Visiting Mystic Hot Springs in the Winter ; Tips From A Local
Hot springs are one of my very favorite winter activities. Unfortunately, there are very few options for hot springs in Southern Utah. The best option for a fun day trip or weekend getaway is a quick 2-hour drive to Mystic Hot Springs in Central Utah.
I have visited Mystic Hot Springs several times since my first visit with my kiddos over five years ago. CHECK OUT OUR FIRST VISIT HERE. Since then, I have visited with just me and my kiddos two times, on a girl's trip getaway, with my partner on a romantic getaway, and as a family one other time.
All our visits have been in the winter, and every visit has been filled with fun moments that I will remember and cherish forever.
Hot springs have a special place in my heart. I grew up spending a lot of time at the Pah Tempe Hot Springs, about 1/2 a mile from my home in Hurricane. I often joke that the pungent rotten egg sulfur smell is the smell of my childhood.....haha!
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Unfortunately, these hot springs are no longer, but the good news is there are plans to use that amazing hot spring water coming from the Virgin River, and plans are underway to build a new Zion Hot Springs Resort soon!!!!! But for now, Mystic is my go-to hot spring.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why I love Mystic Hot Springs so much
A little history about the property
Where is Mystic Hot Springs located?
How much are the soaking passes?
Where to stay when visiting Mystic Hot Springs?
What to bring with you to Mystic Hot Springs in the winter?
Our first family visit
Red Hills Hot Spring - Free Local Hot Springs
WHY I LOVE MYSTIC HOT SPRINGS SO MUCH
There are so many things I love about Mystic Hot Springs. It has a very eclectic hippy vibe that adds to the property's charm. There isn't anything fancy about Mystic Hot Springs, so be prepared, but there is definitely something magical about it.
The unique cast iron tubs surrounded by mounds of red mineral deposits are perfect for soaking, and the larger pools at the bottom are great for swimming and playing.
There are two pools and six soaking tubs. The pools and tubs range in temperate. The large main pool stays quite hot, and the smaller pool is quite a bit cooler. So it's perfect cause when you get too hot from the larger pool, you can jump in the smaller pool to cool off a little.
The main mineral in the water is calcium carbonate. There is no sulfur in the water, so there is no pungent smell, and showering after soaking isn't necessary. The pools are cleaned twice weekly, and the tubs are cleaned several times daily. If you go in the evening, bring a flashlight with you. The property is pitch dark after sunset.
The first time we went, the property was quite busy. Since Covid, they have been limiting the number of people who can visit at a time. In the five times I have visited since Covid, there have only been a few other people at the property during our visits. It has been so lovely and peaceful!
Make sure to read to the end for information for a free bonus hot spring located 5 minutes from Mystic Hot Springs!!!!
A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT THE PROPERTY
The property dates back to 1886, when Mormon pioneers settled near the large mounds of mineral deposits formed by a small stream of flowing hot water. The Pioneers eventually built a swimming hole at the site and named it Monroe Hot Springs.
The property changed hands a few times until "Mystic Mike," the current owner, bought the property in the mid-1990s. With the desire to welcome more people to the property, Mike sought out abandoned vans and pioneer cabins and restored them to rent out to guests wanting to stay on the property. He currently has 15 cabins, all in different stages of restoration.
WHERE IS MYSTIC HOT SPRINGS LOCATED?
Mystic Hot Springs is located in Monroe, UT, right in the heart of Central Utah. Mystic hot springs is a 2 hours 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City and 2 hourish drive from St. George/Hurricane Valley.
If you are headed up north after a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park, a stop at Mystic Hot Springs is a perfect way to break up the drive. Click here for Map and driving directions.
HOW MUCH ARE THE SOAKING PASSES?
You can purchase a 2-hour soaking pass online. An adult pass online is $25, and a child pass is $12.50. For some reason, they only let you purchase four passes at a time, so if you have a party bigger than four you have to make two separate purchases. Click here to purchase soaking passes.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING MYSTIC HOT SPRINGS?
There are a few different lodging options to turn Mystic Hotsprings into a weekend getaway. I have tried the cabin and buses on the property. They make for a very rustic stay, but it's fun and convenient to be right on the property.
