This hot spring is located across the river on foot.
It was completely removed in 2009, but has been restored by volunteers.
Shining Rock Surface
South Middle Fork Road, a dirt road heading north from Garden Valley/Crouch, is said to be the busiest forest road in Idaho.
Many campgrounds are scattered along the Middle Fork Payette River, and the Silver Creek Plunge Resort is also famous.
On a cliff across the river from the road, I found a rock face that glowed a different color than the surrounding ground.
The forest road was wide enough to park a few cars on the shoulder, so I decided to get out of the car and walk across the river.
In December, the water in the Middle Fork Payette River was very cold.
The water was as deep as my thighs and I had to step on it to keep from being swept away.
Hot Springs on the Opposite Shore
The water level usually drops from late summer to early fall, so it is wise to visit during this time if you are concerned.
There were several rock pools along the river below the rock face mentioned earlier.
This is Rocky Canyon Hot Springs.
Although this slope appears to have collapsed naturally, it actually has a history of human destruction.
The incident occurred in 2009.
Prior to that, there were about five mortar-reinforced pools that were completely removed by the Forest Service, in part due to protests from local tribes concerned about environmental damage.
Originally a popular spot, the pools were soon rebuilt.
At the time of my visit, two pools were set up halfway up the slope.
Each was large enough for about two soakers and had a reasonable depth.
The water temp was 104 degrees F.
Clear, colorless, tasteless, odorless water was flowing down from above.
After carefully climbing up an extremely slippery slope, I found the sources.
The surroundings looked attractive, brightly colored with mineral deposits, but there were no soaking spots available here.
Related Hot Springs
In Idaho, a state full of wild springs, it is not uncommon to find hot springs on the other side of a river with no bridges.
At Brown's Creek Hot Springs, I had to give up soaking due to high river levels.