Posted Date: April 23, 2022
Mystic Hot Springs is a small resort located in Monroe, Utah. You may also know these hot springs as the “bathtub hot springs” for the famous bathtubs that look like they are grown into orange rocks.
After seeing countless photos on social media of the tubs in the travertine mounds, we decided to finally make a day trip from Salt Lake City to see what these Insta-famous hot springs were all about. After all, we are Utah natives, so we had better visit them at some point.
In this article, we cover all you need to know to have the best visit to Mystic Hot Springs, and we tell you whether or not we think it’s worth the trip to this rural town.
What is Mystic Hot Springs?
The hot springs that are now known as Mystic Hot Springs were once used by the indigenous peoples in the area as a natural bathing site. The land was eventually bought by a family in the late 1800s and became a place for travelers to come and enjoy.
In the past 20 years or so, the hot springs have been turned into a resort by the current owner, Mike. He has transformed the place into a “hippie” destination of sorts where you can soak in the tubs and pools and spend the night in one of his many renovated school buses.
During the summer, the resort often holds concerts, and there is even a music festival every July.
What to Expect
If I were to describe our experience at Mystic Hot springs in one word, I would call it “unique”. Not in a bad way – it’s just that out of all of the natural hot springs I have visited in my life, this was definitely the most interesting experience.
Let me explain why.
Based on the photos on Instagram (which I’ve learned I should never do), I expected the hot springs to be in a secluded, desert-like area.
Despite what the photos may show, the hot springs are actually located at the edge of a small town called Monroe, Utah.
You literally drive down one of the main roads in Monroe and the entry gate to the hot springs is at the end of it.
You can see in the photo above that the pools are located right behind a house. It’s kind of random but it has its charm.
This isn’t like the fancy bathhouses in Budapest. The resort has a rustic, hippie vibe, but you can tell that the property is cared for and there’s a lot of love that goes into its operation.
Experiencing Mystic Hot Springs
After driving down one of the few roads in Monroe, you arrive at a gate. There should be a sign at the base of the gate with a phone number to call and check in for your time slot. Call the number to confirm your reservation and to let them know you’ve arrived.
Once you’ve done this, you are free to enjoy the resort for your 2-hour time period. Don’t worry if nobody checks your reservation in person. Everything is self-serve once you’ve called to confirm.
The parking lot is located to the left of the gate next to a small building. In the building, you’ll find restrooms and changing rooms. These are the only restrooms available at the resort, so use the facilities before walking up to the hot springs.
It’s not a long walk to the hot springs from the parking lot, it’s just more convenient if you do your business before walking up.
I’d recommend bringing your towel/bathrobe and some sandals with you. The path is a bit rocky on the walk up to the bathing area, so the shoes are helpful for this part.
There are also cubbies and tables next to all of the bathing areas to keep your stuff dry while you bathe.
The Hot Springs
There are two levels of hot springs at Mystic.
On the first level, there are two big pools. One with a large travertine arch and another just beside it that is a big concrete pool. The pools are shallow and are nice to enjoy if you are with a group of people.
To get to the bathtubs, just walk on the dirt path up to the second level. Here you’ll find a total of 7 tubs, two of which are next to the travertine mound and the rest are just out in the open with nice views of the valley below.
We spent the first half of our time in the pool area and the other half in the tubs.
The hot springs are rich in minerals, which are good for soothing any muscle aches and for relaxing.
Calcium carbonate is the most abundant mineral in the water, which helps to form the orange, travertine mounds that you see next to many of the bathing areas.
The water does not contain any sulfur for those of you who have allergies.
Are the soaking areas clean?
I was a little apprehensive about soaking in the tubs (I’m a bit of a germaphobe); however, I was pleasantly suprised to find that the tubs were very clean.
The staff at Mystic Hot springs clean the tubs a few times each day and the pools a couple of times per week.
The water is also constantly flowing in and out of the bathing areas, which helps to keep it fresh and clean.
The water in the soaking areas usually stays between 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
During our visit, the pools were quite hot and the bathtubs were a nice, warm bathing temperature. I’m not sure if this was specific to our visit, or if this is normal.
In this case, we preferred spending more time in the tubs since we didn’t overheat too quickly.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Mystic Hot Springs is from the end of January to early May and October to December.
We visited Mystic Hot Springs at the end of January. The air was cold and there was snow on the ground, but the hot springs were the perfect temperature to keep us warm and comfortable.
I actually really enjoyed visiting in the winter – it’s not crowded, the snow looks nice next to the travertine mounds, and I spent more time bathing because it was cool outside.
I’d recommend visiting close to sunset because the views are really nice from the tubs on the second level. They also offer evening passes, so you can bathe while enjoying views of the milky way and the night sky.
Note – if you go in the winter, we’d definitely suggest you bring a bathrobe or a coat with you up to the hot springs. It gets cold walking between the soaking areas, and we liked having something to keep us warm.
Cost to Visit Mystic Hot Springs
Due to COVID-19, you have to reserve a time slot before arriving. Do not go without a reservation or else you might not be able to get in.
The time slot is for 2 hours, and they are available 7 days a week from 9am to 10pm.
The cost is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and under.
You can book your soaking passes here.
Since we did a day trip from Salt Lake City, we booked our time slot for 3pm so we had time to drive back before it was too late.
Staying at Mystic Hot Springs
When you drive up to Mystic Hot Springs, you’ll see a bunch of colorful school buses and old pioneer cabins. Mike, the owner, has been renovating these buses and cabins for years for accommodation at the resort.
Since we did a day trip from Salt Lake City, we didn’t spend the night at the resort, so I can’t give you a full report on the accommodations.
Based on the photos online, the buses and cabins look like they’ve been nicely renovated. Again, everything is a bit rustic here, so it’s all about the small town resort exeprience.
The cost to stay starts a $100 per night depending on the season and availability.
If you have your own campervan or tent, you can also stay at one of the campsites starting at $25 per night.
You can book your accommodations here.
Where is Mystic Hot Springs?
Mystic Hot Springs is located in the middle of Utah. It’s not necessarily the most convenient place to get to, but if you’re willing to drive out of the way on your road trip, then it’s worth a visit.
Here’s the distance to Mystic Hot Springs from the main national parks and cities in Utah.
*Note all of these are one-way distances.
- From Beaver, Utah – 54 miles, 54 minutes via I-15 and I-70
- From Bryce Canyon – 93 miles, 1 hour 40 minutes via US-89
- From Salt Lake City – 174 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes via I-15 and I-70
- From St. George – 158 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes via I-15 and I-70
- From Zions – 133 miles, 2 hours 25 minutes via US-89
- From Moab/Arches – 187 miles, 3 hours via I-70
- From Capitol Reef- 77 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes via UT-24
Our Thoughts + Is it worth it?
Overall, we enjoyed our experience at Mystic Hot Springs. The vibe is very chill and the soaking areas were very well kept and clean (this is a big deal for me!). The water was a nice bathing temperature, and it was a cool to visit a random hot springs resort in the middle of nowhere in Utah.
A one-time visit was enough for us, but who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with the place!
So is it worth it? Yes and no.
I say it’s worth it if you are visiting as a small stop on a road trip in Southern Utah. Or if you just happen to be driving on I-15 and don’t mind driving 40 minutes out of the way (each way), then you should definitely do it.
However, I would not recommend it as a day trip from Salt Lake City or St. George, Utah. The drive is over two and a half hours from both of these destinations and I personally think there are better ways to spend your weekend. It’s a long drive to spend 2 hours bathing in some hot springs.
We hope you found this helpful, and we’d love to hear about your experience at Mystic Hot Springs in the comments below.