Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image The 2.4-mile hike to Fifth Water Hot Springs in the Uinta National Forest near Spanish Fork features spectacular scenery.

June 18, 2015
Summer in Utah means spending time outdoors

Boy, did I ever come to the right place.

I’m not trying to jinx anything, but the rain has mostly stayed away lately, giving way to those crystal-clear June days that I remember from my younger years.

And the best part? Instead of those 110-degree temperatures I grew accustomed to in the Mojave Desert over the past five years, I get to experience highs in the 90s.

At least for now.

That means that the idea of going outside isn’t completely out of the question, and when you live in Utah, being outdoors is an experience to behold.

Right here in Tooele County, we have three golf courses waiting for both polished players and hackers like yours truly to test their skills (or, in my case, their complete and utter lack thereof). Thanks to Main Street construction, my daily commute now takes me down Droubay Road to Vine Street, right next to the clubhouse at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course. The chance to play nine or 18 holes against that backdrop has me thinking about bringing my clubs out here with me one of these days.

It sure beats the alternative — sitting on the couch watching the Golf Channel in my off time. Though this week is the U.S. Open, so I have an excuse. But soon, I will at least be headed to the driving range.

I made another recent discovery while trying to find a way to stay active on the weekends. Several of my good friends are always talking about going hiking along the Wasatch Front. Having spent my formative years in Moab and Cedar City, I knew little about what the hiking opportunities were north of Interstate 70.

That was until I decided to look up hot springs in the area.

It’s a bit of a drive, but the Fifth Water Hot Springs near Spanish Fork are awfully hard to beat. It’s a 2.4-mile hike with 800 feet of elevation gain, which for those of us who consider being round to equal being in shape since round is, in fact, a shape, would be considered a challenge. But when you get to the end of that hike, the man-made pools surrounded by the natural wonders of the Uinta National Forest make all that suffering downright worthwhile.

I’ve now made the trip to Utah County each of the past two weekends — once for a Sunday-afternoon stroll, once for a Saturday-night soak. If you have the proper equipment — namely, a headlamp — I wholeheartedly recommend the nighttime option. There is no more peaceful setting than sitting in one of those pools, surrounded by towering cliffs and pine trees and seeing more stars than I ever knew existed.

Or, at very least, more stars than I could see when my night skies were obscured by the light pollution on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Even the hike back with the cool, crisp evening breeze and the sound of the stream next to the trail is downright invigorating. Or, if you so desire, bring a tent with you and pick any one of the small campsites off the side of the trail. That’s in my plans for later this summer.

It certainly feels nice to be able to enjoy the great outdoors once again.

Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. He admits that he also enjoys being in the great outdoors because it lowers his air-conditioning bill. Email him at
dvaughan@tooeletranscript.com. 

 

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