Hike of the week: Fifth Water (or Hot Pots) in Utah County
Directions • From Interstate 15, take U.S. Highway 6 in Spanish Fork east for about 9 miles. From U.S. Highway 89, take U.S. 6 west for 3.4 miles. Turn north onto Diamond Fork Canyon Road. Go about 10 miles to Three Forks. The trail head is in the parking lot. From U.S. Highway 191 north of Moab, turn west on State Road 313. Drive for 10 miles. Turn right (northwest) onto an unpaved road just before a cattleguard. Drive for 1.3 miles following the signs to Jewel Tibbetts Arch. The trail head is marked with a kiosk.
Special for fall, this is a reprint of a Hike of the Week from 2009. Fifth Water, also known as the Hot Pots, is a favorite spot for nude bathers, but lots of people hike there with children, too. Just be aware of what you might find there with your family or if you bathe nude. (It's illegal.)
From the trail head, follow the path east along the creek. (Do not cross the footbridge next to the trail head.) The hike ascends gently through the forest and provides great colors in the fall. In some spots, the trail is narrow and follows a steep embankment. The trail will take you over a footbridge and then a final ascent to the Hot Pots. There are three sets of pools, all warm but smelling of sulfur. Not far beyond the last pool is a waterfall.
Nate Carlisle Fifth Water (or Hot Pots)
Hiking time • 2 hours
Round trip miles • 4.8 miles
Elevation gain • 652 feet
Difficulty • Easy
Trail head restrooms • Yes
Dogs allowed • Yes
Bikes allowed • N/A