In Our Back Yard: Lava tubes and hot springs

r Note: As residents of South Utah County, we have available to us some of the spectacular and interesting places to visit in the United States. We will refer to this area that constitutes approximately a two-hour drive or less as so close by that it is like being in our “Back Yard.” As a result, Serve Daily has started a new regular feature to illustrate some of the interesting places that would be a day trip from where we live. Ed Helmick will be writing this series of articles based upon his years of exploring the Utah landscape. We hope you enjoy this new feature.

About an hour and a half south down I-15, near Fillmore, is the remains if a 15,000-year-old extinct volcano. Left behind is the massive lava flow, lava tubes with caves and tunnels which are a result of the crusting over of lava channels, and three hot springs. The lava tubes are interesting to explore with caution. The hot springs are a fun place to relax and in the warmth enjoy some hydrotherapy. The area is called the Meadow Lava Tubes and Meadow Hot Springs.

South of Fillmore on I-15, take the Meadow Exit 158. Turn left and go under the Interstate and pass the Chevron station on your right. Continue south out of the town of Meadow until you pass the last building on your left, and you will see a well-graded dirt road on your right going westbound. This road will take you over the Interstate in 1.15 miles and continue west for about a mile to a junction with a gravel road to the right which goes northbound and identified as 4800 West. Take this road north for a mile to a road identified as 3900 South and turn northwest and continue another 3.4 miles.  This road turns north and becomes 6400 West and intersects a “T” junction identified as 2300 South. Take 2300 South westbound for 1.8 miles to the junction with Lava Tubes Road. This road becomes rough and rocky for the next 2 miles to the lava tubes parking area.

The lava tubes are interesting to see and there are a lot of options for exploration. It is recommended that you do not go beyond the light of the entrance unless you are trained and experienced in caving or with someone who is. The lava tubes are considered wild caves and the potential risk needs to be recognized.

After you leave the lava tubes, you may want to visit the Meadow Hot Spring. As you backtrack back toward Meadow and are near the I-15 underpass on the good gravel road, you will see a good right turn road to the right and southbound. If you come to a place where the road makes a hard right turn and then a hard left turn, you have gone too far. The right turn to the south will take you to a “T” intersection where you again turn right and the Hot Springs are 3.7 miles from that turn-off. The road ends at the parking lot for the hot springs.

The pools are on private property and the owner has allowed access with the request that people leave the area clean and not trashy. In fact, please leave the area cleaner than you found as it is the only way to ensure future access. There are three pools, the nearest one reportedly has a water temperature of 100 degrees. The others are warm and not as warm. The pools are deep with the larger one reportedly 20 feet deep. It is a fun place to take a dip and relax before driving back up I-15 for home.

Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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