The small Utah town of Monroe is home to several natural hot springs that have attracted visitors since the first roving tribe of hunter-gatherers warmed themselves in Monroe’s steaming pools thousands of years ago.
In the late 1800s, a settler named Thomas Cooper homesteaded Monroe’s most prominent hot springs.
Cooper and his family converted the hot springs into a regional attraction that included a dance floor, regular live music, and a naturally heated indoor swimming pool. Revellers converged on Cooper’s homestead to dance, listen to music, and soak in the geothermal pool. Cooper’s homestead was famously dubbed “the home of mirth and merriment.”
Monroe’s hot springs steadily attracted visitors until the 1950s, when the city of Monroe experienced an economic downturn and began to decline. In the 1970s, Monroe rebounded, and the town’s hot springs flourished.
In 1995, a wandering artist named Mike Ginsburg became enamoured with Monroe’s hot springs after stumbling upon them while driving from Las Vegas to Denver. Ginsburg decided to purchase the resort where the hot springs were situated and rebrand it Mystic Hot Springs.
Mystic Hot Springs has evolved into a bohemian oasis populated by roaming peacocks, pools of bright tropical fish, and colourful buses with names such as “New Moon Bus” that serve as themed sleeping quarters. Ginsburg has used his artistic touch to fill the grounds of Mystic Hot Springs with vibrant artwork constructed of recycled materials.
Mystic Hot Springs features several outdoor antique bathtubs brimming with naturally hot water that offer occupants a panoramic view of the surrounding desert landscape.
In addition to two sizable soaking pools—one of which features a cascading waterfall—Mystic Hot Springs pays homage to Monroe’s past with a concert venue that features regular live music and a collection of rustic restored pioneer cabins that were originally constructed in the 1800s.
Guests can spend the night in a pioneer cabin if they can tolerate a room with no running water. In true hippie style, Mystic Hot Springs features a communal bathhouse with shared sinks, toilets, and showers.
It is important to note that communal does not mean that each toilet and shower lacks a private stall.
The waters of Mystic Hot Springs are completely free of sulphur—which is a rarity in the world of natural mineral pools. The steaming waters of mystic hot springs are rich in calcium carbonate, which is not conducive to the “rotten egg” smell commonly associated with natural hot springs.
The soaking pools and bathtubs of Mystic Springs are drained and cleaned regularly to ensure guest comfort and safety.
Mystic Hot Springs features piping hot mineral pools surrounded by historic cabins and bright buses that exude free-spirited charm. More than a few wayward travellers have found peace of mind watching a meteor shower while reclining in a geothermal bathtub.
Mystic Hot Springs is a worthy stopping point for those travelling south to any one of Utah’s five national parks.