One of Idaho's Best Winter Soaks - Trail Creek Hot Springs

Trail Creek Hot Springs in Idaho

One of the best winter soaks

Pool Condition
The smaller pool of the two is now the largest pool as of 11.20.05. The depth of the pool is approx. 3 ft and width 10 ft; making it suitable for a 10-pack of soakers. This pool is the first thing you see once you make it down the path from the pullout and cross the river via man-made bridge (as of 03.12.06). It is now rocked walled and reinforced with mortar featuring a rock and sand bottom. Hot water slides down a colorful algae laden rocks into the pool from above while cold water comes in from Trail Creek (adjust the temp. via pipe caps).

Plumbing upgrade: adjustable value

The next pool you will come across just past the 1st is also mortar and rock walled. It can accommodate approx. 6 happy soakers and is about 8ft wide and 2.5 feet deep. Hot water enters the pool from below through the sandy bottom and bubbles up. It also enters the pool via green hose that is siphon fed from the source above the 1st pool. Cold water from the creek is piped in via dual intake pipes located in the lower portion of the pool closest to the most upstream point of the creek. Temperature is adjustable by moving the intake hose out of the water and / or adjusting intake / outtake pipe caps.

How Sweet It Is

Seasonal Notes
The lower pool submerges during spring runoff, but the upper pool evades because of tall mortar reinforced walls, which are high enough to resist the seasonally rampant creek. Sometimes during winter a 4x4 vehicle is required to traverse the last leg of the Warm Lake Highway... especially for accessing the pullout area. The Warm Lake HWY on occasion is subject to closure during severe winter weather.

Camping Notes
There is ample, level campsites with fire rings slightly above the springs and below the pullout. Be prepared to share if it's even the slightest bit warm outside. Other Boise National Forest camping areas and campground are nearby, as is Warm Lake and a variety of other hot springs.

The snow is always a nice touch

11.26.06 Trip Report
If I could put a title on this visit it would be "The Best of One World and the Worst of Another". The 2 pools are in the best condition I've ever seen them in, and I've never seen more trash here before. Both pools feature plumbing upgrades with the uppermost pool sporting a shiny valve; allowing for cold water intake control I.E. temperature control. The top pool clocked in between 105 and 107, the lower pool 109 to 112. Both pools have been dug further out, have had mortar reinforcement/repairs and have new/upgraded plumbing. I would have rated this soak A+ all the way but the surge in trash alarmed me; glass and can beer containers were sticking out of Trail Creek, beer and pop cans were smashed and tucked under rocks in the creek, little tea candles were all over the place, cig buts everywhere and even trash in the pool... nice. I know this place sees a lot of traffic, but the usual soaker around here is fairly environmentally conscience. These places are so rare, polluting them with trash is disrespectful to the environment, wildlife and other hot springers. Please pick up all trash you come across wherever you go.
Rating A-


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