August Jacob’s Hot Spring

During my previous trip to the area with Mark, we tried to find the much rumored August Jacob’s Hot Spring. The spring is supposedly on Frank Creek, which is the only direction given. Our bushwhacking was futile against the high water in the creek and dense foliage surrounding it, so we gave up in less than two hours.

One sentence in Glenn Woodsworth’s Hot Springs of Western Canada seems to attract those keen for a hunt:

Recently rediscovered by hikers, but I don’t have details.

During my previous trip to the area with Mark, we tried to find the much rumored August Jacob’s Hot Spring. The spring is supposedly on Frank Creek, which is the only direction given. Our bushwhacking was futile against the high water in the creek and dense foliage surrounding it, so we gave up in less than two hours.

So the spring exists, the only question is finding it. Because of my recent success finding Deer River and Portage Brûlé Hot Spring, a very knowledgeable person shared information with me about the location of the spring.

Ever on the trail for more hot springs, Mike and I camp at Skookumchuck Hot Spring and enjoy many hours of soaking long into the starry night. (Not) early the next morning we drive out to the starting point and begin our hike, not knowing at all what to expect. Borrowing a GPS seemed like a good idea, although we quickly find it useless in the very dense trees – it just can’t pick up any satellites. Even in clearings when it can get enough satellites for a location lock, the elevation it reports is wildly inaccurate. Sometimes the elevation gained in just a few steps would register as a hundred feet or more. This, combined with our lack of preparation and detailed map leads to much backtracking and back-backtracking.

On more than one occasion we talk seriously about giving up; “are we giving up completely, or just on this part of the directions?” Being a little tired and irritable does not help the situation.

When the spring comes into view we are both elated, grinning from ear to ear. Mike is the first to ‘do the honors’ and yells “It’s hot!”, “Wow, It’s really hot!”.

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Dan arriving at August Jacob's

The hot water cascades down a rock face about four meters into the creek below. The creek has carved quite a narrow rocky valley, making for a beautiful setting. A waterfall does it’s thing just a few meters away from the spring.

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August Jacob's valley

My thermometer shows 49 °C when placed right at the top in the very source. Two main sources have solid flow rates and are that temperate, a few others nearby are more like small trickles and are cooler, probably around 30 °C.

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August Jacob's Temperature - it was 49 up at the source

There are no soaking pools, and not a single sign of human presence here, so we leave the spring in it’s perfectly natural state. It would, however, be possible to build one or two rock pools fed with hot water and even channel in some cold from the waterfall.

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The setting of August Jacob's - hot water spurting out of rock in foreground

I can’t help but wonder how long this will take when the directions become public knowledge…

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August Jacob's Hot Spring

On the hike down we are beaming to have made it to the spring, a place that very few people have ever been.

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Mike and Dan excited to be at August Jacob's


8 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    Please do not ask me for directions to the spring, they are not mine to give.
    I have it on good authority they will be in the Third Edition of Glenn Woodsworth’s “Hot Springs of Western Canada” due out in Spring 2010.

    • Springhunter says:

      I’ve heard Glen intends to publish the location as well. I wish he wouldn’t but he says: “I have a little more faith in the public – not in the yahoos and the ghettoblaster crowd – but in general, I do. I think that if we’re going to make all these complicated land-use decisions, whether it be run-of-river or what to do with the hot springs or logging or fisheries or anything else, then the more people that know about the problems and issues the better.”

      I do not sahre his belief and respect you guys for keeping the location to yourself. I hope I’m wrong, but I think you should be glad you saw it before it gets “transformed” by someone like Mike Sato or damaged by what Glen calls the ghetto-blaster crowd.


      • Dan says:

        Springhunter – it’s a very very difficult decision to make and I’m glad I don’t have to.
        In this particular case I think it’s hard enough to get to that the ghetto-blaster crowd will be turned away – they heave the much easier Sloquet and St. Agnes Well just down the road anyway.
        I think it’s great people like Glen still have faith in the public – if nobody had any it wouldn’t be a very nice place to live.

  2. Charles says:

    Congatulations — I guess???

    If you are interested in some documents on this spring let’s meet.
    If however, you are more interested in hiking to springs not in Glen’s book I can also give you directions for your personal use.

    Wgen you were at August Jacob, did you go up the meadows to the cairns on the ridge where one of Glen’s seniors from Geological Survey did triagular mapping of the region?

    Sereral others (including myself) that don’t advertize our trips have treked into the Glacier Lake area in all seasons.


  3. Bryan says:

    That’s awesome that you guys made it to the spring. I went with a buddy but we ended up not getting high enough it appears and just camped out on a nice rock platform. We must have hiked for hours from our base camp setup and even though we didn’t find it, was still an awesome area to hike in, although pretty steep and thick.

    We are thinking of trying to find the Glacier Lake hot spring and would be interested in if there are soaking pools Charles? Feel free to reach me through my site if you see this although I like doing research and hunting for myself but a general direction might be nice :)

    • Dan says:

      Hey Bryan,
      You’re spot on, it’s a beautiful place to spend some time.
      Good luck on finding it, if you keep looking, you will :)

      As for Glacier Lake – I know of a group that went looking for it a year or two ago, but I don’t know of anyone that has actually found it.
      I have heard of a rumor of a spring in the general area that nobody knows about, but again, there is no “solid” information.

      Good luck!

  4. Ali says:

    Hey Dan, just stumbled across this. I’m an avid hiker and hot spring-er. Not asking for directions (I have a bit of insider knowledge), I was just wondering how long of a hike it is. Thanks!

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