in Spokesman Review!

1.31.2007 was in the Spokane newspaper (and North Idaho), the Spokesman Review last Sunday in a special article titled "Hot Spring Havens". It was a well-written piece that featured commercial hot springs in Montana. WTG Cassy!

Bonneville Hot Springs Video Clip


The hotels in london often offer cheap rental cars as well. Most of them are from hertz car rental service. The hotel deals usually are followed by las vegas flights. Now the kingfisher airlines are also striving to become a part of travel deal.

Sunrise Soaking at Skinnydipper Hot Springs


Skinnydipper, AKA Mile Marker 4/Deer Creek Hot Springs, is one of just a handful of hot springs that are within 1-2 hours from Boise, Idaho. Drive time from Boise is approximately 1 hour. Skinnydipper is Idaho's most recent hot springs discovery. In the 1990s, Hot Springs Harley found and cultivated the hot springs with Keeper Ken's help into what it is today. The .25 mile hike up from the Banks-Lowman Highway pullout is steep and treacherous at times. A loose-knit group of volunteers labeled "Keepers" maintain the trail, pools and plumbing. Partying can get a bit out of hand, especially on the weekends and during the summer nights. Fights, vandalism and vehicle break-ins have been known to occur during peak usage.

A chain of large and deep, rock and mortar pools are located high above the busy Banks-Lowman highway. Water is piped-in with the ability to quickly adjust the temperature with valves for each pool. Please note, the Keepers request that you leave the plumbing and valves alone.

Be wary of the mud and rock slides that are a common occurrence along the Banks-Lowman Highway, especially during Spring and Fall. The trail up to the pools can get slippery and FAST! The same goes for the winter season, except the trail is layered with thick sheets of ice and snow. Rain gear is always nice to have for 'just in case' reasons. Otherwise, Skinny is accessible virtually all year around! Skinnydipper is no longer posted as having nighttime closure in effect.

There is a small 2-person tent sized spot slightly east of the party pool that is on a flat rock wedged into the mountain side. Falling off this rock ledge could be fatal so sleep cautiously and expect plenty of rowdy nighttime/overnight visitors. There is a slight possibility of camping above the springs as well. I have yet to further investigate this. Boise National Forest campgrounds are abundant in this area. However, the close ones are around 10-15 minutes away from Skinny's pullout.

01.21.07 Trip Report

Too long has it been since my last visit. Our early arrival yielded to a slippery climb up the icy trail to the hot springs pools. We made excellent use out of our trekking poles. All 3 pools were in excellent conditions. In fact, I would have to say they are as clean as I've ever witnessed. The new plumbing in place is definitely being utilized properly. We could have used brighter flashlights as we arrived a couple hours prior to sunrise.

I chatted with a solo-soaker shortly before we began departure preparations. The friendly guy headed down to the lower 'party' pool where he proceeded to line up his brewskies on a rock. This guy was a rockstar, drinking beer at dawn. I hope he's careful on the way down. It was a bit brisk getting out; our coats were adorned with ice crystals on any part of the fabric susceptible to moisture.

After filling two bags with trash I was out of space; this being the most disappointing facet of the trip. It seemed like most of the trash came from one or two individuals the previous night. I found a broken flashlight (the batteries were further down the hill), clothing, full can of chili, full can of sparks and a bunch of other garbage carelessly scattered all over the place between the parking pullout and pools.

All it takes is one.

Rating: A+

View the complete listing for Skinnydipper Hot Springs on

Bonneville Bliss...


Bonneville Hot Springs, a .25 mile hike and accessible from the official campground of the same name is located just off highway 21 north of Lowman. Bonneville features user built rock pools with sand/silt bottoms and a private soak shack that houses a bathtub.

While the hot springs are accessible all year, the campground closes during winter - access via snowshoes or skies. This increases the length of the hike from .25 miles to approximately 1 mile. The campground usually opens mid to late April, and on occasion early May (depending on snow levels).

Bonneville is an actual National Forest Campground, the hot springs are a short hike north of the camping area. Other NF camping sites/areas are also available nearby.

01.15.07 Trip Report

I had to break the chain; the last 2 times I've been here were both in April. No more. January proved to be the perfect time visit Bonneville Hot Springs. We could have snow shoed or cross country skied into the hot springs, but boots were our selected mode of transportation. Luckily there's almost always a well-packed trail. In the past, the entrance to the campground was plowed just enough for a couple vehicles to park. This time the only place to park was at the Warm Springs Trailhead parking area shortly before the Bonneville campground entrance, which is also an alternative route to the hot springs.

