Hot Soaks in the Sawtooths

Commercial Style Soaking @ Baumgartner

The early bird gets the soak

Baumgartner was a great soak early in the morning, but as the campground began to wake up the pool began to fill-up... with people. We felt lucky to have enjoyed a soak for about an hour with only a handful of other people. If you were in a helicopter it would have looked like srteams of people trickling out of their campsites and converging into a thicker stream that converged directly on the hot springs. The key here anytime of year is to soak early. The pool is drained daily, bright and early.
Rating A

Baumgartner Hot Springs Complete Listing

Chased Off by ORVers @ Willow Creek Hot Springs

The horse transfer camp and all nearby primitive camps were full-up! Tons of horses and tons of 4 wheelers... and I mean tons! There was vegetative damage from the 4 wheelers present everywhere. I've never seen so many people in this area before, let alone 4 wheelers. This area of the Sawtooths is now an off road vehicle park. Forget getting any peace and quiet and prepare for non-stop clouds of dirt being kicked up. There was even an outfitter present - I at first thought someone bought the land and was using it as a personal junkyard. The outfitter thrashed the entire expanse of their primitive site in addition to expanding it to suit their needs. The area directly adjacent to the outfitter camp featured clear evidence of 4 wheeler damage. In fact, just from driving the length of FSR 008 there were multiple areas that were clearly damaged as a direct result of 4 wheelers driving off track. This went from one of my most favorite areas of the Sawtooth NF to my least. I've never seen an area transform so quickly. I was so disgusted that I documented the damage then left.

Willow Creek Hot Springs Complete Listing

The Hustle & Bustle of Bridge Hot Springs

I was surprised to see anyone soaking this soon after spring runoff, but the horde of campers and soakers had diverted one of the main hot spring outflows to a channel large enough to pack in a dozen soakers on the bank opposite of the campground. I soaked only long enough to qualify, way too many people for my taste.
Rating B-


Joel said...

I am definiely coming up your way next time we come back to the U.S. Home for me is Pennsylvania. No hot springs there...
I wonder if anyone in Idaho needs a Japanese-English interpreter...

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