We've written about Crystal Hot Springs before, a few times in fact. I forgot how much we love coming to this place. I'm not a big swimmer, so it's not like I miss swimming during the winter but I do love a good hot soak, especially when the mineral content is the HIGHEST in the world. Yes, the water is a funky color and there is mineral build up on the sides of the pool but it's because it's full of minerals, that I'm quite convinced heal the body. (As all their signs say.)
I'm about 7 months pregnant and the water definitely helps this pregnant mama. We've been coming every year since Aiko (4yrs) was a baby and while I'm pregnant. We usually go in the winter, like dead of the winter. Today it snowed 8 inches in Ogden and the roads were bad, but this made me want to go even more. Something about swimming and snowing sounds ever exciting.
If you or your family have lived in Northern Utah for a while, chances are, you've been or your parents went as kids. This place has been around forever! In fact, the North Shoshone-Bannock Native Americans would come once a year to soak tell their ancestry history in the 1800s. Then the railroad brought the Chinese and the pioneers settled the area in the 1900s and created a Hot Spring business.
Since I've been a few times, I thought I would write all my tips and tricks for having a successful trip.
It's perfect for families.
The main soaker has a concrete step built all the way around the pool, so the kids can easily stand up on the edges. I know some people think it's too hot for kids and babies, but all the pools vary in temperature and you can instantly tell when it's too hot an area. Like, I wouldn't take my kids over to the waterfalls where all the hot water comes down. Even with the cold air, I honestly feel like it's more beneficial for my kids to soak in the mineral water. I think it clears up sicknesses.
They provide baby toys/life jackets/noodles for free.
I don't have the slightest idea where our baby floaters are...luckily, Crystal Hot Springs has always had a bunch of random kids stuff that you can just grab outside. Orion spends most of his time going to the bin and pulling out different noodles, goggles and all sorts of toys.
We don't have these kind of kid floaties, but I can already tell that I'm going to buy some this year for warmer weather swimming. My kids have never really learned to swim (especially, since I don't like to swim) but in just 15 minutes they got the jist of it wearing these floaties.
Crystal Hot Springs keeps the water clean.
I've had all sorts of people tell me how they think it's gross to go swimming at Hot Springs. But I beg to differ. They drain and clean the hot tubs daily, and the bigger pools are cleaned and drained twice a week. I'm pretty sure that's more than any swimming pool.
You can check out their cleaning schedule here, but because it's mineral water, I don't worry as much about germs because it kills lots of bacteria.
It's the perfect place to detox.
Sickness always happens right? Even more so in the winter. Often, if we've all had colds for a while, I pack everyone up and head to the Hot Springs to help everyone detox and get some exercise. Seriously, I can totally tell a difference the next day. Everyone's skin is super soft, coughs don't' sound quite so yucky, and I just feel cleaner. That being said, you can get dehydrated from detoxing and swimming in the hot water, so be sure to bring something to drink. (Not in a glass container.) You'll see lots of drinks lining the pool sides everywhere.
There are water slides.
I didn't get a picture, because my kids don't like the water slides yet, but we have done it before. We as adults loved it and the older kids we went with LOVED it. It is an additional price, so be sure to get the right wristband.
It's a perfect date night.
The majority of the people there seem to be couples.
Or with the kids. Either way, we love going.
It's one of the few activities where you get to wear a swimsuit in the winter.
Where else can you swim and be warm while trying to catch snowflakes in your mouth?
The People Watching is AWESOME.
The crowd is always different at The Hot Springs. This time we saw Captain Hook. Luckily, my kids happen to love Captain Hook, so they were pretty excited.
You should have heard the pool, we all loved it and cheered, or gave him a hearty Yo-Ho.
You can go, no matter the weather.
This time we went during the day, during a snow storm. It was perfect. The cold on your head and face while the warm water kept you balanced.
You can move around.
With the Olympic Pool, Soaker, Water Slides and multiple Hot Tubs, you can't really get bored. Our kids love to move from pool to pool, although the soaker is their favorite as it has a ramp they like to hang out at.
We also really like going to the north east hot tub. It's a little cooler, so it's not always so full of people.
You don't have to stay long.
In fact, you probably won't want too, especially during the winter. While it's cold right when you get in for a few seconds, after a while you'll find yourself sweating and having to sit at the edge to get a drink. Really, after an hour maybe two, you'll feel refreshed and done. Unless you have kids and they are sliding on the water slide...I guess you could be there a really long time.
You know when you get out of the pool (at least this is what I remember about swimming in the winter) during the winter, get out, rush to the hot showers, rush to change into your clothes, then rush to the car with wet hair. (Girl Problems I know.) But the WHOLE time you are freezing driving home? Not so with the Hot Springs. Since we've always visited in the winter, driving home I've always felt warm and cozy, even with my wet hair.
So, have I convinced you, that you should at least try it? If you go, be sure to #thesaltproject so we can see!
Also, see our other Hot Spring visit to Meadow Hot Springs here. Again, swimming in the winter.
- If you can, be in your swimsuit before getting there. It's often crowded and if you go during the winter you'll want to get into the water as fast as possible. Then we pack our unders and towels for after.
- Bring baby water diapers
- I usually wear my chaco sandals going and swimming and leaving. But lots of people just walk around barefoot too. I'm not a germaphobe, so it doesn't matter to me either way.
- There are showers, but only 3 in the Men's and Women's.
- Lockers are available, but I've always just taken my bags outside and placed them on the shelves just outside the women's door near the pool. So you can either chance it with me or get a locker.
- Bring Water for everyone to drink while swimming.
- There probably aren't enough baby toys if LOTS of families came at once, so maybe pack your own if you have them handy. But we've also gone without any kind of floaties and it's just fine too.
- There are changing rooms.
- There are three different waterfalls in the soaker, all with varying degrees of hot water. With kids we tend to stay on the cooler sections, but be sure to visit the waterfalls if you can!
Crystal is definitely the best in the winter!