Skis and swimsuits don’t often go together, but a small group of us decided on an outdoor winter adventure that involved both. Our destination was an interesting collection of natural hot springs called Fifth Water Hot Springs. Early Sunday morning we loaded all of our gear and drove 60 minutes south of Salt Lake City to Spanish Fork Canyon. A few minutes up the canyon and we arrived at a gate for Diamond Fork. During the summer months, the gate is open and the road is paved, but as this is February in Utah, there was no maintenance and the road was covered in snow.
We strapped on our cross country skis and skid 3.5 miles to the beginning of the actual trailhead. Once there, we traded our skis for hiking boots, stashing our ski gear off the side of the trail. The hike up to the springs was easy and the 2.5 miles to the first spring went by uneventfully. The hot springs are very popular during the summer months, but not very many people make the trip during the winter.
One reason not many people make the trip is you have to go from warm ski clothing to a swimsuit in the cold snow. We quickly changed and jumped into the scalding hot water. Some of the springs are so hot that you can’t even get into them. The lower springs were perfect and it was just like sitting in a hot tub surrounded by snow.
After spending an hour soaking in the hot springs, we changed back into our dry clothes and hiked back to the trailhead. Luckily no one had messed with our skis and we switched back to ski boots and began making our way to the cars. The sun had set and fortunately I had packed headlamps. By the time we made it back to the cars it was dark.
The Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Pack was a great choice for this adventure. It has plenty of room my gear as well as my wife’s. Plus, lashing boots and ski gear to the pack was very easy.
Whether you can go in the summer or winter, I highly recommend the Fifth Water Hot Springs.
About the Author: Clayton Mortensen is the Owner and Head Instructor of Fortified Krav Maga. Clayton has been training in various martial arts since the age of 12 and earned his first black belt at the age of 18. After training and competing in Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, Kenpo, and various other systems, he decided that Krav Maga was the system he would dedicate his time and energy to. Since opening his school in February of 2016, Clayton has trained thousands of LEO, S.W.A.T. Operators, service members and civilians in hand to hand combat.