Saturday, February 14, 2009

Utah Places: Diamond Fork

Diamond Fork is another one of the unique beautiful places that belongs on the list even though it is close. People love it to death, and many areas are endangered because of this.

One of the most infamous is the hot springs in Fifth Water Canyon. (The cowboy settlers apparently were lazy about assigning names to the side tributaries in the Diamond Fork Canyon, so they are named appropriately First, Second, Third, and so on...) Many college coeds have visited the "hot pots" built at the springs for "skinny dipping" and other things of reputedly more illicit nature, over the years. As a result, the "hot pots" in Fifth Water carry a "hot" reputation, although they are just very hot springs, I assure you. The last time I visited the locale there were prudent signs posted about the site, warning that "naked people might be bathing here" and one was to be appropriately forewarned, or look out in eager anticipation, as the case might be. I don't know -- both time I arrived, the place was abandoned, failing to live up to it's reputation. I was not particularly disappointed, one way or the other, since nudity has long since ceased to titillate or embarrass. But I try to respect the sensibilities of others, so I was just hiking through, and did not stop for the skinny dipping.

Another of the infamous stories -- one that may have some substance to it -- has to do with Rhoades hidden gold and the indian legends deal with Spanish gold mines.

There is this inscription to be found still unexplained in the canyon, as well as many other mysteries.

Wanna go looking for gold? Maybe this is the spot!

While we are speaking of well-deserved reputations, the area also has a well-known and earned rep for fine trout fishing! If you are after year-round fishing access, Diamond Fork!

Not too many giant trophy monsters will fill your creel, but enough moderate sized fighters to give you a great time and a good dinner that night, nothing any fisherman could be ashamed of.
And so easy to get to. Most of the roads are even paved now.

This map is not too current, but the river has not moved much.

More info HERE.
Good Fishing!

While you're exploring the Diamond Fork area, range out to the areas beyond. Side canyon beckon to the unintrepid with many secret allures. Some may lead west toward a huge private reserve on the backs slope of Spanish Fork Peak, but there are many dirt roads and trails to explore before you come to that locked gate and the forbidding sign. To the northwest and over the shoulder of the mountain leads a fairly tame road into Hobble Creek Canyon, which can be a beautiful adventure in ecosystems just in itself.  Quite a climb, make sure your radiator is up to par if you attempt this route on a hot summer afternoon, and carry some water.

Directly north is a road that leads of into the Wasatch somewhere, I have never explored far. Try it some time and let me know. I assume it connects to the Provo River drainage in the area of Deer Creek Reservoir and Wellsville.

North of the Sixth Water is a jeep trail that joins Sheep Canyon trail to Strawberry Reservoir overland. It is a spectacular wildflower route before the sheep herds start grazing, but you have to travel it pretty early, which means there are lots of flooded spots and mudholes to cross. If you are brave enough, one of the big rewards you will find is enough Sambucus to make preserves to last you and all you friends for years.

For the uninitiated, Sambucus is the genus of Elderberry, and if that and the image of hot biscuits with butter and preserves slathered and dripping down the sides and over your fist, you have never lived. It makes my mouth water just to think!


Anonymous said...

Ok, let's go!!!

greenfrog said...

Some of my favorite memories of fishing involved little cutthroats in Sixth Water.

One New Year's Eve I hiked through the snow with a group of friends to greet the new year's arrival from within the fog of the springs at Fifth Water.

good memories.

Patricia said...

Really fun post, Jim. You've got a knack.

Jim Cobabe said...


One of my wildest 4wd rides was on the Diamond Fork Road.

The road connects to Springville/Mapleton through Hobble Creek Canyon. When you drive out to Diamond Fork that way, you miss all the traffic and construction information signs, that give information that might tell you, for example, that the road was closed for pipeline construction and was impassable due to heavy equipment churning up the dirt road so as to make it an impassable muddy quagmire. Anyway, if I had enter the road from highway 89, instead of after 50 miles of travel through Hobble Creek, I might have given second though about turning around. If I'd known how bad it was, I'd probably have turned around anyway.

I plowed into the trail, and at first it was't too bad. Just a bit squirrly in the back end from 6 inchis of thick mud. Then it started getting deeper. When the Mud got over a foot deep, I started to worry, but not to fret. The 4runner was okay. There was a hard bottom all the way -- it was just deep soup. After a few miles of even deeper, I started having fun and picked up speed. I was making an impressive bow wave through the mud. Mud was projecting up and over the top, but the wipers were not clearing it sufficient, so I had to stop and pour water over the wind shield to try to maintain sight. Good thing there was nobody else. My car was carrying at least an equal weight in mud by that time. Finally I arrived at the junction of highway 89, and read the signs telling that the road was closed due to pipeline construction, and was impassable. Now they tell me. My car looked like a pig that that been rolling in the mud. As I drove of down 89, mud was sloughing off all the way to Snail Hollow.

Anonymous said...

Any warning signs that might have been there are now gone. In fact, the trail is not marked at all - you really have to know where you're going to find the hot springs and waterfalls. We didn't find it vacant when we got there a couple weeks ago, but everyone was behaving themselves.