Labor Day Champagne Hike and Picnic at Fifth Water Hot Springs

Fall has hit head-on — you can tell with the gaps between temperatures and unpredictable weather. A need for something un-summer-y was in the cards for our group of friends. And what better than a lovely hike through Spanish Fork Canyon and a relaxing bath at the Fifth Water Hot Springs?

Packed with champagne, a (much-needed) backup bottle of V. Sattui Gamay Rouge wine (thanks Michelle! yes, it was just cracked open this week…), grapes, pretzels and a bagful of banh mi sandwiches from Thao Mi Cafe… we were set. We clown-car-stuffed ourselves into My’s new MDX and were on our way towards Spanish Fork. Luckily, the Asians I hung out with… were stereotypically small (I can say that… because I am Asian, right?).

Going from Salt Lake, you head towards Provo on I-15 going Southbound. Take the exit for Highway 6 towards Spanish Fork. About 10 miles down the way, you’ll see a left for Diamond Fork Canyon Road. Cattle guards! Take that about another 10 miles and you’ll see a sign that says Three Forks on your right hand side. That’s the one!

The hike is about 2.5 miles one-way. Hey! No fear… it’s not that steep nor difficult. It’s a very moderate incline of about only 600 feet throughout.

It’s a clearly marked trail with minor up and down hills. There are some narrow spots where you may want to be extra careful. Don’t… do what Danny did… I just happened to snap this photo as he almost wiped out down into the river.

You will know you are about halfway when you reach the bridge.

You’ll be able to smell the sulfur as you approach the springs. Stinky eggs. Blech.

But once you arrive at the destination, you forget all about it… becoming immersed in the pure natural beauty and excitement of the Fifth Water hot springs.

Immediately after our (perhaps) one-hour hike, I made them break out the sandwiches. I was starved! And with sandwiches, came a delightfully sweet sparkling wine that Holly brought (and lugged) up.

It was glorious. A bit packed, but spectacular. The water ranged a perfect amount of varied temperatures. An area near the falls, cool water… however, the pool just next to the cool water, was a very warm spring. The waterfall brought down cool mountain water but the springs, themselves, were quite warm. We hung out in a warmer pool… where I (disgusting, but true) increasingly grew sweaty. So, I walked about, hiked up to the waterfall and back down around the other pools. It was a great area to explore.

On the way back down, we took a few photos of a creamy stream running down along the trail and made fun of Holly’s “milkshake.”

It was fun stroll on a perfect temperature day. The wine and champagne must’ve done wonders since I looked like this hiking back down…

About two-thirds of the way down, we strapped on our headlamps and pulled out our mini-flashlights. It got dark quick. Damn that fall daylight disappearing so quickly on us!

At the bottom, nightfall swept the earth as we saw numerous groups just starting to head up. They were going to backpack it up and camp on site. Glorious. Although I can’t say I would ever camp out, I recommend the experience to everyone. I’m still in awe! Oh, and next time… I think we should explore the upper pools (atop the waterfall!).

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