When we stayed in the Old Pine Cabin at the end of December, it was very cold, and the one space heater we were given was not enough to keep us warm. Luckily I had two kiddos with me and cuddled all night to stay warm.
On a fun girls' weekend in November, we stayed in one of The Buses on the property. The heated blanket and space heater managed to keep us warm enough but beware, the doors and the busses do not have locks. That sketched me out a little.
We have stayed at The Monroe Inn a few times. The Monroe Inn is a super cute inn just around the corner from the hot springs, but it looks like it isn't currently running.....bummer!
There are plenty of options for airbnbs in the area. Richfield is located 30 minutes away and has lots of great lodging options. I think that is what we will do next time we visit.
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU TO MYSTIC HOT SPRINGS IN THE WINTER?
I have learned a few things about how to visit Monroe Hot Springs in the winter. Here is my list for what to bring with you to help your visit go smoothly.
Change of clothes that are quick and easy to put on
Big warm towel + additional towels.
Shoes that are easy to slip on and off like Teva's or Chaco's. The ground is a little muddy with wet feet and you will be going from pool to tub/tub to pool.
Headlamp if you are going at night. There are no lights to light up your way around the property.
Lot's of water
Beanie to keep your head warm
There are no bathrooms close to the pools/tubs, so you will have to walk a little way in a cold, wet swim suite unless you are comfortable doing a quick change after getting out.
OUR FIRST FAMILY VISIT
February 2019 - On a cold weekend in February, we loaded up our three kiddos and made the 2-hour trek to Mystic Hot Springs. From my research, I knew the property was a little run down, so I didn't expect much.......but right off, I fell in love. It felt welcoming, with a very eclectic hippy vibe.
I actually think it would be a little sad if they fixed it up and made it all perfect. I loved the old cabins and buses on the property. They are so unique and beautiful in their own way. I wish I could have spent more time exploring the cabins and buses, but we pulled up an hour before sunset so our number one goal was to get our passes and get soaking!
I was hoping it wouldn't be too busy but seriously I should have known better. As we climbed the steps up to the springs, I crossed my fingers that we would be able to get one of the cast iron tubs to soak in but my hopes were quickly dashed as I saw that they were all full.
With my heart broken, we went back down to get into the pools at the base of the property. Chris and the kids climbed in the warmest of the two pools, and I walked around the property to check out and photograph the springs.
As I walked around the upper south side of the property, I noticed there was one hidden tub that no one was in. WHAT!!!! I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I practically ran down to the pools and begged Chris to come with me to the hidden tub. It was freakin cold outside so I wouldn't have blamed him if he said no.
We couldn't leave Phoenix in the pool by himself, so we bundled him up in towels and took him with us while the girls happily played with new friends in the pool.
Our view from the tub!!!
The cast iron tub was big and warm. (a perfect temp) and had the best views on the property. It was also totally secluded. I was in complete and total heaven. Chris stayed for a little bit and then went down to be with the girls in the lower pool. Phoenix and I soaked and splashed as the sun went down and the stars came out.
We played the I Love You More Than game. "I love you more than all the stars in the sky" I told him. "I love you more than all the stars and a thousand bugs bugs bugs," he told me. I can't even express in words how magical it all was.
We stayed in the tub until it got dark, and I realized that there were no lights on the property. No lights is great for star gazing, but I made the mistake of not having anything to light our way back down to the pools. Whoops! Luckily we made it down without falling, but it was pretty sketchy.
RED HILL HOT SPRINGS - FREE LOCAL HOT SPRINGS IN MONROE, UTAH
If you don't want to spend the money to visit Mystic Hot Springs, these local hot springs. Red Hill Hot Springs are just a 5 minute drive from Mystic. They sit on the hill overlooking the Monroe valley are a great alternative or addition to your Mystic Hot Springs visit..
Red Hills Hot Springs has four small pools that range in temperature. The pools aren't very deep and can get crowded, but they are free, so you can't really complain. I recommend going before or after your visit to Mystic Hot Springs. CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS
I hope this guide helps you plan a weekend or day trip to Mystic Hot Springs for a fun winter activity that you won't forget.