Hot Water Happenings

For those of you 'in the know' in regard to my last couple activist-related posts, please forgive me. I am merely trying to educate those 'not in the know'.

In regard to hot water, well, there's plenty of it. Coming next will be a trip report and pictures of Bonneville Hot Springs from a visit on Monday. Also next, a guest submitted trip report (w/ pictures) of Dunanda Falls Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.

Upcoming events are posted in the hot springs forums calendar

Wolf Myth Busting - The Truth About Wolves


MYTH: Wolves are "vicious killing machines" with no purpose.
FACT: Like any top predator, wolves play an enormously important role in their ecosystems.[1]

MYTH: Wolves are very dangerous and commonly attack people.
FACT: Wolf attacks are among the rarest of all large mammal attacks on humans. In fact, a person in wolf country has a greater chance of being hit by lightning, dying of a bee sting, or being killed in a collision with a deer than being injured by a wolf. [2]

MYTH: Wolves devastate elk herds, leaving hunters with fewer elk to kill
FACT: Elk and deer populations have not been wiped out by wolves. For example, in Idaho, data show that in 2005 (the most recent year we have stats for) hunter harvest numbers were higher than in some years before the wolf even arrived in the state. [3]

MYTH: Ranchers are not reimbursed for their losses to wolves.
FACT: Most livestock owners with proven or verified losses of their stock seek and receive compensation for their losses. [4]

MYTH: Wolves are causing serious economic harm to local communities.
FACT: Wolves in Yellowstone have attracted more than $35 million annually to local economies. [5]

[1] Smith, D.W., R.O. Petersen, and D.B. Houston. 2003. Yellowstone after Wolves. Bioscience 53 (4): 330 340. Ripple, W.J., and R.L. Beschta. 2004. Wolves, elk, willows, and trophic cascades in the upper Gallatin range of southwestern Montana, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 200: 161181. Crabtree R.L., and J.W. Sheldon. 1999. Coyotes and canid coexistence. Pp 127163 in Clark TW, Curlee AP, Minta SC, Kareiva PM, eds. Carnivores in Ecosystems: The Yellowstone Experience. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.
[2] Lukens, Jim. “Idaho, eleven years with wolves what we’ve learned.” News release, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, April 25, 2006.
[3]Lukens, Jim. “Idaho, eleven years with wolves what we’ve learned.” News release, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, April 25, 2006.
[4];; and
[5] John Duffield, Department of Economics, University of Montana.

Steens Mountain in Southeast Oregon at Risk!

The view from the top of Steens Mountain (Alvord Desert below)

The BLM in Oregon is considering opening up Steens Mountain to Off Road Vehicles (ORVs).

Steens Mountain, nestled in the corner of Southeast Oregon, towers above the Alvord Desert and Hot Springs. I love this area because of the severe lack of people and noise. It's one of the best places to go hiking and backpacking with hot springs rewards waiting to soothe your aching body. This area is also composed of protected Wilderness and Wilderness Study areas.

The East side of Steens Mountain

The only other folks I've run into in the area are either locals, hikers, backpackers, Bighorn Sheep hunters and rock hounds. So, why does the BLM want to open up Steens Mountain to ORVs? My best guess is to provide hunters easier access to Bighorn Sheep. 90% of the hunters I've met were either drunk, lazy or both. I've heard complaints from the hunters that they can't get their rigs high enough up the mountain. It seems that the nice trails and brief hike are just too much for this out of shape group. And, we're talking about the east side of the Steens. On the west, one can drive the Steens Mountain loop all the way up to the top!

What the BLM is considering could seriously undermine the very qualities that make Steens special by dramatically increasing off-road vehicle (ORV) use and officially permitting ORVs in currently protected Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas!

We Need To Take Action!

There's still time left before the BLM formalizes their proposal. Click here to view, edit and send the BLM a letter!

More About Steens Mountain

Steens Mountain towers one vertical mile above the high desert. Here, one can explore glaciated valleys replete with majestic bighorn sheep, stands of quaking aspen and alpine meadows where golden eagles soar high above. Steens is an ideal place for quiet backcountry recreation and experiences, and is a jewel in our National Landscape Conservation System.


Anti-Wolf Rally in Boise Huge Embarrassment, Supported by Governor Butch Otter


In Boise today, an anti-wolf group which calls itself The Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW) rallied on the steps of the capital building. The group of hunters came from around the state in hopes of generating public support for a federal proposal to eliminate crucial Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies. These are the same wolves that were almost wiped out in Idaho completely just a few years back.

