West of Meadow, southwest of Fillmore, the Meadow Hot Springs are a popular stop that will almost always have people relaxing in the hot water. It is technically private property but as long as we all have some respect we should be able to enjoy it since the owners have been great about sharing this gem.
Mystic Hot Springs is a set of natural hot springs in Monroe, Utah. They’re gorgeous and great for soaking and relaxing. Whenever I stop by there are people from all over the neighboring states.
The Indians that were in this area were nomadic bands from the Ute, Shoshone or Piute tribes. They would make their camps on the warm ground near the hot springs. They would soak in the springs for warmth and comfort. It is told that the Indians would paint themselves with the red mud to keep them safe. Later as the settlers arrived the hot springs became popular as a resting place along the “Old Spanish Trail“.
Homesteaded in 1886 by the Cooper family, Mystic Hot Springs (formerly known as Monroe Hot Springs) has gone through many changes in the past 100 years. During the early part of the century a collecting pool was made of wood at the bottom of the hill. Soon a dance floor was added and people would come from miles around in their horse and buggys to dance and soak the nights away. Their motto “The home of mirth and merriment” still rings true today. When Mike first began running the hot springs, there was only one cabin on the property (the Grow cabin). He knew he needed more of them because he rented it frequently. When he realized how much new cabins would cost, he started poking around the valley thinking he may be able to aquire old shacks from the 40’s or 50’s. The first building he purchased was one of the first Pioneer cabins in the valley from 1865. He was amazed that anyone would want to part with such a unique piece of history. He came to realize that a lot of people in the area see them as eyesores, and many cabins have already been destroyed to make room for things such as parking lots. He started acquiring more of them, especially the ones that seemed to not be cared for.
To the Utes, the piping-hot currents of Glenwood Canyon were sacred fountains of physical and spiritual healing. Chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta, came often to ease the pain of rheumatism. The tribe took the waters in a vapor cave on the south bank of the Colorado, opposite today’s hot springs pool, and jealously guarded their treasured resource from Arapahos, Cheyennes, and white men. Even after being moved to distant reservations in 1881, the Utes made annual trips here; Chief Colorow liked to while away the time with white visitors in just-settled Glenwood Springs. But in 1887 new investors, protective of the town’s tourist appeal, had the tribe banned. The following year the Utes’ beloved cave was sealed off under the railroad tracks.
“Englishmen of every variety abound. Here, fresh from the Columbian Exposition come a German count and countess, followed by their body physician and body surgeon and a numerous retinue armed with rifles and other weapons of war. There goes a bright-eyed professor of world-wide reputation from New York. And, yes, it is he, the prince of scientists, von Helmhotz himself, who is promenading up and down the long corridor.” — Dr. Henry Lyman, December 1893, Medical Record
Rather than compete with the silver kings of Leadville and Aspen, Isaac Cooper opted to build them a hot-springs playground. Cooper envisioned a resort rivaling Europe’s famous spas; kindred spirit Walter Devereux had the money and connections to make it happen. After buying Cooper out in 1887, Devereux rechanneled the Colorado River to expose the springs on the north bank, raised the magnificent Hotel Colorado, and got his friends at the Denver & Rio Grande and Colorado Midland to offer special excursion runs. In the mid-1890s, as the rest of the state reeled from the Silver Panic, Glenwood Springs staged polo matches and formal balls for barons and lords. Long Colorado’s glamour capital, it remains one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Fifth Water Hot Springs / Hot Pots and the nearby waterfall are a fun place to relax and play. It’s a couple miles+ one way from the parking lot in Diamond Fork Canyon and a very well used trail.
It’s also well known for nudists, lots of rumors that the local law enforcement try to stop it but be warned if you’re offendable.
Above photos from July 2010 – Below from May 2011
Castilla Hot Springs
Castilla is three miles up from the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon. Today the warm water sulpher springs form a swampy area alongside US 6,50. In the 1890′s the springs were the site of a popular resort including a hotel, cabins, bathing, and other recreational facilities. The resort was built in 1891 but was destroyed by fire in 1942 and never rebuilt. The springs were named by early travelers along this part of the old Spanish Trail after the province of Castile in Spain.
CASTILLA HOT SPRINGS
Castilla Hot Springs are located about 8 mi (13 km) southeast of
Spanish Fork in Spanish Fork Canyon, along the north side of U.S.
Highway 6/89 in Utah County (Figure 3). During the early part of
the twentieth century there was a thriving hot spring resort that
attracted trainloads of visitors. Most of the following historical
account of the Castilla Hot Springs resort is taken from an article
in a Utah State Historical Society Publication, “Beehive
History,” written by Linda Thatcher (1981).
(Present-day map of Castilla in Spanish Fork Canyon, site of the
Castilla Hot Springs resort in the early 1900s. Trainloads of
visitors used to arrive by train for a day of diving, dining,
drinking, and dancing.)
Spanish Fork Canyon was named for the Spanish priest-explorers
Escalante and Dominguez who discovered the springs in September
1776 as they followed the Spanish Fork River down the canyon. They
called it Rio de Aguas Calientes (“River of Hot
Waters”) because of the hot springs flowing into the river.
The name Castilla may have been suggested by the castle-like rock
formations nearby. In 1863, heavily armed Mormon troops traveling
through Spanish Fork Canyon noted the presence of “unfriendly
Indians” living around the hot springs (Jeffers, 1972). But
by 1889, the Native Americans were gone and William Fuller had
filed for a patent on the hot springs property with the U.S.
government. He built a small house that contained a wooden tub for
bathing in the mineral water. Later that year, a Mrs. Southworth
felt that her health had been improved by bathing in the spring
water, and she urged her two sons to buy the springs and
“make a resort for people who have hopeless afflictions, that
they may come and be cured.” They filled the swampy area with
gravel and built a three-story, red sandstone hotel from sandstone
quarried in a nearby canyon (Figure 4). Other structures included
indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a store, a dance pavilion,
private bathhouses, several private cottages, and a saloon. Picnic
areas, a baseball diamond, and stables were also provided.
