Fifth Water Hot Springs

Round Trip Distance: 5.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5472 - 6200 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 2 hrs. 15 mins. (without a soak)
Trailhead: Three Forks
Fee: none
Attractions: Hot springs pools, waterfalls

The Fifth Water Hot Springs are located in the Spanish Fork District of the Uinta National Forest between Price and Spanish Fork, Utah. The hot springs are located along Fifth Water Creek where there are also several scenic waterfalls. Weekends are the peak time to find people soaking in the pools of water. While there are no signs in the area, common sense would suggest that it is illegal to bath in the nude.

The Three Forks trailhead is located in Diamond Fork Canyon. If coming to the area from the west you would measure about 11 miles from the junction of Interstate 15 and US Highway 6 where you would turn north onto the Diamond Fork Road and continue driving for another 9.8 miles. If coming from the east then measure about 56 miles from Price, Utah to the Diamond Fork Road. The Diamond Fork Road is paved until you get almost to the trailhead. Several developed campgrounds are located along the road for those wanting to spend a little more time in the area.

From the parking area the trail passes the restrooms heading east up the side canyon.

Stay to the left right after leaving the trailhead and follow the trail along the north side of Sixth Water Creek. Dirt bikes aren't allowed beyond this point but they are allowed on the Cottonwood Second\Water Trail #18 on the other side of the creek.

Fishing access is easiest within the first quarter mile of hiking. After that the trail gets higher above the water and in most places, with a few exceptions, it is very difficult to get down to the creek.

Erosion is taking its toll in several areas where the Forest Service is doing their part to keep hikers safe.

At 1.1 miles from the trailhead the route to the hot springs crosses a bridge.

From here the trail is following the smaller Fifth Water Creek.

There are several primitive campsites between here and the hot springs and waterfalls. These sites are right next to the trail although the trail doesn't actually go through them. For a site with a lot less traffic consider hiking past the second waterfall and camping there. At that point you will have passed the hot springs where there is much less traffic.

The main pools are located about 2.5 miles from the trailhead just below the first waterfall. The smell of sulfur begins filling the air the closer you come to the hot springs. Someone has done a little masonry work to create the soaking pools.

Several more pools can be seen leading up to the first waterfall. The water coming down Fifth Water Creek is cold. The temperature of each pool can be adjusted by regulating how much of that cold water enters the pool and mixes with the warmer water bubbling up from the hot springs.

Here a couple of ladies are bathing in the pool beneath the first waterfall.

The pools between the first and second waterfall are more secluded from the trail offering a little more privacy. We turned around just after the second waterfall. The trail actually goes all the way through to the Rays Valley Trailhead. To learn more about the entire Fifth Water Trail #15 visit the Forest Services official website.

We saw several fly fishermen plying the waters near the trailhead but have no idea how well they were doing. The Fifth Water trail is fun to hike all by itself. The hot springs add a feature of uniqueness to the hike. It is always nicer to hike a trail that leads to something interesting.  If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.