The group claims that the reason for the rally is that wolves are killing livestock and sheep, and are ruining hunting opportunities. In realty, less than 1% of sheep and livestock are killed by wolves (Source:, and deer and elk populations have been relatively unaffected by the wolf reintroduction (Source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game). Meaning, hunter harvest rates have remained the same; hunters do not have less deer and elk to hunt because of wolves.

So, what do you do with a campaign founded on misinformation instead of science and facts? Bring on the Governor and the TV cameras, amplify that misinformation...

Idaho Governor Butch Otter stopped by to lend his voice and ultimately elevate the overall level of ignorance. During his speech, Otter stated how he eventually wants to see hunters kill enough wolves to bring the population down to about 100 wolves or 10 packs. That's the lowest threshold the federal government would allow before wolves again would be considered endangered. Hence, the cycle would start anew as taxpayers would again have to foot the bill for wolf reintroduction efforts.

Otter told the SFW hunters that once wolf-hunting is allowed, he wants to bid on the first ticket to shoot a wolf. Otter also supports an aerial gunning program where low-flying aircraft enter into protected wilderness areas in order to machine gun entire packs of wolves. However, he failed to mention the latter to the rally-goers. I wonder why?

What You Can Do

Please spread the word to your friends and family. Education is key. Please feel free to call Governor Otter’s office at 208-334-2100 and urge him to let science, not misinformation, guide Idaho’s wolf management plan.

Wolf Resources:
Additional Sources/References:

More Atlanta Hot Water....

Next up, in regard to my catch-up effort, is the two undeveloped Atlanta Annex Hot Springs. Two good looking soaks in the midst other great developed (non-commercial) hot springs soaks.

Lots of potential, but right next to the road

Two hot springs with potential lie between three other excellent hot springs. Coupled with high visibility (right next to the road), hot springers are best off continuing past the annexed hot springs to one of the other nearby soaks.

09.16.06 Trip Report

There's potential here. But why? Especially with 3 other great hot springs nearby; Atlanta, Chattanooga and Powerplant. If you are on you way to either of the 3 you'll drive right past Atlanta Annex 1 and 2. Each has a large pool with enough hot water flowing for pool development, but again, why? Leave the two annexed soaks alone and head down the road to one or three great hot soaks.

Hot Springs in Atlanta.... Idaho

Here are the pics and trip report from one of many late season 2006 soaks that I'm playing catch-up on. All video clips are current, the individual hot springs listings are getting there! Best wishes, HSG

Atlanta hot springs features one large rock and mortar reinforced pool complete with benches and piped in hot and cold water. Please note that Red Spider Mites are known to inhabit this hot springs. This place is wildly popular with the citizens of Atlanta; where the hot springs is well-known and used - oftentimes for bathing! We all know using any kind of soap in a hot springs is a big no no and illegal.

The majority of roads into Atlanta close during winter save for one route which is sketchy, especially given the large amount of deaths that occur on this road during the summer months. Note: The Middle Fork Boise River Road is a rough one - this is one of my least favorite roads to drive on in Idaho due to the insane washboards. Just something to keep in mind. During the summer you can cut down on the drive time by taking on of the many FSRs off State HWY 21 to the Middle Fork Road.

Plenty of nearby National Forest campgrounds and primitive sites to choose from. Just .5 mi up the road there are free developed sites available for use at Powerplant Campground. This might very well be one of the last campgrounds in Idaho that remains free despite having water, tables and an outhouse.

09.16.06 Trip Report

I've been wanting to come here forever! Well, at least since I've been into hot springs, which has been the last 10 years of my life. The stories are true! The soaking was stellar despite Red Spider Mites (RSMs). I figured out long ago, that you can almost completely avoid RSMs by applying natural insect repellent lotion immediately AFTER soaking. The little buggars don't like the stuff and usually leave.
Rating A-

A Look Back at 2006

2006 was a great year for first-time visits to many stellar soaks, the most notable being:
The best hot springs trip of 06, by far, was backpacking into Stanley Hot Springs in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in central Idaho.
New information was reported on 78 hot springs in 2006! Thank you to all of you contributors as well!

Coming in 2007:
  • New general listing format, each hot springs listing will come complete with map options and GPS coordinates
  • Completion of the Idaho commercial hot springs area
  • Non-commercial hot springs map navigation
Best wishes to all of you, and please don't forget to pickup trash and tread lightly.

In Peace,

Related Posts with Thumbnails