Undeveloped Idaho Hot Springs


Undeveloped Idaho hot springs within a short drive from the Montana border.
The springs are in alphabetical order.

Guidelines When Visting Hot Springs

•  Always pack it in, pack it out. Leave no trace
•  Never bring glass bottles or containers
•  Be courteous to others, bring a swimsuit along
•  No Soap and shampoo of any kind are allowed
•  Check current conditions before you go, fires, high water, floods and closures happen

Goldbug Hot Springs

Directions:  South of Salmon, ID, 25 miles. From Salmon at the intersecton of US 93 and Highway 28 take US Highway 93 South 24 miles, the turn off is south of Elk Bend and near mile marker 282. Follow the short dirt road to the trailhead. From here it's a difficult steep two mile hike on a good trail to the hot springs.

Features:  Several waterfal fed rock walled gravel bottom pools in a canyon. This is a special hot spring and unlike any other in the region. Camping is not allowed within 500 feet of the hot springs, there a camping area above the last pool.

Usage:  Heavy

Temperature:  The temperature is 113 at the source, the temperature varies depending on the pool you choose.

Overall:  This is a hard spring to get to but worth the hike! This is a clothing optional spring however expect company and be considerate.

Goldbug Hot Springs
Photos sourced from AllTrails.com User Submitted Photos
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Horse Creek Hot Springs

Directions:  West of Conner, MT, 45 miles. From Missoula take Highway 93 South to Conner. Take a right on State Highway 473 (follow signs to Painted Rocks State Park and continue past it) for 31 miles to the junction of West Fork Road take Woods Creek Road signed for the hot springs roughly 14 miles to Horse Creek Campground.

Features:  Several pools flowing into Horse Creek, the main pool has a wooden enclosure built around it and is about three feet deep and the source of the springs. The fire burned most of the trees from the junction with Woods Creek to the springs. The road is suitable for all cars but the many burned trees on the route could become an issue in a wind event.

Usage:  Medium

Temperature:  The temperature varies from 104 at the source to around 100 in the two other pools before it reaches Horse Creek. Take a dip in the creek for a quick cool down.

Overall:  Horse Creek is a great hot spring. The campground provides several camp spots and there are two newer outhouses available as well.

Horse Creek Hot Springs
Photos provided by MontanaHotSprings.net 2017
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Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

Pools were flooded out in the spring of 2017, however they have been rebuilt. The bottom right picture is the upper pool March 2018.

Directions:  West of Missoula, MT, 63 miles. From Missoula take Highway 93 South 8 miles to Lolo, MT. Take a right on US Highway 12 and travel west 55 miles. You will see the well signed Warm Springs trail head and large parking lot on your right. From here cross the highway and Lochsa river bridge, the hike is about one mile on a good trail to the springs.

Features:  There are three main areas of pools to choose from here, there is a pool next to the creek with a small waterfall (not accessible when the water is high), there are more pools about 100 yards down the trail. Beyond these pools there is one single pool another 100 yards beyond these pictured below.

Usage:  Heavy

Temperature:  This vastly varies by the pool and where you sit, they range around 105 degrees down to the creek temperature which is COLD.

Overall:  Jerry Johnson is a very busy spring, one of Idaho's most popular, if you go plan to go do it earlier in the day. Camping is not allowed and the spring is day use only until 8 PM, however the day use rule doesn't seem to be followed too often but we hear the forest service does patrol and issue fines. There are nearby campgrounds in the area, the nearest services are Lochsa Lodge or Lolo Hot Springs, MT

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Photos provided by MontanaHotSprings.net 2015
Bottom right photo by Christie Z. 2018
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Panther Creek Hot Springs

Directions:  South of Missoula, MT, 118 miles. From Missoula take Highway 93 South 118 miles to North Fork, ID. Take a right Salmon River Road west for 30 miles.

Features:  There is one large pool in the creek here. The creek is used to cool the water down as the source is dangerously hot. At the source there is an crude sauna which is a nice perk and its hot.

Usage:  Low/Moderate

Temperature:  185 degrees at the source. Be aware this is hot water, if you bring dogs secure them and check the temperature before using the spring. The spring is safe to use just use common sense. See the news article here Man burned, dogs die at Panther Creek

Overall:  Panther Creek is a unique place, take a weekend and explore the area, there are other springs in the area not yet listed here to check out as well. Camping is allowed at the springs but don't try pulling a camper up the road to the springs.

Panther Creek Hot Springs
Photos provided by MontanaHotSprings.net 2012
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Stanley Hot Springs

Directions:  Located near the Wilderness Gateway Campground in Idaho. To reach the campground trailhead travel west of Montana border 52 miles or 58 miles east Kooskia, ID. From Lolo Pass and Montana border travel west on US Highway 12 for 52 miles to the Wilderness Gateway Campground. From here you will have a moderate 6 mile hike via trail 211 to the hot springs.

Features:  The springs consist of a series of primitive rock walled pools along Huckleberry Creek. The last mile of the hike involves crossing Boulder creek, do not attempt a water crossing during spring run off, there are logs nearby you can use to cross the creek. The bridge here was washed away in the late 1990's and was not rebuilt.

Usage:  Moderate

Temperature:  Varies in temperature from 90 to 110 degrees depending on the pool you choose.

Overall:  Stanley Hot Springs is an awesome destination, you can also backpack here and camp in the area. This is a clothing optional spring.

Stanley Hot Springs
Photos sourced from AllTrails.com User Submitted Photos
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Weir Creek Hot Springs

Directions:  West of Missoula, MT, 74 miles. From Missoula take Highway 93 South 8 miles to Lolo, MT. Take a right on US Highway 12 and travel west 66 miles, 10 miles west of Jerry Johnson. There will be a small parking lot on your right after you round a corner on the highway. From here its a short half mile walk on one of two rough trails, one steep above the creek trail and one poor and often impassible trail along the creek to the springs. There is a new trail that avoids the route along the rocks along the creek and instead is a steep climb to avoid the area. The USFS has asked hikers to use the new upper trail to prevent creek erosion.

Features:  There is one large pool here that can hold 8 to 10. I usually go back to Jerry Johnson if there are more then five cars parked in the lot. You can camp at the springs as well as several spots near the trailhead.

Usage:  Moderate/Heavy

Temperature:  About 104 degrees.

Overall:  Weir Creek Hot Springs is a cool place if you catch it on a night when there aren't too many people.

Weir Creek Hot Springs
Photos provided by MontanaHotSprings.net 2013
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