All trails is source at Fifth Water Hot Springs

Never one to turn down adventure
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 1:00pm

When initially moving to

Price from my mountainous

home up north,

I was certain that I had moved to

the middle of nowhere. I wasn’t far

from the truth; with a population

of 8,000 people and the closest

town of comparable size an hour

away, Price quickly became the

victim of my constant repining,

and I felt stuck.

It wasn’t until a summer Monday

evening that my paradigm

began to change. On the first

evening of the new school year, a

group of acquaintances with whom

I barely exchanged first names with

proposed a trip to a wondrous place

where hot, refreshing water supposedly

bubbled out of the ground: the

Fifth Water Hot Springs.

Never one to turn down adventure,

I agreed to clamber into the

passenger seat of a total stranger’s

car, with two more slight acquaintances

in the rear. I plugged in the

aux cord and off we went, driving

through the twilight canyon like a

spaceship on its maiden voyage.

We cruised through the foothills

of the Manti-La Salle National

Forest, taking our time to absorb

the beauty found in the diversity

of the landscape. When we finally

arrived, night had fallen, and it was

time to begin our ascent.

At the beginning of our trek

up the winding nighttime trail,

the wilderness echoed the sounds

of our pleasant chatter and naive

optimism. We skipped over bridges

and hopped across those initial

streams that tempted us with their

lackadaisical ease. We were confident

that our swimsuit-adorned,

sandal-clad attire was enough to

last us just a little longer, and that

the promised paradise was mere

minutes away.

Yet as any noteworthy story portrays,

our premonitions about the

course ahead were far from reality.

What we thought would be a

pleasant stroll through the canyon

underbrush turned into an under-

prepared escapade; our lack

of foresight left us under-prepared

for the rocks, brushes and heinous

stench that reeked of rotten eggs

and sulfur. As we made our final

treacherous descent through scrub

oak and thistles, my expectations

of these “magical” springs reached

an all-new low.

We set our belongings on the

boulders surrounding the pool of

our promised hot springs. As we

stripped off the layers over our

swimsuits, I silently resigned to

stay in the odorous waters for as

little as possible. The moment my

toes slipped into the questionable

water below and I found myself

in paradise.

No longer was I caught up in the

arduous journey before. Instead, I

was transported to a decadent utopia,

surrounded by instant friends

with a longtime connection. We

laughed at jokes and played silly

games until the night grew long,

falling in love with the home of our

confinement, making promises we

would never keep. When we finally

had our fill, we put our prune toes

back on the trail, now skipping the

three miles back to our beginning.

The nostalgic times that followed

will be a part of my memory,

embedded in a way only understood

by those who have embarked to

this place themselves. As an avid

hiker and outdoors enthusiast, I

recommend this hike to anyone

looking for an unforgettable time,

especially if they’ve never experienced

hot springs themselves,

especially to anyone who doubts

the rich beauty found in Price and

the mountains surrounding it.

Filed under: lifestyles