(Two historical photographs of the Castilla Hot Springs resort
in about 1917. Elderly ladies may have come to Castilla for their
rheumatism rather than recreation.)
During the summer months, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad ran
excursion trains to Castilla, and it was a regular passenger stop
for many years. One of the more popular runs was the
“moonlight excursion” from the Tintic Mining District
in Juab County to Castilla. The train stopped at stations along the
way to pick up passengers for an evening of dining and dancing.
Besides providing recreation for many Utahans, the resort was the
site of several “direct-use” enterprises, including a
cigar factory and a quarry that furnished silica used as a flux by
the Columbia Steel Company in Ironton, Utah. However, the main
attraction was still the warm, sulfuric water. Bathers come from
far and wide for the relief of their rheumatism and arthritis. The
springs’ water also became popular as a cure for other
ailments such as alcoholism, chain-smoking, moral dissipation, and
the “tendency to use profane language.” In 1912, a
noted sculptor with local ties, Cyrus Dallin bought the resort, but
he had to rely on relatives to run it as he lived in Boston. The
resort enjoyed a brief renewal of popularity in the 1920s, but by
the 1930s, it had fallen into disuse. Work in a nearby rock quarry
slowed the flow to the springs and the hotel fell into disrepair.
In the 1940s, a fire destroyed most of the hotel. What remained was
eventually torn down. By the 1970s, all that was left of the old
resort was a concrete tank or cistern build over the hot sulfur
spring. Sometime in the 1980s, the spring was blown up by local
authorities because they had trouble controlling the visitors that
frequented the springs. Nowadays, there is only a small railroad
sign that says “Castilla,” and in a grassy area nearby,
the remains of the soaking tubs and bits of foundation from the
Resource and Local Geology
The Castilla springs are located at an elevation of about 5,000
ft (1,525 m) within the Wasatch Mountains, not far from hot springs
in the Thistle and Diamond Fork (Fifth Water) areas (Blackett and
Wakefield, 2002). Klauk and Davis (1984) presented thermal and
chemical data on two springs at Castilla. Temperature in both
springs was 97EF (36EC). Cole (1983) measured temperatures of 108EF
(42EC) and fluid discharges of 21 gpm (80 liters/minute) for the
larger spring, and noted the location of the spring at an outcrop
of faulted Paleozoic quartzite. The water chemistry generally
appears to be of the Ca-Na-SO4 type. Cole (1983) reports that the
isotopic composition of the Castilla spring water lies on the local
meteoric water, indicating that not much mixing, evaporation, or
high-temperature water-rock interaction has occurred during the
evolution of the thermal fluid. Not much more is known about the
geology of this forgotten hot spring area.(*)
********Castilla Hot Springs Attracted Trainloads of Visitors********
History Blazer, October 1995(*)
The Utah landscape is dotted with hot springs resorts that have come and gone. Although a few remain, most are merely memories to aging Utahns. One such popular resort during the 1890s and early 1900s was Castilla Hot Springs in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah County. The name Castilla was suggested either by the castlelike rock formations nearby or because the Spanish priest-explorers Escalante and Dominguez discovered the springs in September 1776 as they followed the Spanish Fork River down the canyon. They called it Rio de Aguas Calientes (“River of Hot Waters”) because of the hot springs flowing into the river.
In 1889, more than 100 years later, William Fuller filed for a patent on the hot springs property with the U.S. government. On the land he built a small house which contained a wooden tub for bathing in the mineral water. Later, the Southworth family became interested in the property. Mrs. Southworth, the family matriarch, felt that her health had been improved by bathing in water from the springs. She urged her two sons, Sid and Walter, to buy the springs to “make a resort for people who have hopeless afflictions, that they may come and be cured.” The Southworths obtained the land from Fuller and began to improve it. They filled the swampy area with gravel and built a three-story, red sandstone hotel. Other structures included indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a store, a dance pavilion, private bathhouses, several private cottages, and a saloon. Picnic areas, a baseball diamond, and stables were also provided.
During the summer months the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad ran excursion trains to Castilla. One of the most popular runs was the “moonlight excursion” from the Tintic Mining District in Juab County to Castilla. The train stopped at stations along the way to pick up passengers for an evening of dining and dancing.
Besides providing recreation for many Utahns, the resort area was the site of several enterprises, including a cigar factory and a quarry that furnished silica used as flux by the Columbia Steel Company in Ironton, Utah. Nevertheless, the warm, sulfuric water remained the principal attraction at Castilla. Bathers came from far and near for the relief they believed they would find for such illnesses as rheumatism and arthritis. The springs’ water also became popular as a “cure” for other ailments such as alcoholism, chain-smoking, moral dissipation, and the “tendency to use profane language.”
In 1912 Sid Southworth died. Noted sculptor Cyrus Dallin, a native of Springville, helped his sister Daisy (Sid’s widow) financially with the resort. Eventually, he gained controlling interest in Castilla, but he had to rely on relatives to run it as he lived in Boston. The resort enjoyed a brief renewal of popularity in the 1920s, but by the 1930s it had fallen into disuse. Lack of funds and competition from other resorts contributed to its downfall.
In the 1940s a fire destroyed most of the hotel. What remained was eventually torn down. Today only a few ponds created by the springs mark the spot where the once-thriving resort stood.
I saw someone sharing three of George Edward Anderson’s awesome photos on facebook: