General Manger Adam Nelson of Crystal Hot Springs is on fire when he starts to talk about the recreation spot 11 miles north of Brigham City, located at 8215 N. Hwy 38 in Honeyville.
Nelson has had 10 years leading the place and has blown it up, from seven employees to 68, and increasing the visitors by big numbers. It’s been just over a year since they opened their entrance building. The newly revamped check-in building has a larger changing area. Owners spent $1.5 million giving the place a facelift which, to this point, has paid dividends.
“I worked for Disney in Florida for four years and picked up some great guest relations skills,” he said. “I love hot springs and the employees love them too.”
He said there is a complete attitude change. There are also more soaking pools and new water features like a cave with a waterfall over the top of it, umbrella features and gazebo. The walkways made of decorative concrete also add to the natural atmosphere. The old log lodge is still on site and there are plans for it in the future.
Even in early afternoon on a weekday, the pools were busy with all ages, from a bunch of seniors, all the way down to toddlers swimming with their mothers.
Nelson said hot springs are natural treasures, all are unique and all are special. Crystal Hot Springs has hot and cold springs close enough to control the temperature by mixing the water.
Nelson boasts the hot springs have 46,093 natural minerals, produced by 2.4 million gallons of hot water in a 24 hour period. The hot water comes from 8,000 feet below the surface of the earth and is estimated to be 22,000 years old. The water temperature ranges from 120 to 134 degrees Fahrenheit.
Almost 50 feet from the hot spring surface is a cold spring that produces water at 65°F – 75°F.
The cold spring has a slightly higher rate of flow than the hot springs, with 9,200 gallons of water every five minutes.
“Both of the springs produce enough water to drain and fill the pools during the night, so it keeps the pools clean,” he said. “The water flow at Crystal Hot Springs is the most of any hot springs in the world.”
Nelson told the history of the hot springs by pointing at photographs on a large wall going pack to the changing room, going way back to the Freemont Native Americans. When they disappeared, the Northwest Band of Shoshone used them. They were used for generations by the local indigenous people.
“Once a year, the Northwest Band of Shoshone Nation return to the springs to spend time together and tell stories of their ancestors,” the general manger said. During the time the railroad was being built, Chinese railroad workers came to the area to soak in cedar tubs.
Nelson went on to tell of wounded soldiers being bused from the Brigham City hospital during WWII to soak in the springs for rehabilitation.
Today, the pools are used by both locals and tourists from around world as they soak and take advantage of the healing properties of the springs.
Camping has always been a big part of Crystal Hot Springs and that hasn’t changed with remodeling the facility. There are still places for tents and campers.
Nelson has turned the hot springs on its end and it hasn’t escaped the view of other hot spring owners. He is often on the phone with other hot spring owners coaching them on how to help them be successful.