Believe it or not, there’s an oovy-groovy, hippie-crunchy-granola, totally unimproved hot springs in the heart of conservative Utah. And it’s only an hour and a half from my house. Yeah!
Mystic Hot Springs has been around plenty longer than humans, I would guess. It’s certain the Indian tribes in the area (Paiute, Ute, other visitors) soaked here. Although they didn’t do it in the bathtubs and pool that exist today. Early white settlers discovered the hot springs and used them too, eventually incorporating live music, dancing, and general merry-making. Well, I should hope.
Today, Mystic still features live music. I’ve been to one concert here, many years ago. It was a heck of a lot of fun, though I haven’t been back for another one. I just don’t think about going to see music. My preference is to soak, soak, soak.
Five bathtubs, a shallow pool, and a deeper pool corral the blissfully hot water. Temps range from 98-110 degrees. The two tubs at the far southern end are the hottest. We could only stay in them for a few minutes!
But ahhh, did it feel great afterward. Like many hot springs, the minerals that are in the water have some sort of healing powers. I just felt light, rejuvenated, healthy, peaceful, and overall good after soaking for about 45 minutes total.
As with most funky places, Mystic is really laid-back and not at all modern. The focus is on the hot springs, not on brand-new facilities. It’s probably not the place for some people. I like its charm and its ’70s-era qualities. There’s even a stuffed monkey hanging out from the tree in front, greeting people in slightly bedraggled fashion.
And since it’s unimproved, getting around the actual springs/pools/tubs can be slightly hazardous if the ground’s wet. You have to go uphill from the main building to get to the springs, and they have sort-of steps alongside a simple dirt path. I’ve totally skidded on this before, so watch where the heck you’re stepping.
Where: Monroe, Utah. Middle of nowhere. Southeast of I-70. Well east of I-15.
Directions: If you’re coming from Richfield, head south on Hwy. 118. After about 5 or so minutes, keep an eye out for a little sign on your right saying that Monroe is a left-hand turn that goes south, still on Hwy. 118. Drive through little Monroe and look for the really inconspicuous signage on your left, up high, that says Mystic Hot Springs. Turn left (east) and you’ll drive right into it. Do not be afraid when you drive off pavement and onto a dirt road that is bouncy, rutted, and likely muddy (at least, this time of year it is). You’re there!
Cost: $10/person/day (there are other fees for camping, etc.)