Utah Hot Springs: Fifth Water

hiking, Hot Springs, nomad, Utah

I had seen a lot of photos of these bright blue hot springs on Instagram but didn’t know where to find them! Luckily, one of my best friends lives in Salt Lake City and she knew exactly where these springs were! We packed our backpacks up early Super Bowl Sunday and headed for the springs in hopes that they wouldn’t be too busy. Ya know, since super bowl Sunday is pretty much a holiday in America.

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

The Adventure Up

On a clear and warm day, this is a pretty easy hike! On the other hand, if it’s snowy or icy…. not so much. Definitely bring some spikes if it’s winter. Also, in the winter plan on hiking an extra 1.3 miles each way, part of the road is closed during the snowy season. Any other time of year should be easy breezy.

It’s a pretty flat hike for the most part but there are a few steep parts that got pretty sketchy. I fell 5 or 6 times on this hike, which is pretty unusual. I think I may have been a little over confident walking.

The entire hike goes along the stream and is extremely beautiful. The water is very blue, and with the contrast of the snow it makes it pop even more! You know you are starting to get close to the springs when you start seeing some light teal and more variety of colors in the water.

There are several different pools you can choose from. My personal favorite is the dark green one (sounds weird I know), it was the perfect temperature, pretty much exactly like a hot top! The further up you go, the hotter they get.

My friend and I also swam in the pool in the waterfall. It’s not quite as hot as the others, but the luke-warm water felt great for a cool down.

We sat up there and relaxed for hours! It was so amazing. We brought a few beers (don’t worry we always carry our trash out) and some sandwiches. I would do this hike a millions times over again! It was so beautiful and so peaceful.

What to Bring

  • Your beautiful body
  • Hiking shoes or shoes with good grip. I wear these and highly recommend them: Women’s Explore WP Hiking shoe.
  • LOTS OF WATER. Hot springs will dehydrate you and you still have a long hike back to your car. Bring more than you think you would need. I have a Hydroflask and a Camel Back.
  • Snacks. Whenever I go on a long hike or to a hot spring, I always bring a snack. I eat it at the top or wherever the main destination is. It gives a good boost of energy for the hike back.
  • Winter gear: Spikes (Click here for the exact ones I have that are affordable), trekking poles, beanie, gloves, warm jacket, and snow pants if there is a lot of snow!
Follow my beautiful and adventurous friend Audrey on Instagram! @dr.audreymaya

Location

  • Fifth water hot springs are located just outside of Provo Utah or about 1.5 hours from Salt Lake City.
  • Take hwy 15 until you see the exit for hwy 6. Follow Hwy 6 Until you get to Diamond Fork Rd, follow the road all the way to the end and park in the parking lot.
  • I recommend downloading the All Trails app and typing in “Fifth Water Hot Springs”, it’ll pull up exact location through whatever maps app you have!
  • If you keep your maps running, it’ll keep the GPS running even if you run out of service, which you will out there!

Safety Tips

  • Always tell someone the exact location of where you are going; you never know what is going to happen.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.
  • Always trust your gut. If something or someone seems off, follow your instinct and do what your body is telling you.
  • If the trail is extremely icy, I would recommend saving the hike for a different day. Some of the worst icy spots have  cliff into the water on the edge.

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

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Arizona Hiking and Hot Springs: The Lone Palm on the Colorado

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This hike was very challenging but oh so worth it! This is one of those hikes where you really need to listen to the reviews on All Trails and be prepared!

There is hardly a trail to follow so it’s extremely easy to get off course once you’re fully into the trail (the start isn’t too bad). Make sure you track your hike with your all trail app so that you can tell if you are going the right way or not.

I got off trail SO many times and wouldn’t of made it if I couldn’t use my app to find my way back. I rarely track my hikes but I wouldn’t recommend this hike without doing it! It’s easy to do.

Make sure you start to record your while you have service. I had service at the parking lot of this trailhead so I started it there. It still works if you loose service AFTER you have started it.

