Mystic Hot Springs
The best way to travel is not to find all the places that EVERYONE goes but to find the places that no one knows (wow, that rhymed and everything). That's how we feel at least. If crowds are your thing then you go for it, but we typically try to find the "secrets" of where ever we visit. The best way to do this is to ask the locals about their favorite places to hang or to eat because more than likely it's not the tourist traps.
One of these less known places in Utah is Mystic Hot Springs. For being such huge hot spring freaks, you would think we'd been here a thousand times. Maybe that goes to show just what a good secret this place is.
Andrew actually surprised me (Laura) with a trip to Mystic Hot Springs a few years ago when I was pregnant with Juniper. It's at that time of year when Andrew and I get "the itch" to get out aka the middle of Winter. Although, sometimes we get the "the itch" at other times throughout the year. I told Andrew I was totally down with where ever we went, just tell me what to pack and we'll go. On Friday morning I got a text from Andrew that said, "pack a swimsuit and snow clothes, I've found something I think we'll all like". Andrew wouldn't tell any of us where we were going so it was a big surprise when we pulled up to Mystic Hot Springs. I didn't even know Mystic Hot Springs existed and I was really excited. I'm a huge water fan and love it even more when it's hot (that's probably even an understatement).
The cabin we rented was just big enough for two queen beds (they actually might have only been double) and a place to unload your bags. I laughed when I first walked in, thinking both "dude this is awesome" and "oh wow, what have we gotten ourselves into?". The decor was anything from Buddha statues to portraits from the 1800's. In all honesty, it was a bit run down but it was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something simple, with character, where we could make family memories. The cabin was not heated except for a small space heater that kept the cabin warm enough for you to take off your coat and I was glad to have brought warm fleece jammies for the girls. There was also no bathroom in the cabin so you had to walk about 100 yards to the shower house if you had to go. It was a bit more like luxury camping rather than staying in a hotel. It was the perfect adventure.
They also had some rad, super old school, buses that they had refurbished for sleeping in and a campground for actual camping. There are women's and men's shower houses as well to get clean after soaking in the mineral water. We paid $120 for one night which also included unlimited soaking.
The hot pools are open 24/7 so we hopped in our suits and took a dip. It is not lit, which I had no idea about or I would have brought a lantern or headlamp (note; when visiting BRING A LANTERN). I do, however, like to keep a stock of glow sticks from the dollar store hanging around for trips (The girls love to play with them and they double as a little night light too) and happened to remember to throw them in our bags before leaving. I had no idea they would be our only source of light in the hot pools that night.
We spent the rest of the evening reading books and playing. I tried to make a "no electronics" rule for myself to help disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We brought a small cooler with milk so that morning we had a bowl of cold cereal before heading off to the pools again. These tubs were my favorite part. I mean, are these not the coolest things you've seen in a while? Or I guess I should say the hottest. There are eight tubs in all, that vary in temperature. It looks like dirt is pouring into them but it's actually all just calcified minerals so the water is clean and the tubs are not slimy at all. I felt totally comfortable in them.
Overall, it was a really fun experience. I did sit and wonder a few times what a bit of money could do for the place and dreamed of one day owning my own hot springs and developing it. Anyone know of one for sale?