Skinnydipper Hot Springs Federal Closure Order - No Joke!


Here's the link to the federal nighttime closure order for Skinnydipper Hot Springs AKA Mile Marker 4. The nighttime closure order remains in effect until May 24, 2009, and cites public safety as the reason for the closure.

The 2004 order was enacted in response to a surge in disorderly activity; gang fights in the pullout, tires slashed, windows broken... etc. However, signs posting the sunrise to sunset closure are continuously defaced and/or removed; making it difficult for officers to write tickets. To my knowledge, all posted closure signs have been either removed or have been defaced, and the hot springs/pullout has been in full swing. So, I don't know. It's been awhile since I've been up at night, but I've seen the aftermath in the a.m. many, many times.

This particular hot springs is actually administered by the BLM, despite being located in the Boise National Forest.

Why? Because the land around Skinnydipper is considered to be in critical condition. Did you catch that? CRITICAL CONDITION. This means pick up your trash, don't deface federal signs, don't even bring glass, don't take switchbacks (stay on the main, most-used, marked trail), pick up trash (even trash that isn't yours!!) and maybe, just maybe Skinnydipper Hot Springs can be saved.

Give them one more reason and they'll take it away.

Peace, HSG

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Super-Soak at Skinnydipper (video)


What more can I say, one of Idaho's best. Here's more on Skinnydipper...

Sunrise Soaking at Skinnydipper


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. Weekend and summer partying can get out of hand, especially on the weekend. 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 values alone at the top pool.

10.21.07 Trip Report

Skinny was awesome... arriving early is the only way to go. However, being the first on any Sunday has one major downfall... trash from Saturday night. I've never seen so much trash at a hot springs before, even Skinnydipper - the most abused in the entire state. There were glow sticks, cigs, candles, beer, wine, liquor, clothing, towels and more. I about died coming back down with all of that crap, and the smell inside my truck on the way back to Boise was choice to say the least.

Aside from the trash, the soak was stellar. It's a shame that the small group of volunteers work so hard just so the masses can keep trashing Skinny. Hat's off to the Keepers, you know who you are. And, a big thumbs down to those of you who don't pick up others' trash.
Rating: A-

View other pictures from this trip on my flickr account...

View the complete listing for Skinnydipper Hot Springs in Idaho

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Presenting The Hot Springs Guy Widget...

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Mid-October Soak @ Trail Creek Hot Springs in Idaho (video)


A well-known and used hot springs northeast of Cascade Idaho. The pools are a short, but steep hike from the highway pullout.

View the complete listing for Trail Creek Hot Springs in Idaho

Warm Lake Area Road Closure

Forest Service Roads 474 North and 474 South in the Warm Lake area northeast of Cascade Idaho are both closed due to road construction, more than likely, until just before snow falls.

The closures effect access to the following hot springs:

474 South

Vulcan Hot Springs, Molly's Tubbs, Molly's Hot Spring and All of the other Molly's.

474 North

Penny Hot Spring, Sugah Hot Springs, Teapot Hot Springs, Buckhorn Hot Springs, Darling's Cabin Hot Spring and Lodgepole Hot Springs.


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Trail Creek Hot Springs

10.14.07 Trail Creek Trip Report

I can't believe it has been almost 1 year since I was last here. Both of Trail Creek's pools are in excellent condition; deeper, new siphon hoses, wood palette and adjustable temperatures.

I was actually shocked to arrive and find the pullout empty. That could be because the Warm Lake Highway is under construction and the number of pullouts has vastly multiplied.

A quiet soak was enjoyed until a bunch of hunters pulled-in. They left their rig running, climbed down the trail, after their attempt at hiding behind trees and spying failed, and made their way down the trail to the pools. After milling about for a spell, walking past trash that I later would dispose of, they finally left. They probably spent a few bucks in gas on their little adventure.

Shortly after the hunters left a couple from Minnesota arrived, followed by yet another couple from Boise and finally a guy who just hung out in his truck. The brief, uninterrupted soak was stellar, but too much traffic for my liking.
Rating A-

View the complete listing for Trail Creek Hot Springs in Idaho

Above the Springs (pic)


Above the Springs
Originally uploaded by Rebecca Ellen
Great picture of Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in Idaho. This is the first source of 3 along the trail, known as the "waterfall-fed pools".

