Under a sky of gems and cotton candy, we floated on a bed of water, face cold as ice, body warm as the desert sun, as steam rose into the darkness of night – a prolonged moment where we felt so small, in a world so big. Where did this happen? None other than the Meadow Hot Springs of Utah!
In this article, we will be sharing our experiences at this spot and providing a few tips for your visit. Before we get started, let us tell you a little bit about ourselves. We are Chad & Claire – a married, full-time traveling creative duo with a passion to experience all that this world has to offer.
Chad grew up in Nashville but his family just moved to Chattanooga. Claire was born and raised in Atlanta and this city has now become our base for whenever we swing back to the US after traveling. We met during our freshman year of college, as we lived two doors down the hall from each other. We have been together for over four years and married for one.
Our love for travel began before we met. Claire traveled with her family to over 40 national parks around the US throughout her childhood. They also took several trips back to her parents’ home country, as well as to other countries and destinations that caught her parents’ interest.
Chad was able to discover Europe with his high school for twelve days, and that really kick-started his interest in traveling the world. Once we both made it to college, our university provided us with the opportunity to study abroad at their Hong Kong and Lacoste, France, campuses. So we took it!
While abroad, we jumped around to different countries, planned our own itineraries and got a taste of travel. During our senior year of college, we decided to pursue full-time travel as a career, knowing that life is short and that the time to live is now. We began documenting this journey on our YouTube channel and it has continued to be our full-time job since.
Discovering Meadow Hot Springs in Utah
So back to our story about Meadow Hot Springs! While we were in Utah, we started searching for free overnight parking as well as free hot springs. We scored big when we came across a listing on the iOverlander app (an app that provides parking info, amongst other things, for people living on the road) that noted a hot spring that also allowed free overnight parking.
We made our way there, following the provided coordinates, and it was a gem of a spot for anyone living or traveling in a vehicle. After driving along a bumpy dirt road for a while, you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful blue mountains with three crystal clear hot springs to choose from.
Each spring at Meadow Hot Springs has a different temperature: one is hot, another feels lukewarm and the final feels slightly cool. These springs are homes to fish of rainbow colors, and during the night, when the air is cool, smoke arises into the moonlight. It truly is a magical place!
The Drive to Meadow Hot Springs
The dirt road to Meadow Hot Springs isn’t the smoothest, but you can make it there without a 4WD. Our tiny van made it there just fine, so your vehicle should be able to as well. Two of the springs have a parking lot close to the edge of the spring, but the main spring (the hottest) requires a short walk along a muddy path. This walk can be done in flip-flops or sandals.
Two Nights/Three Days at the Springs
We spent three days and two nights at the springs. Because we lived in a tiny van at the time, we parked in front of a spring and set up camp. We were there in early April, and with the weather still being quite chilly, there weren’t many guests visiting. The weekends drew bigger crowds, especially during the evenings, but on weekdays the springs were empty.
Favorite Moment: Soaking Under a Sky of Gems
Our favorite moment was entering the springs after dinner, around sunset, and watching the night slowly rise into the sky. The darkness filled with small sparkles of gems and jewels, making the sky a treasure chest of light.
Because there is no light pollution, the stars shine bright and floating in the springs in pure solitude can only bring serenity and a sense of calm. We felt so small under a sky so big, and it’s a moment we will remember forever.
Free Overnight Parking at the Springs
We have no idea what options there are for accommodations around the springs, as we were living in our van. But if you do live in your own home on wheels, we suggest taking advantage of the free overnight parking spots the springs offer. Not only do you have a safe and free place to park at night, but you can also enjoy the hot springs whenever you desire!
Tips for your Visit to Meadow Hot Springs
Always leave a place better than you found it. Throughout our year living in our van, we collected trash at every campsite or parking spot we stayed at. We advise others to do the same. These springs are free to the public, and if we want to keep it that way, we need to treat the land with respect.
We also suggest checking up on the weather before heading to the springs. Bring your own towels and water shoes, and stay hydrated. Bring some snacks for after your soak – hot springs tend to make you hungry!