No More Overnight Camping at Goldbug Hot Springs in Idaho

Goldbug Hot Springs in Idaho

The Salmon-Challis National Forest is no longer allowing overnight camping at Goldbug Hot Springs near Salmon Idaho. This is due to abuse; trash, tp, human flowers (blech!) and destroying of fragile vegetative areas. Let's be honest - this was only a matter of time... especially evident if you've ever visited Goldbug.

Sadly, all easy-access hot springs suffer nearly the same kind of fate. Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho - nighttime closure. Skinnydipper - nighttime closure, Kirkham - nighttime closure. All of these hot springs are stellar soaks, easy to reach and get continuously thrashed. These soaks also have the unfortunate side-effect of giving hot springers that respect others and the environment a bad rap.

I cringe at the thought of the holiday weekend going on right now. Many times have I arrived after to witness the disgusting mess left behind. Oh how many bags of trash I've filled after these 'holiday' weekends.


hettinger said...

From what I've heard, the order is actually about camping at the springs, and not about daytime and nighttime usage. Perhaps there is another order I am not aware of.

scan of the goldbug F.S. order.

Wonko the Sane said...


Did you just make it on to Talk of The Nation?

Somebody from Idaho was called into say that Hot Springs are a great place to spend time when in Idaho.

Hot Springs Guy said...

No, that wasn't me. I happen to agree with the statement, however!

Hot Springs Guy said...

Ahh, yes... thanks hettinger, I corrected the title.

Anonymous said...

you know as much as i hate seeing people hate on the wilderness like that i dont think its fair that one bad apple spoils it for the rest. thats why every time i see a can thats not mine or cig butt, i pick it up, cause not everyone understands pack it in pack it out... therefore i go by leave it better then you found it.

Hot Springs Guy said...

I completely agree with you, that's one of the reasons why I pick up everyone's trash. Many thanks to you for doing the same!! Awesome!! I wish more hot springers were like you.

Dwarvenfriend said...

I just wanted to clarify before my trips this coming spring/summer: Is there still camping at the base of the canyon?

Also, did you hear about the firefighter who died at GB last year? I was there the day it happend, arriving only shortly after the death. It was a very eerie night!

Much Love! and thanks!

Hot Springs Guy said...


To the best of my knowledge, all primitive campsites are currently posted as no camping from the trailhead all the way to the hot springs. This is only supposed to occur until the area is able to recover.

The closest nearby camping can be found on hwy pullouts a couple miles from the trailhead parking lot and national forest a couple more miles beyond.

I believe I have heard about the firefighter that lost his life. I actually didn't know he was a firefighter, unless another unfortunate soul lost his life there as well last summer. This event is partially responsible for the improvements made to the trail by the BLM last summer.

Be safe out there.


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