Hiking Fifth Water Hot Springs

One of our favorite summer hikes is in a canyon only about a 30 minute drive from home.  Located in Diamond Fork canyon, there are two trails that lead from the Three Forks trailhead.  The less traveled hike is also beautiful, following a tiny creek, Second Water,  along a pretty drainage.  But we like to go early in the morning to beat the traffic on the well traveled trail along Sixth Water Creek, crossing the bridge to Fifth Water, and hiking all the way to the hot springs at about mile 4.5.  If we leave early enough, we can be swimming in creek water warmed by natural hot springs by 9 a.m.

Last Wednesday, we headed out to the hot springs for the first time this summer.  The flow of Sixth Water creek is controlled by a reservoir high in the mountains above the creek, and it was roaring this year.

Unfortunately, right after I took this picture, my camera ran out of battery — someday I’ll remember to check this before I go out.  I want to share some pictures with you from another year, though, because this is a great little hike you might like to do with your kids sometime.  As you can see, someone has built walls around the pools and even piped mixes so that there are pools about mid-thigh deep that you can sit or swim in.

There are little waterfalls to stand under, swim around and slide down.

We play in the lower pools, but the higher pools are warmer for soaking, so if you’ve left the kids at home, try those out.  After you’ve played in the water as long as you like, the hike back to the car takes only about one hour.  This is really a great short hike to take early on a weekday morning so that you can have the little pools all to yourself.

Do you visit a local hot springs or swimming hole?  Do you enjoy swimming in natural waters, or are you a feet soaker like I am?  Please leave me a comment.

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  1. Seems like a water destination is a prerequisite for kid hikes. We don’t have many hot springs here, and nothing as nice as you have. That looks lovely! I just like to get my feet wet, but the kids don’t mind bringing a suit and going a bit deeper. Our lakes and rivers are very cold with snowmelt all summer, and air temps don’t get too high for very long, so whatever swimming we do is brief and refreshing. But wherever there is water, my kids will be drawn to it!

    • Yes, water is an excellent draw for a no-whining kids hike. We are lucky in these springs, although for us it seems like coke water is no hindrance (at least for the kids.)


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