Loftus Lessons: Full Trip Report

11.01.09 Loftus Hot Springs Trip Report

Loftus Hot Springs

Finally... at last! A nice long soak was enjoyed at Loftus with minimal interruption. I visited Loftus in conjunction with a number of other hot springs along the Middle Fork of the Boise River. This trip was actually dubbed as the "PIE" trip. I like pie, but not this kind. Poison Ivy Eye (PIE).

I partook in a stellar soak, making sure to stick my head (face first) into the hot waterfall that feeds the pool from above. Afterwards, everything seemed fine and dandy. Even hours later, all was well. However, the next morning it was completely swollen shut. Ironically, this was the same day KIVI wanted to chat with me on TV about the demise of the pools at Rocky Canyon Hot Springs.

After a little freak out, I finally went to a doc in the box. I thought something was stuck in it. The doc took a look, then asked if I had been in any poison ivy. Well. I did notice a few growing above the hot springs, where the hot waterfall originates from. As well as, what I thought to be at the time, small clusters of oil in the actual pool.

Apparently, the ivy is too diluted once it enters the pool. However (lucky me), not the case with the waterfall. He prescribed me a $300 tube of steroid cream and was out. My eye eventually opened back up and looked like a beast eye for a few days. KIVI let me keep my shades on by shooting outside, and I have learned to not stick my head into hot waterfalls.

Thank goodness the soak was incredible. There was a friendly Asian fellow that soaked as well, but only for about a half hour before leaving. Who, I might add, spent more time than I in the hot waterfall. Nearby, there was a semi-awkward hunter guy who had setup camp at one of the primitive sites. He would wander out of his camp, where he just stood in one place, to a knoll above the road when vehicles passed by. Then, return to his standing position. Luckily he wasn't visible from the pool unless he was milling about. You see/meet all kinds out here folks.

I was just happy that there was practically NO TRASH, and that I got enjoy a kick*ss soak without having to pick up a bunch of trash first. Impressive, considering the terrible condition of the entire area my last visit.

Side Note: I took the Middle Fork Boise River Road off State HWY 21 near Lucky Peak on the way into the area. On the way out, I made a bad judgment call and took a series of forest roads up towards Morse Creek Summit thinking it would be a quicker way back to Boise. I've taken this route before, but only during the summer.

It was a NIGHTMARE. Steep, slick, rutted, wash boarded, frozen and littered with deep pot holes. I had good tires on my truck; a rear-wheel, two-wheel drive vehicle with virtually no weight in the back. It was one of those trips where I kept thinking "Crap. I'm pretty sure I didn't tell anyone where I went." over and over again. Obviously, I made it back, but not after thrashing my truck on the way out.
Rating: A-


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