And Global Warming Doesn't Exist...

While Idaho Falls, Idaho is experiencing winter, places like Chicago are in the 90s. Yeah, there's definitely no such thing as Global Warming.

Boiling Springs Hot Springs Video Clip


At the end of a forest road in the Boise National Forest, north of the town of Crouch lies the historic Boiling Springs Guard Station - which is available for rent by reservation only. The real treat is the nearby hot springs; featuring rock walled pools with rock/sand bottoms that have minor amounts of silt/algae.

View all formats of this video (Flash/Quicktime etc.)

View the complete listing for Boiling Springs Hot Springs in Idaho

Basin Creek Campground Hot Springs near Stanley Idaho

General Description
Rocky user built pools that feature fluctuating temperatures with heavy silt bottoms.

Seasonal Notes
Pools submerge during high water.

Camping Notes
No camping at the hot springs since the campground is no more. However, plenty of official campgrounds along HWY 75 and even some primitive camping options.

Old Camping Notes
Hot Springs are located in Basin Creek Campground off HWY 75 along Basin Creek. There is a trail leading to the hot springs from campsite #4. There is also access via the dirt road on the other side of Basin Creek.

08.05.07 Trip Report

The main pool was too cool and the source pool too hot. Plenty of slit and not so great temps prevented me from soaking. I think a better pool could be built, but spring runoff will destroy it every season. Why? When there are so many other great soaks nearby. Too close to the highway anyways.
Rating: D

08.18.06 Trip Report

Basin Creek Campground is no more. Apparently, the flooding damage was too great. I wanted to check on the hot springs but the side road was closed due to bridge construction. The bridge crossing Basin Creek had washed out.

View the complete listing for Basin Creek Campground Hot Springs in Idaho

Cozy Cove Public Hot Springs in Idaho

Cove AKA Kem AKA Basin Creek Hot Springs in Central Idaho near Stanley.

General Description
Rocky user built pools with gravel/rock bottoms that are a short hike from the highway parking area near Stanley.

Seasonal Notes
Pools submerge during high water.

Camping Notes
No camping at the hot springs. However, plenty of official campgrounds along HWY 75 and even some primitive camping options.

08.05.07 Trip Report

Maybe next time? The temps were too sucky... again. I soaked my feet, though.
Rating: D

View the complete listing for Cove Hot Springs in Idaho

Hoodoo Hot Springs

General Description
A rebar reinforced 6 person sunken wooden box (approx. 6ft x 6ft/3ft depth) with seating, cold and hot water plumbing and a drain plug await at the end of a short hike and a bumpy, unpaved forest service road. Please drain after use to preserve the soaking box.

Seasonal Notes
Spring runoff has demolished the structure erected at the hot springs time and time again; imagine what could happen to the road - drive carefully in spring.

Typically, during winter, locals try to keep the road to the hot springs plowed. However, keep in mind the geographic location of this hot springs; 10 inches of snow can drop in mere hours. Again, be very careful. It should also be noted that harsh summer storms can oftentimes turn the road into a muck pot - there have been a few times where the road has actually washed away - leaving campers and hot springers stranded until rescue.

Camping Notes
Plenty of nearby National Forest primitive sites to choose from along the forest road, and many primitive and official campgrounds along highway 75. New for 05/06 is a small camping site next to the parking area trailhead. Don't camp here unless you are ready for round-the-clock visitors.

08.03.07 - 08.05.07 Trip Report

Great trip, stellar soak. Increase in trash and bugs; moderate amount of visitors. I encountered an interesting couple on the evening of the 4th. After the couple had been soaking for around 5 hours I went to get my soak-on. The two textiles were friendly enough. However, the dude was heavily wasted and kept asking me question after question while being totally rude to his wife. She eventually convinced him to leave, but not after I endured a full hour of not so nice banter. I sunk down into the hot springs after they left, looked up and let out a big sigh. The blanket of stars above my head more than made up for it.
Rating: A

View the Complete Listing for Slate Creek Hot Springs in Central Idaho

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Photos Published... Get Your Schmap On!

A couple of my photos of the Boise National Forest and Boise have been published in the third edition of the Boise Schmap Guide.

Here's the widgit:

And, here's the direct links:

Schmap Boise 1

Schmap Boise 2

Peace, HSG
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