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Wintertime in Utah offers up endless heart-warming, and often heart-pounding, adventures. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, sledding, fat-tire snow biking, or ice fishing, winter in Utah is an outdoor lover’s dream. And after a long day of strenuous activity, there’s nothing better than a heavenly soak in a natural hot spring.
A delightful gift from mother nature, hot springs offer a place of soothing solace, especially in winter. The natural minerals that hot springs produce aid in muscle recovery, help your body relax, and improve blood circulation. Whether you’re looking for a quaint, secluded hot spring up in the mountains or a well-constructed soaking spot with plenty of amenities, Utah is the place to be.
Check out 6 hot springs in Utah that belong on your winter bucket list!
Location: Midway, Utah
Entry fee: $13 on weekdays and $16 on weekends for a soak (per person).
Homestead Crater Mineral Dome is a popular warm scuba diving destination. Homestead Resort
After a long day of skiing in Park City, head to the Homestead Resort for one of Utah’s most unique hot springs.
The Homestead Crater Mineral Dome is a geothermal spring nestled within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock. It was formed by melted snow from the Wasatch Mountains, seeping deep within the earth for the past 10,000 years. The hole at the top of the crater allows for fresh air and sunlight while the interior stays at a constant 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit.
This spring is so deep that it just so happens to be one of the only destinations in the U.S. for warm water scuba diving. Wait, what? Scuba diving in a hot spring? Yes, and that’s not all. You can also take classes in snorkeling and SUP yoga. Of course, if you’re only interested in a relaxing soak this is also the spot for that.
Location: Spanish Fork, Utah
Entry fee: Free
Family-friendly: Yes and No. Expect nudity and a challenging hike.
The Diamond Fork hot springs sit atop Spanish Fork Canyon and offer multiple small soothing pools to choose from. These springs are not the easiest to get to, but once you’ve arrived you’ll feel as though you’ve entered a magical realm. Turquoise-colored waters, orange-hued rocks, white snow-packed grounds, and a calming waterfall offer a beautifully serene landscape for soaking.
During the winter, getting to the springs is more challenging as the main drive-through gates are closed, which adds a few extra miles to your hike. Be sure to pack the proper winter hiking gear, along with plenty of water to drink as soaking in hot pools will dehydrate you.
You’ll find the trail easily by seeing a sign for Fifth Water Trail on Diamond Fork Road, just past the main campgrounds. You’ll know you’ve arrived when the scent of sulfur tingles your nostrils and the blue-green waters lure you in. At the time of writing this article, Diamond Fork Hot Springs are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. To stay updated check out the forest service website.
Location: Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Entry fee: $3 – $10, depending on age and the day
Mineral water in the beautiful Lava Hot Springs doesn’t have any odor. FishermansDaughter
Even though it’s technically not in Utah, we’re still adding it to the list because this hot spring deserves a visit. Lava Hot Springs is centrally located between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Yellowstone National Park. These all-natural, mineral water hot springs offer a soothing, meditative place to relax. And unlike most hot springs, you won’t experience any sulfur odor.
There are five outdoor pools with temperatures ranging all the way up to 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Lava Hot Springs also offers kid-friendly pools, a gorgeous garden, gift shops, and a quaint town to explore. This is a perfect spot for a fun family road trip, just be sure to bring snacks because you’ll most likely be in and out of these springs for many hours.
Location: Monroe, Utah
Entry fee: $25 for adults, $12.50 for children
With the word “mystic” in its name, this hot spring should definitely be added to your bucket list. These mythical waters have been known about long before our time, by the tribes who occupied this land. Now, considered more of a hippy hangout, Mystic Hot Springs offers vintage bathtubs and concrete pools that catch the mineral-rich, 100 degree Fahrenheit water.
This is a perfect opportunity for an intimate experience soaking alone or alongside loved ones. This unique venue also offers amazing live music and the chance to soak under a star-filled sky.
To enjoy Mystic Hot Springs, you’ll need to make a reservation before you arrive.
Location: Just south of Fillmore, Utah
Entry fee: Free
Family friendly: Yes
Meadow Hot Springs are considered a special gem to the locals, and it’s easy to see why. This picturesque setting is located near rural farm fields with a far-off view of the Cricket Mountains.
Three springs sit comfortably in an expansive area, and the depth and clarity of each pool are what make this location worth the visit. Mineral-rich water, which rapidly arrives from the ground, drains into narrow channels away from the pools. This acts as an all-natural cleaning system to keep the water incredibly clear.
There is a well-maintained dirt road that leads to the springs where you’ll be able to park and hike a short distance to the pools. Even though Meadow Hot Springs are free, they are on private property, so read any signs posted and respect the land.
Location: Saratoga Springs, Utah
Entry fee: Free
Family friendly: Yes
Just 35 minutes south of Salt Lake City you’ll discover healing hot springs on the northern bank of Lake Utah. Saratoga Hot Springs are an ideal choice for anyone who has been exploring in or around the city and is in need of some peaceful time in nature.
To visit the springs, you’ll want to park at Inlet Park and hike down a cement path for no more than 150 yards. You’ll find the springs surrounded by trees and a spectacular view of the Wasatch Mountains. The pool is relatively large but does get busy on the weekends. There are a few benches where you can place your items to keep them out of the snow and mud, but there are no bathrooms.
The best time to visit would be sunset, and the springs officially close at 10 pm.
When it comes to Utah and the surrounding area in the winter, most people think about what slopes they’re going to shred. But don’t forget to put these Utah hot springs on your bucket list, especially after a long day of physical exercise. Besides the soothing comfort, the great thing about most of these hot springs is that they are free and created by nature for your enjoyment.
For the best experience at any of these natural hot springs, here are a few suggestions:
Featured image provided by Weston Fuller
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