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8 Best Natural Hot Springs in Utah to Visit On Your Next Trip

8 Best Natural Hot Springs in Utah to Visit On Your Next Trip

You’re on the hunt for the best natural hot springs in Utah? Great! This vast state is one of the true outdoor wonderlands of the USA – in fact, this is where I live.

With endless water-weathered canyons and colossal gorges, rolling desert plains, and soaring ranges of the Rocky Mountains, it’s hardly a surprise that there are also plenty of hot springs in Utah. It’s as if Mother Nature plonked them down tactically to soothe all those post-hike, post-ski muscles, they’re a perfect addition to your Utah road trip!

From the mineral-rich and famous Crystal Hot Springs near Salt Lake City to more remote springs that dot the borderlands with Idaho and Nevada, there are loads to get through and they’re all different, too.

Some are managed springs with filtered pools and family areas. Others are right there in the wild, offering views of the red-rock mountains and dusty plains. You’ll find options that are suited to adventurers looking to bathe under the stars and you’ll catch bubbling spa pools where you can get that hit of R&R you deserve.

This guide will take a look at eight of the top hot springs in Utah. It ranges through the untamed outback of the West Desert and along the snow-capped ridges of the Wasatch Range, offering insights into the best places to soak up the warmth and minerals of the great Beehive State. Don’t forget the swimming gear and towels…

1. Diamond Fork Hot Springs (Fifth Water Hot Springs)

The Diamond Fork Hot Springs are probably the most picturesque of all the hot springs in Utah. They straddle the babbling Fifth Water Creek (hence the unofficial name) a stone’s throw from the Diamond Fork River (hence the actual name).

You’ll need to go hunting for the springs themselves because they sit snug in a deep valley that emerges from the soaring Wasatch Range in the east. Don’t worry – there’s an excellent marked trail that can take you straight to the spot for bathing.

A hint of sulfur in the air should be the first sign you’re getting close. Then, you’ll spot a peppering of purpose-built pools ringed by ad hoc walls of stone. They shine in a painter’s palette of hues. There’s Croatian-Sea blue, forest green, and milky white.

Some of the best pools are lofted just above the river itself, offering lovely views down the water channel. The so-called Upper Pools are usually the hottest, with a peak temperature of 108 F.

Remember that you’ll need to hike a 2.5-mile trail both to and from the springs. It’s a good idea to prep for that with proper boots and good thermals in the winter months (especially for the return journey).

The Diamond Fork Hot Springs are about an hour’s drive from the buzzing heart of Salt Lake City. In addition, they’re some of the only hot springs near Moab, which is about 3-3.5 hours’ drive away to the southeast.

Visitors relax in natural geothermal pools at Fifth Water Hot Springs surrounded by snow, a serene scene at one of Utah's best natural hot springs.

2. Homestead Crater

If you’re looking for a cenote-like experience, Homestead Crater is a place to visit. Housed on the sprawling three-star Homestead Resort, the springs themselves sit at the bottom of a 10,000-year-old crater, created over the millennia by the attrition and melting of snows that fall in the shadow of the Wasatch.

That’s formed a sort of natural bathtub, only with rock walls some 65 feet high! Deep inside the crater, the water maintains a steady mercury reading of around 90-100 degrees F. It’s actually the only warm scuba diving destination in the continental US, how cool is that?!

However, it can often feel a little warmer thanks to the natural insulation of the caldera walls. During the summer months, sunlight can pierce through because of the opening high above.

In the winter, you might feel the odd speck of snow working its way down to the steaming aqua. And it’s not just for R&R – scuba divers and snorkelers have also been known to drop in.

There’s an area that’s family-friendly with many families visiting, so while it might not be your romantic couply-like crater experience it’s worth a trip any time of year.

The Homestead Crater is just one of the enticing features you’ll find on the site. There’s also a full-fledged 18-hole golf course and a hearty American grill house, not to mention sumptuous suites with queen beds and balconies. In addition to all that, the Midway Hot Springs could feature as part of a ski trip to the Wasatch Range. Park City is just a short drive to the north.

It’s actually right next to Midway Ice Castles, so if you’re visiting Utah in the winter you can do both of these attractions in one day.

An underground pool at Homestead Crater illuminated by artificial lights, a unique hot spring experience found in Utah.

3. Mystic Hot Springs

Quirky and cool, the Mystic Hot Springs are one of the edgier places to go and bath al fresco in the Beehive State. They gurgle up from the Sevier Plateau and the mountains around Monroe, spilling over rust-colored boulders between patches of sun-scorched desert brush.

They’ve been known since the days of the Ute and Shoshone peoples, who found shelter on the geo-warmed land around the springs. These days, they’re more of a hippy oasis in the dust…

Vintage bathtubs have been wedged into the mud and concrete pools have been laid to collect the hot water. That forms the center of the Mystic Hot Springs bathing area, which doubles as a kitschy acoustic music venue when any traveling banjo pluckers are in town.

The water here is thought to be teeming with good minerals that give the H20 a musky hue. Thankfully, there’s not a molecule of sulfur insight, so nose pegs won’t be needed. 

In addition to balmy bathing pools, the site at Mystic has its very own campsite and collection of backcountry cabins and an alpaca farm. They offer some characterful stays in the depths of Utah’s Wild West, with fire pits and awesome yoga spots gazing at the mountains.

The closest town is Monroe, but it’s also only two hours’ drive from Provo, and 2.5 from big Salt Lake City.

Woman stepping into a rustic hot spring tub amidst orange mineral deposits at mystic hot springs, one of the best natural hot springs in Utah

4. Crystal Hot Springs

The beloved and most famous Utah hot springs of Honeyville sit conveniently just off Interstate 15 on the way north to the Idaho state line. They’re known commercially as the Crystal Hot Springs and tout an Olympic-sized bathing pool and all sorts of other mineral-heavy attractions.

