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Fifth Water Hot Springs (Trail Guide To Diamond Fork)

fall leaves in the background of the blue soaking pools at fifth water hot springs
Fifth Water Hot Springs

Fifth Water Hot Springs (aka: Diamond Fork Hot Springs) is a beautiful place to stop if you are venturing around northern Utah. It is a fairly easy hike and winds up through a luscious forest. There are a variety of semi-natural hot spring pools gathered under a beautiful waterfall.

The smell of the hot springs (rotten eggs) might steer a few people away, but this place stays pretty busy year-round. Whether you visit in Fall and witness the leaves changing colors, during winter when the area is covered in snow and steam rises off the pools, or on a mid-summer afternoon, it offers a unique and special experience.

So let’s dive into the details for hiking Fifth Water Hot Springs (Diamond Fork).

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Hiking Stats For Fifth Water Hot Springs

Distance: 4.5 miles round trip

Elevation: 636 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Type: Out & back

Permit: No

Bathroom: At Trailhead

Dogs: Yes

How To Get To Fifth Water Hot Springs

Fifth Water Hot Springs is located about 1 hour south of Salt Lake City in Springville, UT. To get to the trailhead, you will turn off of Hwy 89 onto Diamond Fork Rd. The drive is on a well-maintained dirt road.

You follow Diamond Fork Road for about 25 minutes (about 10 miles of the road). There will be a sign to the right of the road indicating you have arrived at the Fifth Water Hot Springs (or Diamond Fork Hot Springs).

You can also google maps “Fifth Water Hot Springs Trail Start” and it will bring you right to the parking lot. 

the beautiful fall colors on the fifth water hot springs hike

The Start Of Fifth Water Hot Springs Hike

At the start of the hike, you begin through Diamond Fork Canyon. Do note there is a gate you need to open and then close behind you. This is to ensure the free-range cattle do not get out. 

About 50 feet into the hike, you will see a bridge crossing the creek to your right, (that is NOT the trail). 

Keep to the left side of Sixth Water Creek for the trail up to the hot springs. The trail is very easy to follow after that. There is 636 feet in elevation change, but it is very gradual.

Bridge Crossing At Fifth Water Hot Springs

the sixth water creek bridge crossing on the fifth water hot springs trail
Crossing the bridge on the way back

About 1 mile into the hike, you will cross over Sixth Water Creek. The Sixth Water Bridge is very sturdy, so no intense river crossing. From here you will follow along Fifth Water Creek up to the hot springs. You will know you are getting close when you start to smell of sulfur (aka rotten egg smell).

Along The Diamond Fork Hot Springs Hike

the emerald blue water in fifth water creek

The trail is mesmerizing from the start. There are a lot of beautiful spots along the route where you will notice a blue tint to the water. You might also spot a few mini scenic waterfalls that are very pretty.

Be sure to stop and enjoy the beautiful views this hike has to offer!

a small waterfall on the side of the trail of Diamond Fork Hot Springs

The Fifth Water Hot Springs (Diamond Fork)

view of the crowds at fifth water hot springs

The hot springs are hard to miss because the trail brings you right to them. (You will also smell them too!) There are numerous pools to soak in.

You first come upon a small waterfall running into a pool of blue water. Keep walking up past that and you have then reached the first pool.

The first pool tends to be a greener color. If you continue on, there are a few other pools to choose from. 

It might be a good idea to walk around to the different pools to test out the temperatures. Some are very hot and some are lukewarm. But depending on what water temperature you prefer, there should be one right for you.

There were also a handful of people who didn’t get into the water, which is totally okay. It is a pretty popular place, so it can get crowded with multiple people swimming or bathing in each pool.

The Waterfall At Fifth Water Hot Springs

long exposure of the water fall at fifth water hot springs

There is a beautiful waterfall when you get to the upper pools. You can simply walk right up to it, because it isn’t very deep out in front of it! This is where the cold river meets the hot springs to cool them down!

