Idaho Hot Springs Pt. 1
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
Moving along I find myself at Skinnydipper Hot Spring, with a brutal half mile hike basically straight up. It’s about 85 degrees and the trail is rocky and dusty – not the best weather for hot springing, but hey, I can’t complain
Arriving at the spring I’m excited to meet Ken and Harley, the two guys that made the spring usable back in 1995. They carried up about 50 bags of cement and a ton of piping, fittings and valves all by themselves to create pools just perfect for soaking. The majority of the plumbing is used to actually divert hot water, there is so much of it. It’s cool to chat to these two hot spring old-timers about the pros and cons of building up a hot spring with concrete and plastic Vs. leaving it entirely natural. We also discuss the problems associated with attracting the ‘loud music & beer’ crowd.
I soak for an hour or two then wander around the area investigating the source and all the plumbing. I didn’t get any pics of the soaking pools because, well, they were in use at the time 😉
All-in-all a fantastic hot spring with some really friendly people to chat to.
Everyone highly recommended Rocky Canyon Hot Spring, so off I went. This spring has also had quite a lot of work done – a few years ago a guy singlehandedly built many swallow-like pools on the side of a steep rock face to make for some superb soaking. The upper pools are just too warm for me to stay completely submerged, and they drop maybe a degree for each successive pool down so finding the perfect spot is not too difficult. Each pool has a drain pipe with plug and any overflow just goes right down to the next pool. They also have a very fine sandy bottom which is perfect for eliminating slime. The spring water is crystal clear, has not even a trace of sulfur smell and there is plenty of it.
Getting to the spring requires a walk across the river, which at this time of year was not more than a foot deep, but quite cold.
I stay two days at this spring at times having it all to myself, other times meeting people, chatting and watching families of ducks navigate the little rapids on the river. One family had so much fun, they got out, walked back to the top and did it all again – at times the little guys were going completely underwater, and they seemed to love it!
Rocky Canyon is definitely in my top five all time favorites.
The hot spring hunting continues…