Soaking in the White Cloud Mountains of Central Idaho

White Cloud Mountains and the Hot Springs

I recently had the pleasure of revisiting the White Cloud Mountains, located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) in central Idaho. A visit to this area isn't complete without checking out Hoodoo Lake, Crater Lake, Hoodoo Mines and of course - Slate Creek Hot Springs (AKA, you guessed it, Hoodoo Hot Springs).

This section of my backcountry adventure began when I turned onto FSR 666 off the main highway a few miles past Stanley, Idaho. Which is a good place to score a delicious Huclkeberry Milkshake, another must if you are traveling through Stanley. Normally, Slate Creek Road is a little rough, but this time through it was moderately brutal. Luckily, the scenery is spectacular, and I had a set of fresh tires w/spare. About halfway to the hot springs two kids shot out of the woods and ran along side of my truck for about a mile, grinning wildly. Crazy kids, reminded me of myself back in the day.

BNF Wildflowers

When I finally reached the hot springs I was disappointed to find someone's rig parked in my favorite camping spot. This 'rig' was a little freaky; it looked like half monster truck half RV, and like something from Maximum Overdrive. There wasn't a sole person around either. I really had not intended to soak-it-up until the evening, but a storm was darkening the sky and dropping the temperature. Naturally, I took advantage.

Trash was actually moderate to low, for Slate Creek. Only filled up one small bag. My campsite was an entirelly different story - I actually spent about 3 hours hauling someone's smashed up table out of a creek located in a small revene. Jerks must have threw/kicked it down there - and blocked up the creek, I was pissed! On top of that, there was all kinds of other crap everywhere. This trend unfortunately continued every night of this particular trip. All signs pointed to hunters and anglers very clearly. I know there are some good ones out there that leave a light footprint, but seriously! All of the Forest Service and BLM workers deserve a pay raise for dealing with not only the trash, but the mentality.

Dreary Day at Slate Creek

Slate Creek Hot Springs was a stellar soak, for sure. I wasn't too happy to find the pool filled up upon arrival. This old wooden-box soaking pool structure is weakening, and keeping it water-logged simply accelerates matters. Nonetheless, I was able to enjoy a nice soak (w/o rain) for a couple hours before lightning chased me off. Never did see the monster RV folks, but on my way out I passed multiple fire trucks and two helicopters carrying fire retardant.

Soaking Out the Storm

Video clips are coming soon. Ohh, yes - Sunbeam Hot Springs was still underwater, but there were plenty of people trying! I also tried to reach Bear Valley Hot Springs, but was unsuccessful. :(

Slate Creek Hot Springs Rating: A

View past trip reports, pictures and video clips of Slate Creek Hot Springs


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