In this article I will be going over do’s and don’ts for this confusing hike. I took pictures of the spots of where I went the wrong way so other people can avoid them. I’ll post them below!

Location

This hike is located inside the Lake Mead Nation Recreational area, which is about 30 minutes outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. This park is in both Nevada and Arizona; the hike is just over the boarder on the Arizona side, right off the main highway! It’s extremely easy to get to.

Coming from either way on HWY 93, you will take exit two onto Kingman Wash Access road. The trailhead is just off to the west side of the hwy, I would guess about .2 miles from the main HWY.

What to Bring

  • Water, WATER, and more water! I drank 140oz on this hike. The air is dry, the weather is hot and it’s a hard hike. Bring more than you normally would for a hike. Don’t let the 4 mile trek fool you into bringing less. Camel backs are great for hard hikes. If you don’t want to buy or use the camel back backpack, you can buy a bladder and secure it in your regular backpack and slip the hose through a small gap in the zipper. Click here for a bladder, they are very affordable.
  • Hiking shoes with good grip! The rocks are slippery. I have some badass keens, here are the ones I have… they have great traction and grip!
  • Snacks. I always bring snacks on every hike I do, you never know when you’re going to need an energy boosts. Snacks are great for this.
  • Swimsuit (optional)
  • Towel (optional)
  • Backpack for all your belongings. Keep your hands free incase you slip or fall!
The hotspring on the end here in warm, not hot but great for staying in for long periods of time, especially on a warm day!

The Adventure Up! (with my mistakes and tips)

Believe me when I say that this hike was a real doozy! Physically it’s doable but very confusing. Make sure you leave early so that you have plenty of sunlight for the hike back to your car.

I started this hike right away going the wrong way. I went right at the trailhead…. That leads to a cliff. Go left and follow it around in what looks to be like an old riverbed. I followed it right once I got to the split off.

I followed the riverbed for about 1.5-2 miles. I continued to follow it too far… went through this little canyon:

…. Which lead to this branch… which I then climbed down stupidly. DO NOT GO DOWN THE BRANCH. If you see the brand…. Probably about 15-20ft, you have gone the wrong way… but only by a little bit, don’t worry. I was able to find an easier way to get back where I went the wrong way.

View from the bottom of the tree I climbed down… don’t be like me lol.

Instead of turning right down this canyon, go straight up the gravel hill. It doesn’t look like much of a trail until you go up it a little. You’ll see some rock sharon’s (Those balanced rock towers) and you’ll know you are going the right way.

Go up and over that hill. Make sure you continually check your app to make sure you are going the right way… I checked mine every few minutes and still got off track. I can’t emphasize how important this is on this specific trail!

One of the only parts of the trail were it actually looks like a trail.

Keep following the rock sharon’s and the app until you see the Colorado River and the small stream going into it.

Once you get to the stream, you are going to walk along the stream until you find the two separate hot spring pools. One is further back away from the river and fits about two people, it’s hotter than the other.

The second one is all the way down at the end towards the Colorado. It’s bigger but more of a luke-warm, which is perfect temperature in this part of the country usually. It overlooks the river and turns into a waterfall where you rest your back. It was so amazingly beautiful.

There was people in it when I first got to it so I deicded to follow the little trail down to the river to see the Lone Palm up close. The trail down in this section has a ton of thorn bushes so be careful, I got a few minor cuts.

The Colorado river right here is a beautiful emerald color and super clear! I don’t think I have ever seen water in a river that looks this beautiful. Pretty places make me feel oh so jazzy!

I cracked an IPA and relaxed in the sunshine, swam a little and took some photos. 

After about an hour I headed back up to the bigger hot spring with the waterfall, the girls that were in it before had left so I hopped in! It was perfect temperature for relaxing for a long time on a 70-degree day.

