From Bryce we had a 6 hour drive to the Salt Lake City area. Knowing this we’d planned a drive day ending with a short and sweet 4.5 mile hike roundtrip to Diamond Fork hot springs. (Also known as Fifth Water Creek)
When visiting places I sometimes try to look up “off the beaten path” type places and this was one of them. An hour hike to a river hot spring well known by locals. I got most of my information about the springs from this blog and this blog. Diamond Fork is about an hour south of Salt Lake City just outside Provo. To me it made sense that since it wasn’t winter, we hike into the springs in the evening, soak in the cooler hours and then hike out at night.
We hiked in about 6:45pm, and arrived at the hot spring area around 7:30pm dusk. And I’m so thankful we had a little sunlight left so we could enjoy the beauty of the colors of the water!
Small pools of misty turquoise water spotted the valley, sometimes mixed in with emerald green pools, water which must have originated from a different spring. Black eyed Susan’s and some kind of purple wildflowers lined the river banks. It was so beautiful. And so isolated. There were a few people when we got there, but not enough that we didn’t have privacy. Five minutes after we got there the small group that was there cleared out and we had the place to ourselves for a bit.
The light gave way to stars and it was a tranquil spot in the river valley. On our hike out we saw several couples and a lot of young kids hiking in. I can totally see the appeal as it’s kind of a romantic too good to be true spot.
Instead of listing all the details and directions for the springs, I’ll just redirect you to the blog I got my info from. I also recommend you read trip advisor reviews for up to date notes from people.
The drive in was through Unita-Wasatch-Cache State forest and held a lot of pretty areas with hiking trails. With more time it seemed like a great place to explore.
1. Spanish Oaks State Park –
We had found a sweet little first come first serve campground at a state park in Provo. It was a self pay $10/night, had a concrete pad with fire pit and picnic table, a designated tent spot, flush toilets, water spigot, a swimming reservoir and volleyball.
The park is located on a dead end road through a really nice neighborhood. It’s up on a hill with views that overlook the city. Truly a little gem for pass through campers like us. I’d totally recommend the spot and we plan on staying again on our way back through. The only thing it lacked was showers but there is a reservoir so it’s enough to make you feel clean. (Don’t judge me! Lol)
2. We did see a couple nice looking campgrounds on our way to the hot springs. One was Diamond Campground and the other Three Forks Campground. Not sure on the details or amenities of them but it’s probably worth checking out. Diamond Campground looked like it was setup at a pretty location by a river.