Idaho

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs - Hot Springs in Idaho

This consists of three major sources.

It is one of the most popular wild hot springs in northern Idaho.

Caution

There is information that the area is closed due to damage from wildfires. Please consider visiting based on the latest local information.

The First Pool

The largest nearby city to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs is Missoula, Montana.

Parking Lot 01

Over an hour from the Missoula area, I found a parking lot with a vault toilet along the highway west on Route 12 into Idaho.

No fee was required.

Trailhead 01

It is a 2.6-mile round trip hike from the parking lot to the hot springs.

Bridge 01

Due to the popularity of hiking trails in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, I recommend starting early to avoid crowds.

Bridge 02

On the other side of the highway is the Warm Springs Creek Pack Suspension Bridge

It is a spectacular suspension bridge over the wide Lochsa River.

Trailhead 02

The trail was basically low in difficulty, with the stream to the right.

Trail 01

Of the three main sources, the first one was cascading and could be seen from the mountain path.

Alpaca
Alpaca
It's down a steep cliff.
Better have non-slip shoes.
Capybara
Capybara
Another Source 01

The pool juts out into the river and is submerged for much of the year due to melting snow.

The Second Pool

Riverbed 01

Near the second source, there were some pools with high temperatures, which made for a pleasant soaking experience.

Hot Pool 01

At the bottom of the slope, a short distance from the stream was the main pool.

Stream 01

It was marked by a central rock formation with a characteristic concave shape.

Sources 01

The sources themselves were two a short distance up the slope.

Sources 02

The hot water spilled from there was being drawn into the pool mentioned earlier.

Hot Pool 02

The water was clear and colorless, tasteless and odorless, and 109 degrees F.

Water Temp 01

Although the depth was somewhat lacking, the hot pool was comfortable with little algae or mud.

Soaking 01

It would be great if we could camp on this riverbank, but in reality it is limited to day use from 6 to 8 PM.

If you want to camp, the summer-only Jerry Johnson Campground is available just a 3-minute drive west of the parking lot.

Stream 02

There are 20 campsites for $14.00 per night.

Incidentally, Jerry Johnson, the name of the hot springs, is the name of a prospector active in the area during the 1880s and 1890s.

Rock Pool 01

The cabin he used as his base of operations was present at the campground.

Soaking 02

Now, the hot water overflowed from the sources and the main pool flowed over the ground and into several rock pools along the river.

The water was lukewarm, mixing with the river water.

The Third Pool

Trail 02

The third pool, located at the far end, was in a meadow quite far from the stream and was marked by a fallen tree.

The water temp was lower, and I felt that the mud on the bottom tended to float.

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs
Ross M. Perkins - Jerry Johnson Hot Springs (2015)
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Summary

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, Idaho, U.S.

My rating

Type: Undeveloped

Rule: Clothing optional

Chemical use: No

Water temp: Up to 109 degrees F

-Idaho
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