools? The pools fit up to six people and offer an excellent opportunity for families, couples, and friends to connect and unwind.
Fifth Water Hot Springs
The Fifth Water Hot Springs are a true wonder of nature with electric blue waters that run down the river for miles. As you approach the top of the spring, you’ll be amazed by the incredible pool formations that provide a soothing soak. Even though there might be some challenges on the way, this journey will be worthwhile.
Although the trail is quite long, it is an easy-moderate hike that doesn’t require too much elevation. To ensure a safe and joyful experience, it’s always wise to check the trail conditions beforehand. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of this journey year-round!
Best time to go: Winter is a unique time to visit the springs when the snow covers the trees and the landscape. We visited the springs in December during a crazy snowstorm, and it’s still hands down, one of the most magical experiences of my life. The downfall, the road closes part-way so you will have to walk a few extra miles and the camping is closed. But, the overall experience is still worth it. In fall, the beauty of the surroundings will mesmerize you with colorful landscapes and soothing hot springs. Even though summer might get hot, it’s still possible to enjoy the hike with a dip in the cold streams. Be prepared for these springs to be crowded. Get to the springs as early as possible to avoid the crowds, especially in the warmer months.
Homestead Crater Hot Springs
Nestled under a magnificent 55th limestone dome in Northern Utah is a natural mineral hot springs pool, blooming with therapeutic benefits. This hidden gem is over 10,000 years in the making, formed when snow from the Wasatch Mountains flowed deep within the earth, gathering minerals and emerging as a stunning, warm pool. It’s a year-round haven for visitors looking to soak in the warm waters and experience the tranquil beauty it offers.
The temperature of the waters ranges from 90 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a variety of activities one can indulge in, including scuba diving lessons, snorkeling, and paddleboard yoga. Homestead Crater is the only warm scuba diving destination in North America and offers a unique opportunity to swim under a dome-shaped limestone deposit. Tickets for activities start from $15 per person, and reservations are mandatory to ensure a convenient and smooth experience for visitors.
In full transparency, I do not think visiting this hot spring is worth the time or money. While it is neat to see and experience, it’s very regulated. This would be a skip for me unless you are getting PADI trained.
ItemsTo Bring With You To A Hot Springs
While these are definitely not the only hot springs in Utah, they are some of my favorites and ones that you should add to your to-do list if you are driving through this wonderful state.
If you are interested in finding more natural hot springs in Utah, visit my Google Map of Utah.
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