MONROE – When steam rises from the snowy terrain where water escapes the earth at Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, the collision of temperatures creates an ethereal winter landscape as playful as the kaleidoscope of colors that surround the out-of-the-way sanctuary that offers camping, hotel and cabin accommodations as well as day use recreation and special event entertainment.
Spend any length of time exploring the property and it’s easy to see how extraordinary of a space owner Mike Ginsburg has created for his visitors, converting an old-time restaurant into a psychedelic hideaway. At first glance, it may appear a bit run down and unassuming but a closer look reveals unexpected treasures.
Water at Mystic Hot Springs is 168 degrees Fahrenheit and flows from its source at a rate of 200 gallons per minute. Ginsburg has created channels to direct the hot liquid, rich in calcium, magnesium and iron, to various locations across the property making for a water playground that delights guests of all ages.
There are communal lower pools that feature a shallow 3-foot pool that’s good for the little ones to play in and a 4 ½-foot pool as well.
Eight huge, claw-footed tubs along the upper level offer room for one to soak up the healing waters while taking in the stellar view of the valley below.
Each tub is cleaned and filled with fresh water daily, and the lower pools are both completely emptied, cleaned and refilled with fresh water once or twice weekly.
All of the pools and tubs are temperature-controlled with rocks placed in the direct flow of the water as it travels; the soaking water ranges from 98-110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The crystal clear water is used for much more than soaking away muscle aches and soothing dry skin. Ginsburg has figured out how to use the water to heat ecofriendly housing and greenhouses that provide abundant vegetation year-round.
Harmony with nature
By using geothermal technology, and both passive and active solar energy designs, he has built a “proof of concept” cabin to teach visitors how to reap the natural benefits of living in harmony with the earth’s resources.
Since Ginsburg took ownership of the property 19 years ago, he said, his philosophy has been to work from a model of slow growth and sustainable living.
Though the concept cabin is not available for rent yet, Ginsburg said, eventually, he plans to have multiple units available for guests to stay in allowing them to experience permaculture housing first-hand.
Lodging with some of the modern day comforts is available for those who want it, but many of the resort’s rentals are a throwback to a more rustic way of life.
All of the rentals feature comfortable beds and a welcoming feeling created by notes to the guests thanking them for their stay and journals for them to share their experiences. Leafing through the pages of the journals, it is easy to see how much past guests have enjoyed their stay.
There are four cabins to choose from, two with electricity.
All of the cabins on the property have been built using reclaimed and recycled materials – including the rescue of pioneer cabins from around the area.
The Mars Hotel is a communal living space at the Hot Springs, available to boarders who don’t mind sharing the fully functioning kitchen, living room and bathroom area. It is the only rental on the property that comes with its own indoor restroom facilities, and by renting the room in the back of the trailer one can be sure to have their own private bathroom.
Each of the three bedrooms available at The Mars Hotel can also be rented individually and used as a private space.
There are camping spaces and recreational vehicle spots with electrical hookups for visitors who come with their own sleeping accommodations.
Those who rent cabins, buses and campsites share facilities near the campsites.
Old buses line the corridor between the campsites and the more permanent trailers that live on the property. Though they look run-down and ragged from the outside, they are a good lesson on not judging a book by its cover. Inside each remodeled bus is a beautiful interior that carries its own handcrafted charm. From hardwood flooring to furnishings made of woodcarvings, each bus offers comfort, warmth and spacious lodging.
The secluded hideout is also a popular venue for musicians bringing everything from small, intimate musical performances to full-blown festivals with multiple artists onstage. Artists like Donna the Buffalo, Trevor Green, Dark Star Orchestra and Leftover Salmon have entertained audiences in years past.
Notes and resources
- Mystic Hot Springs Website | Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone 435 527 3286
- Soaking | $15 per person | Day use
- Camping | $30 per person | Includes soaking
- Cabins, buses, dorm rooms | $60 for 1 person, $30 each additional person | Includes soaking
- Concerts | $10 extra per person
- Reservations | None needed for camping | Advisable to reserve your preferred bus or cabin – call ahead and make a deposit
- There are several picnic tables and benches located around the property for use by visitors.
- Bring extra blankets to cover the windows if you are staying in one of the pioneer cabins in the winter – it can get a little chilly.
- See videos of past in-house shows here: Youtube.
Driving directions from St. George – 2 hours, 33 minutes; 158 miles
- Travel north on Interstate 15 for about 123 miles
- Merge onto Interstate 70 East and continue for about 25 miles to the Joseph/Monroe exit
- Turn right onto W. Main Street /state Route 118 and continue to follow SR-118
- SR-118 becomes Ram Boulevard as you enter Monroe
- Turn left from Ram Boulevard onto Main Street and continue to 100 North
- Turn right on 100 North and go up the hill five blocks to the big white building at the end of the road
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