Horse Creek Hot Springs

General Description: A roadside bath house nestled deep in the Challis National Forest
General Location: Central Idaho outside of North Fork
Pool Type: Bedrock with sand bottom
Pool Temps: Hot (102° - 104° F), Slightly Hot (100° - 102° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: Summer to late fall due to winter road closures
Restrictions: None, but local custom seems to be one group soaks at a time
Elevation: 6000 feet.
Distance from road: 0.00 mile.
Map Reference: Salmon National Forest Map or Horse Creek Pass ID USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle

Videos

The Hot Spring:

  Horse Creek Hot Springs are a good reward after many miles bumping around on a dirt road.  A campground is right next to the springs with outhouses, picnic tables, and fire pits so it's easy to just chill and relax near the springs.  Because the springs are directly off of a maintained dirt road many RVer's with dirt bikes and ATV's like to chill here also.  These delightful types of soakers are called "chunky dunkers" because they choose to drive there ATV 100 yards from the RV to the hot spring instead of walking.  Usually at least one group of RV's are camping at Horse Creek Hot Springs Campground despite the long drive during the summer.

  A small bath house is built over the springs blocking the view on all sides except for a small window and the door.  A roof is over the changing area to keep clothes dry and it is open above the pool for star gazing.  The pool is a bedrock pool with sandstone bedrock on all sides and a sand bottom.  The 103-104 degree F water bubbles up from cracks in the bedrock all around keeping the water temperature at a comfortable 102-103 degrees F.  Four people can fit comfortably in the about 4 feet deep pool and get a really good soak.  One strange thing is that the local custom seems to be to close the door of the bath house and lock it from the inside, so that essentially only one group of people can soak at a time.

  A bridge is built between the parking area and the bath house so you can walk directly to the bath house and avoid the steep hill (keeping with the chunky dunker vibe).  The bridge also makes it so you don't walk in the runoff of the spring inside the bath house.  The runoff flows down the hill and collects in a nice sand and gravel pool.  The water temperature is only about 95-100 degrees F depending on weather and wind conditions but you can see the beautiful view.  The overflow pool is a good option on hot summer days and it's a little bigger, fitting 4-6 people but only 1-2 feet deep.

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Oh my holy f-ing god that is

Oh my holy f-ing god that is a scary ride to the springs from montana!!!

Spent numerous summers here!

Spent numerous summers here! Can't wait for it to be back to normal. Please keep it clean visitors. Spent lots of hours cleaning the areas around it.

In the summer of 2011 the

In the summer of 2011 the springs and surrounding area were burned in a wildfire. The bathhouse, while charred, is still standing. In 2012, it became the headquarters and bathing area for a lot of commercial mushroom harvesters, picking morels that grew after the fires. They left the area a huge mess, with garbage, human waste, etc. By 2013, we hope it will once again be worth the trip.

shameless!! hahahahahaha

shameless!! hahahahahaha

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