I decided to go back the same way I came since I had such a hard time finding the trail. I was alone and didn’t want to get lost in the dark incase my phone died. I got lost way less on the way back but still got off track about 3-4 times. Look out for those rock sharon’s, they are super helpful if you are on the lookout for them. Build more if there are some confusing areas. I built a few more when I was on the hike!

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Grand Teton National Park Adventure: Cliff Jumping at Phelps Lake

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It had always been on my bucket list to go to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson, Wyoming. I finally made that dream come true in the summer of 2019 during 4th of July week. My best friend and I decided the night before that we were going to go (that’s how we roll), we loaded up our car and hit the road as soon as we could!

Phelps Lake, Grand Tetons

We drove from Spokane, Washington to the Tetons, which is about a 9-hour drive. Luckily, it’s an extremely beautiful drive that is littered with different mountain ranges. You also have to drive through Yellowstone to get to the Tetons when you’re coming from the north side of the park.

Yellowstone is always beautiful! We didn’t stop…. Well not intentionally, but we had to stop for a few bison. If you have never seen a buffalo, I highly recommend going to Yellowstone, they are everywhere!

( I’ve had my back packing pack for a long time, so they don’t have the exact one anymore. I love it, it’s super supportive. Here’s the same Brand and similar style).

The Adventure to Phelps Lake:

FYI! Do not hike anywhere in the Tetons without bear spray and bear bells. I saw bears on every single hike there. I get the holster for the bear spray so that I can easily clip it to my backpack. Click here for the exact one I use!

Bear Spray on Amazon

Bear spray also works great for general self defense when you’re not in the woods! I keep a thing of it in my night stand. This stuff is powerful!

When you get into the park, make sure to stop and get all of the maps they have to offer, service is spotty and they are extremely helpful. Parking is limited so I would recommend getting there earlier in the day.

The hike to get to this cliff jumping spot is easy and beautiful! It was about 1.5 miles each way.

The hike in is extremely beautiful. You cross over a lot of streams that are crystal clear and loaded with fish! We stopped and rested on one of the bridges and watched the entire fish swim under us. Photos of that never do justice but just believe me when I say that it is amazing!

You’ll be able to tell when you’re getting close if there are other people out, you can usually hear people yelling and having fun while jumping off. If you follow the trail around the lake you can’t miss it.

The jump was SO FUN but sooooo cold! I would do it 100x again, but nothing will ever prepare you for the feeling of submerging into a mountain lake. It’s well worth it, just do it or you will regret it! My other friend was with me and she got scared and still regrets it to this day.

There’s plenty of other amazing things to do in the Tetons! I think my all time favorite adventure to do in the Tetons is hike up to the teal colored alpine lakes!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

Life is too short to not make those leaps! Just make sure to be safe while you do them.

Make sure you take the same trail back as you did on the way in, we learned this the hard way…. We had to walk a couple miles down the road to get back to the right parking lot! We actually hitch hiked cause we were exhausted!

What to Bring

  • Bear spray!!! This is a must. I saw a bear on every single hike I went on in the Tetons. You can get a, affordable can off amazon, click here. Or at any sporting good store (REI, Cabellas, Etc). If you are in bear country, it won’t be hard to find. Most convenience stores will sell the.
  • Hiking shoes!! Click here for the ones I wear on most of my hikes
  • Water! Lots of it
  • Snacks (you never know what’s going to happen)
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Sweatshirt if you are going to stay there all day. It gets cold fast in the mountains! Better to be safe and prepared.

How to get There

Driving in Grant Teton National Park
  • Go and get a map from the visitor center or a ranger station. Look for Phelps lake and it will tell you how to get to this hike!
  • Ask a ranger for directions! That’s the easiest way to find your way around National Parks, especially if you don’t have service.
  • Follow the Phelps lake trail. It leads you through the woods and next to rivers and eventually to the lake. Follow the trail around the lake and you’ll find the rock!

We came out on a different trailhead than we started accidentally. We ended up hitch hiking back to our original parking lot haha. We hopped into the bed of a truck of a family, so it felt very safe! Something to be mindful about. There are multiple trailheads for this hike!

