When a locale takes it’s cues from Mother Nature, it’s no doubt worth visiting. Such is true of Utah’s famed Diamond Fork Hot Springs trailhead, a serene trail with a warm and colorful payoff.
The journey there is idyllic, not to mention only an hour from Salt Lake City and just a stone’s throw from Summit Creek. Along a well-maintained, 10-mile long dirt road with the sun peaking through trees you’ll behold the wonders of nature—a vast sky, greenery (depending on the season), animals and tranquility. All of this sets the tone for your arrival to Diamond Fork.
Once you’re there, grab your backpacks (and be sure to hike up with a towel and possible change of clothes, since you’ll be in water) and head for the hills. The hike proves to be pleasant with a gradual move towards 700 feet in elevation and just an easy 2.25 miles to the actual hot springs. Along the short trek to the springs, you’ll be delighted to find Sixth Water Creek, which is marked by a small foot bridge. This is a moment of joy because not too far off is Fifth Water Creek, where the slight smell of sulfur starts to waft through the air. But, what’s most rewarding and wonderful is the water. The closer you get to the hot springs, you’ll notice a change in color with the water going from clear to a bold turquoise.
The further you travel you’ll behold small soaking pools all around, each filled with a variety of hues from milky blue to a captivating sapphire. These are the hot springs and it’s a cascading waterfall that lets you know you’re there.
The pools themselves vary in size, shape, hue and even temperature, so you’ll want to take a look around and feel them out before determining where you want to soak. Some offer more scenic outlooks than others, but all are an ideal place to unwind and connect with nature on an intimate level.
Depending on when you visit Diamond Fork, weekend or weekday, the crowds will vary. Naturally, weekends tend to be more crowded and chances are you’ll share a pool with another adventurous soul; however, on a weekday, you may have found one of Utah’s greatest escapes.
The trek back is a gradual decline and will surely leave you with great memories and a longing to return. This special place tends to exceed all expectations, just as many spots in Utah do. You just have to know how to find them.
*Photo courtesy of St. George News & All Trails