Idaho Hot Springs Pt. 1

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 simple smile

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.

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The hot water source at Skinnydipper Hot Spring

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 😉

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Some of the runoff at Skinnydipper Hot Spring

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.

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The river and pools at Rocky Canyon Hot Spring

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!

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The choices are hard to beat at Rocky Canyon Hot Spring

Rocky Canyon is definitely in my top five all time favorites.

The hot spring hunting continues…


12 Responses

  1. Donny says:

    In the early 70’s I visited a hot tub south of Mountain Home called Indian Bathtub as the hot water fell off the rocks into a huge boulder forming a natural basin as big as a pool to catch the water in.

    • Dan says:

      Donny – that sounds fantastic! I’d love to see some photos…

      • Donny says:

        No photo’s, old memories. Thought you may have heard the name, it was supposed to be a natural formation. Looked it. Be safe. Will contribute to your adventure when I am able. Donny, Biloxi, MS.

        • Dan says:

          Donny – memories are where it’s at. Every time I look at photos I’m amazed how poorly they do something justice. Being there is about 10,000 times better for sure!

  2. Mike says:

    What a great website and project. I found this while searching for Blogs about Skagway and reading another guy’s blog about his life in Carcross/Yukon. He referred his readers to your site. As I am way too old with three kids myself, it is great to see someone living their life. I would love to hear a bit about how you are funding this adventure.

    I have spent a bit of time in Whistler/Pemberton and it is one of my favorite areas. There are a couple hikes just north of Pemberton that I will remember my entire life. After skiing a few years in Whistler, I always wondered what the Aussies did on the off-season.

    I have read your entire site just to see what life has been like for you for the past few years, very inspiring.

    Travel safely. Make sure to visit Zion, Brice and the Grand Canyon as you make your way south.

    • Dan says:

      Mike – thanks for the advice! I’m about 30mins outside of Bryce right now in fact!
      I plan on posting about my budget and funds in the future, but safe to say it’s not an expensive trip – less is more is the key. I actually just calculated that my monthly expenses on this trip (including gas) are almost identical to when I was living in the city working a 9-5. Amazing!
      Take care, and keep adventuring.

    • Liz says:

      Mike I’d like to say you are never too old. Our parents have just move from Australia to New York City for ‘a bit of an adventure’. Their 3 kids are rather grown up now! Go for it, live it!

  3. HSG says:

    Great stuff… Idaho has so many stellar soaks! Sadly, the FS demolished the pools at Rocky Canyon yesterday. :(

    Such a beautiful place.

  4. Hotspring Harley says:

    Sir Dan, it was fun chatting with you at the SkinnyDipper hot springs. What an adventure your life must be. I would include a picture of the SkinnyDipper if I knew how to.
    We are all deeply saddend to loose the Rocky Canyon pools. We fear what might be next.
    Happy traveling and Thanksgiving day. Hotspring Harley

    • Dan says:

      Hey Harley, I’m so happy you left a comment! I had a great time at skinnydipper and hope it’s not under the chopping block. Rocky Canyon was fantastic and it’s hard to believe it’s gone!
      All the best.

  5. No Skinny says:

    Skinny Dipper is under a closure order from the BLM until the end of June, 3013 due to the 2012 forest fire. On another website, Hotspring Harley, informed everyone the piping has been remove to deter people who would choose to illegally defy the closure order.

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