The main reason that the temperature in the springs can be controlled by slight changes to the flow of water.

Above The waterfall

top view from the waterfall at fifth water hot springs

We didn’t venture further up past the waterfall, but it looked like there was a path beside the river where you could venture on. But it is also nice to go above the falls to get a better view of all the hot spring pools.

Use Caution When Soaking at Fifth Water Hot Springs

While it is fine to swim at fifth water hot springs soaking pools, there can sometimes be a harmful algae (benthic cyanobacteria). These are natural hot springs and temperatures can sometimes change rapidly.

You can always check with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Service to ask whether or not it is safe to swim.

Backpacking Diamond Fork Hot Springs

Backpacking is allowed at fifth water hot springs/ Diamond Fork Hot Springs. There are a handful of great primitive camping spots along the hike. There are 3 on the other side of the Sixth Water Creek near the parking lot, or a few along the way up to the Fifth Water Hot Springs. If you need help preparing what to bring for a backpacking trip, check out this Ultimate Backpacking Checklist.

Camping Near Fifth Water (Diamond Fork) Hot Springs

There are campgrounds along North Fork Rd. One campground that is near the Fifth Water Hot Springs Trailhead is Three Forks Campground which is free. You aren’t allowed to camp in the parking lot of Three Forks Campground, but there are flat campsites across the bridge. There are drop toilets located in the parking lot.

There is also Diamond Campground which is $24 per night on a first come, first serve basis.

During the summer months, it might be a bit harder to snag a campsite, so be sure to go early to ensure a spot at the campsite.

Hotels or Other Accommodation Near Diamond Fork:

If camping isn’t your thing, you can find a hotel nearby in the town of Spanish Fork.

We also suggest finding a vacation home rental in the nearby towns.

Or one of our personal favorite options is to rent a campervan or RV from Outdoorsy or RVezy. (Which Campervan Rental Service Is Better)

Winter Hiking At Fifth Water Hot Springs

This hiking trail is open all year round. We had the pleasure of going during peak fall and the colorful forest was breathtaking!

But, we think it would also be a fun adventure to hike to these hot springs in the winter month. With beautiful white snow surrounding the pools, as steam floats off the surface of the water.

But be sure to have the proper footwear such as Yaktrax for better grip while hiking on snow. If you plan to hike during winter, check out these Tips For Winter Hiking.

During the summer, its best to go early in the morning to avoid the heat and still enjoy the springs. When soaking in the warmer months, you might be able to dip under the cold waterfall to cool off.

a girl soaking in a pool at fifth water hot springs staring at the waterfall

Takeaway | Fifth Water Hot Springs

If you are near Salt Lake City, this hike should definitely be on your list of fun things to do in Utah! These are some of the most picturesque hot springs.

Plus, this hike is a great ratio of effort to reward, that we feel you will highly enjoy!

It is also great for most ability levels. Fifth Water Hot Springs are open year-round, so you will be lucky enough to go no matter what time of year. But if you are able to choose a time of year, we suggest Fall because the crowds have thinned out a little and fall foliage is unreal! We hope you enjoy!

Remember to Leave No Trace, which means pack out all your trash and personal belongings.

Things To Pack

Shop our favorite hiking layers, here! We highly encourage merino wool layers. They wick sweat, are breathable, and save our planet one piece of clothing at a time! Check out our Unbound Merino review for tons more benefits! We only suggest products we have used ourselves and have proven to be quality!

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Diamond Fork Hot Springs – Utah |

Thursday 12th of August 2021

[…] 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.┬áTo me it made sense […]

The Ultimate Road Trip Through Salt Lake City - tworoamingsouls

Saturday 30th of November 2019

[…] a bonus if you go in the fall, because the changing leaves are gorgeous! Check out our article: Fifth Water Hot Springs for more details about the […]

Wendy Frisch

Sunday 20th of October 2019

Loved your adventure and seeing the foliage in Utah! Bathing in sulfur-y water must take a little getting used to, but the color is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!