Idaho Hot Springs Pt. 3

In the morning I struggle to unzip the fly on my tent.. the zippers seem to be sticking for some reason. It hits me like a slap in the face when I realize what’s going on.
It snowed last night!
I’m shocked and grinning from ear to ear as I wander around in the still below freezing morning. All the rain has frozen so the doors on the jeep are frozen shut, the windshield has a thick layer of ice and the tent is covered in ice and snow. It’s a novelty, and I’m having fun with it, glad to be in high spirits.
I honestly thought I was done with winter for a long time so it’s a nice surprise.
I make a snowball and hurl it at the nearest tree. I retire a winner when it hits dead centre simple smile

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So much for escaping winter...

I had hoped to make the hike into Bear Valley Hot Springs, but another road closure meant it was out of the question, so I continue hunting elsewhere. Back on the highway the Sawtooth Mountains jump out at me like they are alive. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh coat of snow, strange lighting or my cold altered brain, but I think these pictures capture it well.

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The mighty Sawtooth Mountains

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The fresh coat of snow adds something I think

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Something about the lighting too

First up for the day is Elkhorn Hot Spring, aka. The “Boat Box”. My guidebook mentions an all-important cold water feed which I can’t locate. The water feels waaaaay too hot and it’s snowing hard so I move on without a soak.

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The extremely hot tub at Elkhorn Hot Spring

Basin Creek (Kem) Hot Spring is just a little down the road and sits between the highway and the river. A small amount of hot water feeds some natural rock pools right at river level. Again I can’t seem to find a ‘just right’ pool, so I move on.

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The pools at Basin Creek Hot Spring

Ample amounts of very hot water flow under the highway and feed several rock pools at Sunbeam Hot Springs. I’m eager for my first soak of the day and jump in without really testing the temperature of each pool. I’m a little disappointed to find this is another where the spring water is so hot and the river water so cold it’s difficult to find the sweet spot. I stay barely five minutes, not long enough to even warm up.

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Rock pools at Sunbeam Hot Spring

The snow is coming down hard now, so much so that driving is becoming a two-handed affair as the Jeep gets skittish around corners. I’m seriously weighing my options here… should I continue North to possibly the best hot spring in Idaho and across to Yellowstone or should I bail on the whole idea and jet South ASAP?
When it snows hard I want to drive South, when it clears a little, I want to continue North.

You know I’ll make the right decision simple smile


8 Responses

  1. Rhieanon says:

    Jacob and I say ” Go North!” but hey what do we know.Your the only one who knows whats the best for you but if it were me and there was someplace I really wanted to go I think I would risk the snow but thats easy for me to say sat at home with hot chocolate and central heating I guess.By the way I hope this will make you smile,we now have a lego “dan and jeep” in our house although its actually a fireman and the jeep is a fire truck but Jacob is adament that it is you.So far “you” have successfully circumnavigated the kitchen table and done some serious off roading down the stairs lol!Anyways I hope whatever you decide you stay happy and healthy.xxRhi and Jakes

  2. Loyd says:

    The only cold water is from a 5 gallon bucket which one dips out of the river. Every hard core hot springer should always have a 5 gallon bucket handy.

  3. u nvr fail to impress me. this is another good write up!!! 😉

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