I opted to trek across Idaho using Hwy 12 instead of the generic Interstate 90. By looking at the map Hwy 12 seemed like a better, more scenic route. Boy was I right! This was an awesome drive through the mountains and it being the road less traveled made for a very relaxing drive.
I noticed a few Pull Offs along my route and stopped at a few but none of them were as popular as this one. This surprised me as it was a weekday so I pulled over to investigate.
A short walk across the highway there was this awesome footbridge. This must be where the people went since there wasn’t a trail near the parking lot.
The walk across the bridge was an experience in itself. A good one… Very scenic and relaxing.
The river rolling beneath… very calming.
Once I crossed the foot bridge there I was. At the Jerry Johnson Trailhead. As I read the sign it became clear why there were so many cars in the parking lot. The trail in fact led to some natural hot springs. Jackpot!
The hike out was pretty easy, nothing intense or no major steep elevation changes. The trail was pretty light to moderate but still made for a pleasant hike.
A few openings in the trail along side the river makes for a good photo op.
Back on the trail a bit longer… By this time I’m about 30 minutes in and I’m starting to wonder how much further. It was about this time I ran into a few people leaving the springs with towels in tow and they inform me I’m not much further away. I continue on.
This is the first point I noticed some hot water coming from the mountain I’m walking on. You can see it in the bottom center portion of this photo. It seems this area gets a lot of traffic judging by the foot path down to the water.
The total hike it turns out was a tad bit over a mile. Took me about 45 minutes to make it from the bridge to the furthest Hot Spring #3.
These two photos were taken with my back facing Hot Spring #1. The reason? Well let’s just say these springs were “clothing optional” and had 5 people in Hot Spring #1.
Hot Spring #2 a little further down the trail was, in my opinion the nicest, and deepest of the 3 pools. And yes, it contained naked people in it as well. I think 5 people total.
I carried on to Hot Spring #3 which was the furthest and smallest pool of the three. This was the only pool that contained no naked bodies so I felt ok photographing it. This pool was pretty small and wouldn’t fit many people which is probably the main reason it was empty.
An overall map showing the location of the springs in relationship to the parking lot and the foot bridge. I went on a weekday in the middle of May and the first two pools were pretty active. I can’t imagine what these are like on the weekend or even in the summer.
Here’s the layout of the three pools. You can see their orientation in relationship to each other. My advice would be to go early and lay claim to a spot or two in Hot Spring #2 as it was definitely the nicest and most scenic of the three. Oh and if you have an issue with other naked bodies around this place may not be the place for you because chances are there may be a few around.
Location: Jerry Johnson Hot Springs