Owl Creek Hot Springs

General Description: A bushwhack to a couple of small soaking pools
General Location: Central Idaho outside of North Fork
Pool Type: Sand and Gravel with Rock Walls
Pool Temps: Extremely Hot (106° - 110° F), Very Hot (104° - 106° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: Summer to Winter, springs under water during spring runoff
Restrictions: None, but springs located on private property
Elevation: 3900 feet.
Distance from road: 2.50 miles.
Map Reference: Salmon National Forest Map or Frank Church Wilderness (North Half) Map or Bighorn Crags ID USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle

Videos

The Hot Spring:

  Owl Creek Hot Springs are located in a beautiful remote valley after a difficult bushwhack through a steep canyon.  When we did the hike most of it was pushing through bushes where the trail was very difficult to see.  The cabin near the springs just seemed to appear out of the bushes.  Several springs with temperatures varying from 95 to 125 degrees F emerge from cracks in the steep rock cliffs past the cabin.  They are on the opposite side of the creek than the trail and easy to miss.  The water flows into two person sand and gravel pools at the base of the cliff that are under water during spring runoff and need to be rebuilt every year.  When we were there two pools were built at two different springs sources.  One was cleaner and a better temperature than the other.  The books say the pools can be cooled with creek water by using a bucket at the springs, but there was no bucket when we were there.  It did not matter because the pool was a good temperature (about 106 degrees F) and there was a strainer at the pool to use like a shower.  The springs and the cabin are located on a parcel of private property surrounded by the Frank Church Wilderness.  This area should be respected with all leave no trace principles so the land owner continues to allow access.

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We attempted to find the hot

We attempted to find the hot springs on 5/28/16.... like it says... trail is hard to find in places & some of the trail has eroded away on a steep slope that was a drop off to owl creek. We turned around before we made it to the intersection of east fork & owl creek. :(

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