3/29-30, Panther Creek (Big Creek) Hot Springs

Several years ago, perhaps up to 10 years ago, The Explorer was at our friends Doug and Jen’s house with one of their friends. They ended up talking about hot springs and their friend went through Daryl’s Idaho Gazetteer and wrote in a bunch of hot springs that previously were not on the map.
Fast forward to the day we left Goldbug when D suddenly remembered there was a hot spring listed nearby. We had a new destination!

After driving and driving and driving and driving down roads that seemed to clearly lead absolutely no where, we eventually reached the end of the road. It was late, but we wandered around the area for a bit looking for the hot springs. We didn’t find them, but it was obviously a well used camping area.

We woke up the next morning and made baller breakfast burritos. Sausage, egg, and cheese? Simple, easy, perfection.

Such tall trees!

After breakfast we wandered around the area for a bit looking for the elusive hot springs. We walked down the road for a bit and finally noticed a slight sulfur smell and saw some steam. They were found!

They are like a hidden gem! Hot, hot water and beautiful formations throughout the various pools.

There is an awesome steam room that was built from rocks and 2x4s. Supposedly the water into the steam room is 180° – in the very least it is SUPER HOT – so if you accidentally step in the water or, while trying to get out of the steam room and step on a rock that has water on it, you will burn your foot. Be careful.

The hot springs have such great potential. There is a plaque on one of the rocks with the names of the family who originally adopted the hot spring and made it what it once was (because today, it is less than as awesome as it could be). I wish I could find photos of what it used to look like. I’ve seen some photos from the 1990s and I wish so badly it was still wonderful like that today.  It’s my understanding that there was a fire in the area in the early 2000s that filled all of the pools with sediment. On top of that, there was a huge creek wash out about five years ago, furthering the damage to the pools.

We were able to find a small soaking pool that we could soak in for a bit (it’s really too bad the pools are all full of sediment, because the water is so wonderful), then took a steam (it’s like taking a tan) and nearly died while exiting the steam room.  The next morning we both woke up, hoping the other didn’t want to soak another day (I believe we were on day six of our hot springs tour), then packed up our stuff and headed back towards civilization.

We took our time driving back out the Salmon River and stopped at an interpretive center with petroglyphs. A little farther down the road, we saw some more a bit up a trail. It was so cool!


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