Camp at Weir Creek Hot Springs

Details

Distance

0.5 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Liz Schroeder

Backpack in and camp out near one of Idaho's finest natural hot springs. Enjoy the warm pools while you're surrounded by beautiful forest.

The forests around Highway 12, which cuts through Idaho and Montana, are dotted with wonderful natural hot springs. The more well-known ones (Lolo, Jerry Johnson) can get really crowded and have suffered from over-use by humans. Weir Creek hot springs, while still popular, are a little less known. They're also a little more difficult to get to than some of the others, which deters some folks. Because Missoula is the closest "big" city, many people claim that Weir Creek is in Montana, but it is actually in Idaho's Clearwater National Forest. Whether you come in from the east or west, the drive is beautiful, as the road winds along the Lochsa River.

The parking lot for Weir Creek is located off Highway 12 around mile marker 142. There is not a sign, so you'll need to pay attention. The parking lot can fit about 12 cars, so arriving early can help ensure that you get a spot. Don't be too worried if your pack is a little on the heavy side. The hike in is pretty short. In fact, there are three primitive campsites just off the parking lot if you're into convenience. These fill up quickly, and there can be a lot of foot traffic as people come and go from the hot springs. Because of this, I recommend passing these. You'll walk along a narrow ridge that can be a bit tricky in places. After a short hike, you'll come upon a rocky area where the hot water flows up through the rocks and streams down into a pool that's been carved into the rocks. The pool is on the edge of a "cliff" that overlooks Weir Creek. There is another smaller pool further up the hill, but this one is lukewarm at best. This area can be a little slippery, especially with a backpack, so tread carefully. Keep going past the pools (don't worry, you'll get to enjoy them soon enough) and explore the areas along the creek to find your preferred campsite. Depending on water levels, you may be able to walk across the creek, but if it's too high, there are a few fallen trees that make excellent bridges. There are additional primitive campsites across the creek.

Once you've decided on your site, set up camp! At this point, you can hang out at your campsite, explore the area, or check out the pools.

TIPS:* Try going during the week to avoid the weekend crowds* Wake up early, make some coffee, and head up to the pool. People tend to party late, so morning is your best chance at having the pool to yourself* If you are looking for a peaceful weekend, this may not be your ideal camping trip. People tend to be pretty loud late into the night.* There aren't really any trail at this location. If you want more than just camping and hot springs, you can leave your campsite and drive either way down 12 and you'll find plenty of hiking trails to choose from within a few miles of Weir Creek.* If you're traveling from Spokane, it's neat to take I90 through Missoula for the way there, and then return home continuing sw on 12 through Lewiston. You'll see a lot of different scenery.

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Known for

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Hot Springs
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby

Reviews

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Great Hot Springs, Good Camping

This place is great other then the rowdy crowds and flash light show on our tent at 1am. Come ready to socialize.

4 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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