If that’s still not enough to tempt you over, just check out the setting. You’ve got the rust-red foothills of Box Elder Peak and dashes of alpine meadowlands rolling all around. It’s simply great bath-time viewing!

There are a whopping seven individual hot springs within the complex. They are all manmade, so you won’t have to worry about trekking tree-lined paths or tiptoeing over craggy rocks to get wet. Temperatures range from a positively cool 65 degrees to a scorching 134 degrees. Hopping between those is thought to help with all sorts of health conditions, while a stint in the lap pool promises to get the muscles going.

Families are also bound to love the Crystal Hot Springs. There are dedicated children’s pools, small social islands, and even a few whizzing waterslides.

Perhaps more importantly, the whole place is easy to get to. Just plot a course north out of SLC or Ogden and you’ll pass by in about an hour or so. Easy. Oh, and an on-site campground has space for up to 80 RVs to boot.

5. Meadow Hot Springs

Peppering a few farm fields down an unassuming turn-off of the E Veterans Memorial Highway south of Filmore, the Meadow Hot Springs are a fun place to pull in for a bathe in view of the rugged Cricket Mountains. They’re not the hottest of the hot springs in Utah, but hot enough.

Temperatures sit pretty at around the 100 F mark, which means there won’t get too balmy in the summer months but can still keep you pleasantly warm when the snow starts falling in the winter.

Notice how the water at the Meadow Hot Springs stays super clear. That’s down to the fast turnover of H20 in the pools. It gurgles up from the ground and is quickly drained into narrow channels away from the bathing spots, creating a sort of natural cleaning system.

Perhaps the best thing about the Meadow Springs is that they’re totally free of charge. The trio of pools that make up the site actually sit on private land, but the owners are nice enough to let people enjoy them.

However, there’s a well-kept access road and a short path (about 0.5 miles) that can take you right to the steaming waters, along with ample parking for all the fly-in visitors and their vans.

Mother and child enjoy a sunny day in a natural hot spring pool at Meadow Hot Springs with a countryside backdrop, one of Utah's best natural hot springs for families.

6. Saratoga Hot Springs (Inlet Park Hot Springs)

It takes a mere 35 minutes to cruise out of Downtown SLC and reach the temperate H20 of the pools in Saratoga. That makes these the perfect choice if you’re on the search for hot springs near Salt Lake City.

They sit on the northern banks of big Utah Lake, with the rising Wasatch Mountains to the east and the snowy domes of Flat Top Mountain dominating to the west. It’s a darn scenic spot if there ever was one!

Park up and take one of the several trails that go right to the side of the springs. They all meet at one main pool, which has a steady warmth of around 100 degrees F throughout the year.

There’s usually plenty of space, even for the larger crowds that gather on the weekend and during the evening (when everyone comes to bathe after long hikes in the canyons around SLC). The site officially closes at 10 pm.

Serene natural hot spring with a backdrop of mountains and lush greenery, inviting relaxation in the Utah outdoors.

7. Gandy Warm Springs

The Gandy Warm Springs are an oasis on the Utah-Nevada state line. Intrepid travelers and road-trippers willing to venture this far into the untamable Snake Valley region will find them babbling out from the side of aptly named Spring Mountain.

The water is crystal clear and fresh. It emerges from a series of natural holes in the ground and forms a whole river that occasionally opens into wide bathing pools fed by waterfalls.

There are two main spots to take a dip: the Upper Pool and the Lower Pool. The first is probably the prettier of the two. It’s ringed by stone walls and pockets of desert scrub. Moss bursts from the crevices and cracks of the surrounding travertine and there are gorgeous views back down to the Great Basin to enjoy as you soak.

The Lower Pool, meanwhile, is a little more hidden, between bursts of reeds and small mud banks. It’s also the more accessible choice, with a parking spot right next door.

The Gandy Warm Springs are probably the westernmost hot springs in Utah. That means they’re no walk in the park to get to and are not recommended for small children.

The drive-in from Salt Lake City should take around four hours in total, while Las Vegas over in NV is only 5.5 hours away! Aim to join the east-west corridor of US Route 50 before veering north onto Gandy Road to find them.

Crystal-clear natural hot spring nestled among rocks at Gandy Warm Springs, an inviting spot among Utah's best natural hot springs.

8. Baker Hot Springs

Tucked under the basalt domes and boulders of the Fumarole Butte, out in the wild hinterland of western Utah, the Baker Hot Springs are the perfect roadside bout of rest and relaxation.

Remote and often totally empty, they’re great if you want to bathe in complete solitude; just you, the dry desert air, and the sound of the swaying scrub.

One of the great things about the Baker Hot Springs is how easy it is to adjust the temperature. Pipes carrying cool water run into one side of the basins, while the natural mineral springs feed the other at their constant 180 F (too hot on its own).

Generally, the third and last pool in the line will be the balmiest of all, so bear that in mind if you arrive on a chilly Utah winter’s day.

Collage promoting the '8 Best Natural Hot Springs in Utah,' featuring captivating images of unique geothermal pools.
Aerial view of a person floating in a clear blue hot spring surrounded by rocks, one of the best hot springs in Utah.


Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Gandy Hot Spring was washed out by flash flooding this summer. We go there right after and were very disappointed.

Anna Karsten

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

Oh no, the weather is definitely unpredictable this year. The drought situation also isn't helping for the next year :(


Monday 22nd of February 2021

Saratoga hot springs is a long ways from Utah...

Anna Karsten

Monday 22nd of February 2021

You're thinking of those in South Dakota, but those are 40 minutes from Salt Lake City. Very Utah :D

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