Fifth Water Waterfalls and Hot Springs
When/Where: We'll meet up behind the Olive Garden at Fashion Place Mall at 10:00 am, leaving right at 10:15 am. I'll post final details tomorrow.
Length: 4.5 miles out and back
What to bring: Swimsuit, towel, hiking shoes, sunscreen, snacks/lunch, beverage of choice.
Description: Three scenic waterfalls and some very nice hot springs are located along Fifth Water Creek, which is a tributary to the Diamond Fork River, east of Spanish Fork. You can reach the springs and waterfalls from the Three Forks Trailhead in Diamond Fork Canyon, or from the Rays Valley Trailhead (located on the Rays Valley Road north of Hwy 6).
The hot springs are very popular and draw crowds on weekends during warm weather. Several soaking pools are available. The water is clear and you can vary its temperature by positioning yourself at different points in the pools, and by regulating the water flows into the pools.
The lower waterfall comes right down next to the main soaking pool. The second (counting up from the bottom) is a photogenic multi-tiered waterfall that is worth searching out. A third waterfall exists further up the stream.
During winter, snow is usually well packed and you can usually hike to the hot pools without snowshoes. You will need a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach the trailhead.
Three Forks Trailhead
To get to the trailhead, drive Hwy 6 east from Spanish Fork for about 11 miles to the signed Diamond Fork turnoff. Follow the Diamond Fork road about 10 miles to the signed trailhead. From the trailhead, cross the small Diamond Fork River and then follow the obvious trail east into the canyon. The trail is wide and well-maintained. It follows along the north side of Sixth Water Creek.
Bridge and Fork
The stream and trail fork about a mile above the trailhead. Cross Sixth Water on the bridge and then take the trail on the right, which follows the much smaller Fifth Water Creek. Again, you'll be on the north side of the creek and will be hiking east.
The main pools are right below the first waterfall, which you can't miss as you hike the trail. You'll start to smell sulfur as you approach the area. The hot water does contain sulfur, but otherwise is clear and pleasant.
A second, higher waterfall is located just a short way above the first. This one is the most photogenic.There are two very nice soaking pools along the stream between the first and second waterfall.