The Freehiking Utah Group traveled to Diamond Fork for its normal 4th Wednesday group hike on June 27, 2007. A smaller group than normal attended this hike - Ken, Ben, Sean, Jason, Steve, Russ, and Marty. PJ didn’t come for the first time in quite a while (no other women had RSVPed and she was busy sewing her naturist clothes to sell at the TNS Western Naturist Gathering at Lupin Lodge in July), though she would have come if other women had attended.
We met at 12:30 in the Salt Lake City area to share rides, then traveled south on I-15, picked up a hiker in Springville, and drove up Spanish Fork Canyon to the lower trailhead.
The lower Diamond Fork trail is about the same 2.5 mile distance as the upper trail we’d hiked a few weeks earlier. It’s perhaps a little steeper than the upper trail, but not much, and it does have an advantage – you’re able to walk downhill on your way back. It’s greener, with more trees, and has a bigger river, but the falls are not as nice. It passes through a very picturesque mountain valley with many trees. It makes for a beautiful hike.
The parking is not as convenient at the lower trailhead. We had to park along the main road about ½ mile below the trailhead, so we wore on shorts or kits a ways before we were able to get naked. The weather was hot, with little breeze, which isn’t nearly as bad when you are hiking nude. It’s always nice to work up a naked sweat so even a little breeze cools you along the way. The sky was dark blue, with just a few puffy clouds.
Diamond Fork is a busy hot spring, so we met a few people even during midweek. We dressed quickly when we saw someone coming, and I don’t think we embarrassed anyone too badly. Besides, if there is anyplace in Utah where people expect nudity, its Diamond Fork, so we didn’t have any problems.
A family with several teenage daughters was soaking clothed at the lower springs when we arrived. The dad watched protectively, and told us he was concerned for the teenage girls, so we passed by (clothed of course) and hiked to the upper pools which tend to be more naturist oriented. No one else was at the upper pools. The water was very hot when we arrived, but Ben opened the inflow from the river, and the temperature was soon just right for everyone. The upper pools are very well maintained; ideal soaking.
We soaked and talked for about one hour. It was truly relaxing, with only a slight sulfur smell. The trees and mountains, and the sound of the river running by the pools added to the wonderful sensory experience. Hot springs can be glorious after a hot hike, and conversation with naturist friends is the way hot springs are supposed to be enjoyed.
After a while the dad from below hiked up to let us know they were leaving so we could have the lower pools by the water fall to ourselves. We decided it was time to leave anyway, so we packed up and headed back down the trail. We stopped for just a few minutes to look at the lower pools. The hike back was easy and pretty uneventful, until just before the road when we passed several teenage couples, who just laughed a little, but otherwise were fine. (All part of the Diamond Fork experience.)
We were certainly ready to head home when we got back to the cars. We had to wear our shorts and kilts on the busier road, so we didn’t hang around to talk like we normally do when we can be naked by the cars. Besides, this hike took a little longer than normal so we just got in our cars and headed home. We got back to Salt Lake City about 7:00 pm, after a wonderful hiking and hot springing experience.
Our only disappointment on this hike was the smaller than normal number of participants. More said they were coming, but apparently got busy. Summer can get so crazy with family events, etc., but we do me miss our friends when they can’t attend. This was the first group hike for two of our members; we hope they’ll return next hike, along with everyone else.
You can look at photos of our hike to Diamond Fork by going to this link: http://imageevent.com/kenandjane/dimondfork2