Ah, Monroe, UT! I wonder if you guys realize how lucky you are to have at least two pretty awesome hot springs in your town. I say “at least” because I’m only aware of two (the other being Mystic Hot Springs), but I’m betting there are more that I’m just not aware of. And you guys should visit the Recommendations Form to tell me where they are, because I want to see them. If there are any more. That would be neat.
Technically both of these hot springs are called “Monroe Hot Springs.” They’re approximately 3/4ths of a mile from each other. Both have had tubs placed strategically nearby so that people can sit and soak in the water. One, though, charges $15 for the privilege, and the other is free – though it has its own challenges. More on that in a minute. So since I’m not sure which is rightfully called what, I’m going to call this one Monroe, and the other Mystic. Which I think is also still technically correct. But you heard it here first, Internet. This is Monroe Hot Springs.
You should also be aware that this particular springs is private property. Apparently the owners are okay with everyone coming and visiting, provided you respect the property and don’t hold keggers. No keggers here, guys. They did provide a firepit (how cool is that?) and some tubs and a bare minimum of maintenance, but it’s really up to you to make use of the springs itself. Just be respectful.
This springs is pretty beautiful. We actually saw it while on our way to Mystic Hot Springs. I was totally convinced it had to be the place we were going, because you can basically see it from miles away, even the freeway, if you’re looking for it. It’s up on the side of the mountain east of Monroe. It’s bright orange and sticks out like, um, an orange mound of minerals. Once we realized Google Maps was actually taking us to Mystic, we resolved to turn back and check out the other springs when we were done. I figured that it wouldn’t be tough finding a road up, since it was so clearly obvious from a distance. And I was right. It’s actually pretty easy to find.
So here’s the funny story here. Prepare to laugh at me. I’ve earned it.
I drive a Dodge Grand Caravan. You may recognize this vehicle as being a minivan – the sort affectionately referred to as a “Mormon Assault Vehicle” around here. This is relevant because, although Google Maps depicts a road going up to these hot springs, and even though the roads leading up will certainly appear to be, to the untrained eye, just dirt roads intended for vehicles… that is not the case.
I did not figure this out immediately. In fact, I just cheerfully turned onto a dirt road near a new housing development nearby, without even considering for a second that this might not be just a typical dirt road. The road narrowed alarmingly fast, and then I started noticing that there was no one real road – just a bunch of them criss-crossing the landscape below the hot springs. And then I got to a point where the road featured a lot of dips and kinda-sorta ditches running across it, with big axle-breaking rocks, and I decided I’d made a terrible mistake. And I started picturing that phone call to AAA where I was trying to explain that I just drove a minivan up the side of a mountain, and now could not get back down. Because I had mistaken ATV trails for dirt roads.
Somehow we persevered (sheer bullheaded stupidity?) and wound up parked right next to the hot springs. And it was worth it, you know, just for how beautiful it was. But “worth it!” could easily have turned into “trip-ending vehicular damage” pretty quickly. I chalk it up to being an amazing driver, but in reality, I probably got lucky. The lesson here is that you shouldn’t plan on driving all the way up to these springs. Maybe hike or take an ATV, like the middle-aged guy who grinned knowingly at us from his ATV on the way up. Also, I’m pretty sure I ran over some cactus, and it turns out a couple of my tires were super bald, so this was just good luck all around.
On the plus side, I got these amazing photos for you:
How To Get There
No, seriously, check out the map below and see if you can park somewhere safe, within walking distance, and hike your happy ass up there. I’m just concerned someone is going to wind up with a broken axle or something and blame our blog.
[bgmp-map placemark=”519″ center=”Monroe, UT” zoom=”12″ height=”300″]