Hot Water Wanton at Weir Creek Hot Springs in Idaho

8.07.2006

Enlarged

As of July 2006 Weir Creek now features an enlarged main pool. The old pool used to fit approx. 4 people, the new one has the capacity to house 8-10 hot potters. Depth has increased as well, although the solid rock bottom is still somewhat "V" shaped. The original soaking plank is still in use, and the outer walls of the pool facing Weir Creek have been reinforced with mortar. The creek-side soaker below the main pool was also enlarged, features rock walls and sandy / gravel bottom and warm water (not hot). The secondary pool is no longer in use as hot water outflow was diverted to the enlarged pool.


Good ol plank

Lower portions of the trail to the hot springs submerge during spring runoff, just stick to the upper trail (which is steep in places) and you'll be fine. A trekking pole or walking stick works great on this brief but slanty hike any time of the year. During low water, the best route begins by following the main path (most worn) above the series of primitive campsites. After you pass the last site in the series the trail drops down to Weir Creek, at this point stay as low as possible (often walking short paths on the creek bottom) until reaching the springs.


There are some nice primitive sites near the trailhead / parking area, but don't expect privacy as the well-used hot springs trail is right next to all of the sites and an alternate trail that leads to the springs passes though each site. Oftentimes, soakers miss the up-portion of the trail on the way back and end up standing in your campsite with a confused look on their face. Beyond the hot springs (continue on the trail further past), directly across from and shortly before are 3 more primitive sites. There are also plenty of official camping options near the trailhead and primitives down the road. Many choose to car-camp at the trailhead and enjoy a fire in the adjoining pit. Tread lightly please - this area has been experiencing an influx of use and abuse.


Looking down on Weir Creek

It has been too long... 3 days of soaking at Weir Creek treated me well. I needed all 3 days to pick up the trash that littered the primitive sites, trail and hot springs area. My friend and I carted out sack after sack of trash. Broken glass was everywhere, diapers, metal cans and glass bottles in fire pits... fish hooks, wire... etc. The most annoying by far was the little, tiny bits of trash that carpeted almost all of the primitives. I even had to ford the creek, follow a fallen tree up to a secluded island on the creek to find the source of a seemingly metal reflection... more trash.


I met and talked with a variety of soaker types on this trip. All were travelers save for a couple semi-locals out of Missoula, MT. I noticed a common thread among the people I observed; they didn't litter, were polite but yet did not pick up anyone else's trash except for one couple from Moscow, Idaho (kudos to you guys)... a sad ordeal indeed. All of us, whether we like it or not, impact these areas despite how light we tread. Thank the environment for use of the hot springs by becoming a steward: pick up others trash, use main trails and set a good example for others. Please only burn wood in the fire pits, other materials don't break down and emit harmful gases into the environment.


Source pool

I qualified Weir Creek multiple times on this trip. Early afternoon to late night / early morning hours lead to consistent temperature readings of 108° (2 degrees higher than that of 2002) while early morning brought about consistent temperatures of 105° (1 degree higher than that of 2002).

The main pool, and only pool (aside from the warm, creek-side soaker) suitable for soaking had been improved since my last visit. Improvements rendered the pool wider and deeper, growing from 4 person capacity to 8+.


Base camp

I actually had a great time meeting and talking with fellow soakers, something that I rarely get to do around hot springs in southern Idaho. People were friendly, and to say the least it was refreshing. Weir Creek was a great place to unwind after a blistering hike to Stanley Hot Springs and beyond the prior 3 days. Before heading back home yet one more trip was to be had in this region, Jerry Johnson.
Rating A


3 comments:

Wonko the Sane said...

Thanks for picking up the trash. I spent six seasons working for the FS in Colorado when I was much younger. When I tell people that I was a "Back-country Wilderness Guard" their eyes light up and their faces turn a little green with jealousy. That is of course, until I explain to them that I spent the best part of my time in the wilderness collecting and packing out other people's trash. Now its a compulsion and I can't help myself. Still it is comforting to know that there is at least one other out there doing the dirty work.

Hot Springs Guy / Brother Hot Springs said...

Many thanks for the comment and kudos... it sure is nice to know there are others fighting the good fight. I hear you about it evolving to a compulsion. I can't stop. Thanks for all of the trash you have carted out over the years, awesome!

amyandbrandon said...

Your hot springs website is a great reference tool. We visited Weir in July. In our travel blog about it, we linked to your expertise on Skinny Dipper and Jerry Johnson. Thanks! We also made a short film about Weir. It's at http://www.youtube.com/user/mntl4play

Amy and Brandon
www.earthwormenvy.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Apture