Tucked away In the most inconspicuous hillside near the small town of Monroe, just neighboring Richfield to the southwest, is Mystic Hot Springs. My wife, Maddie, and I discovered this quaint little destination isn’t your typical resort.
Over Valentine’s Day weekend we had made our way to Ephraim for a wedding reception of one of her Snow College friends, but not before making an overnight stop at this peculiar place.
At first glance the property almost looks abandoned and dilapidated and as we pulled in around 9 p.m. I thought that we were driving up someone’s dirt driveway.
This is all intentional however. On the website, it states that “Mystic Hot Springs creates an authentic environment which raises self-awareness by direct experience with nature, art, and antiquities.”
Old pieces of farming equipment, restored pioneer-era cabins, and vintage hippie vans and old buses surrounding the campground create an inconspicuous environment that really lays on the “mystical” vibe.
I must say, it did the job. The water bubbles down to fill several soaking pools and a number of large old-fashioned tubs are slowly being engulfed by large travertine mounds formed by calcium carbonate, the mineral deposited by the natural spring water.
Despite the outward hippie/gypsy appearance, the facilities are well-maintained and cleaned, and no alcohol, nudity, glass containers of any kind, smoking, or any illegal activities are permitted in the hot springs or any public area.
Open 24/7, visitors have the freedom to soak at whatever time their little hearts desire. Maddie and I soaked until about 11 p.m. and then woke up in the early morning hours for another go-round as the sun rose over our shoulders.
We stayed in a small, 10’x10′ cabin that had little more than a couple beds and a space heater, but that was all we needed. We brought some card games and chess, and it was really nice to unplug from technology for a while.
In the daylight hours we discovered a small pavilion and courtyard filled with couches that serve as a venue for music festivals and concerts. A short walk from the main compound is a campground with tent sites and rows of buses with large murals painted on the sides.
I somewhat assumed that given the whole public bath kind of deal that the shower house might follow suit, but it was a nice, brick-and-mortar building that had completely separated male and female bathrooms for privacy.
If you think that the place is overrun with “dirty hippies,” allay your fears. The manager and employees were friendly and hospitable, the accommodations were well-suited for the ambiance, and I had a lovely stay.
Mystic Hot Springs pulls off the shabby-chic vibe with eclectic decor and quiet subtlety that make it perfect for the next vacation.
Story by: Reyce Knutson
Photos Courtesy mystichotsprings.com