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.
Warning: some individuals choose to soak nude in the pools. That is
against the law, but it is common to see nude people here.
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.
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
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.
Rays Valley Trailhead
You can also reach the waterfalls and hot pools by hiking down Fifth
Water Creek from the Rays Valley Trailhead. To reach this trailhead from
Spanish Fork, drive east on Hwy 6 for about 22.5 miles. At that point
take a paved road that heads north. It is signed for Sheep
Creek/Strawberry Reservoir. Follow that road for about 14 miles to the
obvious trailhead. (The trailhead is usually signed but vandals
sometimes tear down the sign). From the trailhead, follow the obvious
trail southwest into the deepening canyon. Fifth Water Creek crosses
Rays Valley Road next to the trailhead, but it may not have flowing
water during some seasons. As you hike, the stream will soon pick up
water. The trail just follows the stream down to the waterfalls and hot
pools. The main pools are about 2.5 miles from this trailhead. The trail
is easy and well-maintained.