Lava Tubes and Meadow Hot Springs Day Trip
January is always an odd month, when you work for the ski industry it is hard to really take the time to travel as much as we do in the summer. But enough was enough and we knew we had to load the car and head somewhere. At first it was going to be to hike a slot canyon in the San Rafael Swell but then we decided, no we will head to the Silver Island Mountains near Wendover. That also changed when Thomas said he wanted to go to the Little Sahara Recreation Site. The point of my rambling is that we never truly know where we are going until we get there. So here is where we actually ended up.
Little Sahara... or Not
We drove all the way to the entrance of Little Sahara and saw a fee station asking for $18. Well why spend $18 when there is a perfectly good ridge to hike up across the street for free? So we did it. 2.7 miles round trip, BLM land and dogs off leash. It might not actually be a hike or worthwhile to many but it was a beautiful part of our day. Feel free to skip this detour of a drive and hit the gas pedal all the way to Meadow, UT. That's where we will give some directions and info to you.
Little Sahara is a worthwhile stop should you have a dirt bike or ATV to bring with you. For $18 you have a sand dune playground to zip around on. Do note though that April to October this is an extremely busy and popular spot and that you will want to have any dogs with you on leash.
From Salt Lake City drive South on I-15:
- Take exit 158 off of I-15
- Turn left onto UT-133 heading South for .6 miles
- Take a right onto W Center Street
- In 1 mile continue straight as the road turns to dirt
- Go straight for another mile and the road will take a sharp right
- In another .2 miles the road will take a sharp left
- In .3 miles you will see a road on your right and right after a road to the left and the road continuing straight
- Head straight on the main dirt road for 3.4 miles and then turn right
- Once you turn right you will drive for 1.8 miles until you see a sign for the Lava Tubes pointing you left
- Drive another two miles and this road ends in the parking area at the base of a small hill
From St. George drive North on I-15:
- Take exit 158 off of I-15
- Turn right onto UT-133 heading South for .5 miles
- Follow the remaining steps of the above directions
Here is link to the Google Maps directions.
Imagine just walking over and finding a black rock hole leading into the Earth. That was the kind of non typical experience that we had at the Lava Tubes.
If you plan on visiting in the winter you are at a high enough elevation that snow is likely, even this year where we have hardly had any. I recommend Gortex hiking boots or trail runners so that you feet stay dry and warm.
Once you are down in the tubes (or caves) the ground is actually dry. Maya was happy to lay in the dirt in a sunbeam when we were inside the Lava Tubes.
Though some of the tubes are light and large where you can see others happen to be smaller and darker. You will want to bring a head lamp with you so you can see and look around inside.
This spot was beautiful and had nobody around. I have seen many other articles from family's who have done this so it is definitely a family friendly destination!
Meadow Hot Springs
After exploring the Lava Tubes you can drive the 10 miles following this map over to the Meadow Hot Springs. They have three pools with the one closest to where you park being the warmest. For more information you can check out my pal Alicia's post at Girl on a Hike that provides some more information. This was my second time to the hot springs and it was definitely much more muddy in January 2018 versus April 2017.
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