Follow me on Instagram to see my in-the-moment adentures! @maggmountains

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Idaho Mountaintop Hot Spring: Hike up to Goldbug Hot Spring

hiking, Hot Springs, idaho, nomad, Van Life

Goldbug hot springs tops the cake for my favorite hots spring in the United States (at least thus far in my adventures). Adding an amazingly breath-taking view on top of a fully natural hot spring makes it stand out among the rest. Hopefully I will be able to make it back many more times while I’m still breathing on this beautiful planet.

Goldbug Hotsprings, Idaho

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

I have gotten numerous messages from people about geotagging. I understand when people don’t want to share their locations to hidden gems, but that’s not my mentality. I love to share my spots and get more people off their phones and out enjoying the great outdoors. I won’t be directly geo-tagging on Instagram …. But I will gladly share on my website!

Location

Goldbug Hot Springs are located about 30 minutes south of Salmon, Idaho. Salmon is a cute tiny little mountain down in east-central Idaho off hwy 93. You can get there from multiple directions! I went in January and the mountain roads were still accessible, they have a lot of winter road gear up there. I would still recommend going with good tires and preferably four-wheel drive if you are going in the winter time. Summertime should be a breeze!

The address is: 34 Warm Springs Rd, Salmon, ID, 83467.

The parking lot is just about a quarter mile off hwy 93.

There are some other breathtaking Hot Springs in Northern Idaho that are stunning as well!

Local Attractions

I went to Bertram’s Salmon Valley Brewery in Salmon the night before I went on the hike. They had delicious beer! They had a good-sized menu as well with a variety of options.

The whole downtown strip was cute! I would recommend walking up and down it and chatting with the locals.

Gear to Bring

Your Beautiful Body

-Swim suit

-Towel

-WATER (lots of it, those hot springs plus a hike will dehydrate you). I always bring my Hydroflask to hot springs. It keeps my water ice cold even when it’s down in the hot water with me!

Get the Hydroflask I have on Amazon

-Snacks. Climbing up a mountain and sitting in a hot spring can really deplete your energy. Before hiking back down I would recommend eating something, even if it’s small! It will help a lot with your energy when going down. I have found that hikes back after a hot springs seem way longer, your body gets super relaxed in those baths!

-Hiking shoes. I wear Keens, they have great grip and tread. They don’t have my exact ones on amazon but click here for ones that have shorter ankles length but the exact same show other than that!

-Micro Spikes. This hike can get slick in the winter. I hooked my micro spikes right onto my hiking boots! Helped so much.

Winter and Spring:

You don’t NEED spikes but they make the trek easier and quicker. The start of the hike is steep as well as the end right before you get to the springs for about ¾ of a mile. I had my Yak Tracks on and passed a lot of people who just had regular shoes or even hiking shoes on. The mud in the Spring makes it very slippery as well.

Goldbug Hot Springs, Idaho

 I also brought my trekking poles, which are always a huge help on any hike regardless of snow or if its steep. I’ve found that using my trekking poles helps even out the strain from the hike over my entire body, rather than just my legs. We all want toned arms to go with our hiking legs, don’t we?!

Summer and Fall:

You just need the basics from my list above. Make sure you still having hiking shoes on, as there are some steep and rocky spots. Lots and lots of H2O!!! I was running low on water so I put some fresh snow in my Hydroflask, but if you don’t have fresh snow you won’t always have this luxury! Hydroflasks are great because they either keep things super cold or super hot! I love mine so much and use it every single day.

On the way up there are numerous waterfalls that are surrounded by greenery. You feel like you are on a tropical island, but really you are on a small mountain in Idaho. Take your time and sneak into the little waterfalls!

There are 8 different pools you can choose from, they get hotter the higher up you go.

You’ll know your are at the main hot springs when you cross a small wooden foot bridge… it’s super obvious.

Have fun and stay safe!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

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