Fifth Water Hot Springs, also known as Diamond Fork Hot Springs, is a must visit destination for any hot springs lovers. This area features incredible views, stunning waterfalls, and extremely well designed hot springs which creates an incredible experience. This area is heavily trafficked and well known, so here’s everything you should know before making the trek!
Distance – 4.5 miles round trip (7.24 km)
Height – 6,223 feet (1837.03 m)
Elevation gain – 948 feet (288.95 meters)
Duration – 4-5 hours
Difficulty – Intermediate
Trailhead Location – Three Forks Trailhead: Directions To Trailhead (Parking info below)
Need To Know Information
- Dogs are allowed on this hike.
- This is a busy trail where the best parking fills up quickly. Read our parking information below
- The trailhead does have vault toilets
- This trail is open year round, but microspikes are highly recommended in winter if snow or ice is present.
- It is possible for the road to be temporarily closed 5 miles from the trailhead during winter after snowfall. See more information on Diamond Fork road #029 below.
- There are lots of hot spring options at this trail both above and below the waterfall.
- The trail has a couple sections where recent rain and washouts have made the trail have steep drop offs where it is important for people to be careful when walking through. Some other hikers have even tied a rope to help hikers along in these sections.
- There are campsites located shortly below and above the hot springs that can be amazing options for backpackers, or those that want to enjoy this area for more than just a day hike. The rules and regulations for backpacking fall within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Fifth Water Hot Springs Video
Here is some of our drone footage highlighting the incredible views from this hike:
Hiking Route Options
There are two routes to the various hot spring pools. We talk about both options below.
Three Forks Trailhead (Bottom Up) | 4.5 Miles Round Trip (7.24 km) – 948 Feet Elevation Gain (288.95 meters)
This is the most common route to the hot springs. Hikers may need to add to the distance here by hiking along the road if the parking lot is full and they need to hike in a legal spot along the road.
Hikers start by the trailhead next to the vault toilets and follow the well traveled trail. There is a junction at the start. Hikers stay left here.
The trail is very easy to follow and well traveled. Most of the trail is very simple walking and hiking, however, a couple sections have been washed away and make for difficult hiking where ropes have been placed to help hikers avoid falling.
Rays Valley Road (Top Down) | 5 Miles Round Trip (8.05 km) – 843 Feet Elevation Gain (257 meters)
This route is similar difficulty to the most common approach, and follows lesser traveled trails. There is parking at the trailhead. This options is described here.
Hiking In Winter
In the winter months, the road is generally open, making this an awesome hike! After snowfall, it is possible that the Forest Service will close the road 5 miles from the trailhead temporarily. Check the Forest Service site, or give them a call to check if there has been recent snowfall.
The road is called: Diamond Fork road #029
This Facebook page also often has information as it is the Facebook page for the local Forest Service.
We have created an online map and GPX file you can download and see:
Current Weather Conditions:
Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days. We highly recommend you check out local weather the morning of your hike.
Sunny. High near 52, with temperatures falling to around 45 in the afternoon. East southeast wind around 10 mph.
A chance of snow after 5am. Partly cloudy. Low around 32, with temperatures rising to around 35 overnight. South southeast wind around 12 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A chance of snow. Partly sunny. High near 40, with temperatures falling to around 34 in the afternoon. West wind 7 to 12 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. West southwest wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. West wind 7 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
A chance of snow before 5am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.
Partly sunny, with a high near 29.
Directions & Parking
It is important to know that this parking lot does fill up quite fast on weekends, holidays, or nice weather days. If you plan on coming during a high traffic time, we suggest planning to arrive either very early, or later in the day to avoid the crowds and get parking.
When the parking lot is full, there are some pull offs on the road where you can park and walk both before and after this trailhead. There are many areas that have no parking signs, so be sure to follow those signs or you will likely get a ticket.
Directions to Three Forks Trailhead: This is the most commonly used approach and hikers start from the bottom and work their way up to the hot springs.
Direction to Rays Valley Road Trailhead: This is less common, and hikers start from above the hot springs, and hike their way down to them.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about