Hike to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

Warm Spring Trailhead

This is an easy, short hike to beautiful hot spring pools for soaking! Best for use in fall and winter. Spring can bring high waters that wash out some of the pools.

Note: crampons and hiking poles are a necessity for navigating this trail in the winter months. The trail can be steep in some places and very icy.

Serious note: This area is used very frequently, resulting in abuse of the land. There is a problem with trash and clothing left behind. For this reason, it is a day use only. And please help protect and keep this area clean!

The trailhead is easy to spot because of the pack bridge crossing over the Lochsa River and the Warm Springs Trailhead sign. There is a large parking area across the road from the bridge with an outhouse. Cross the road and the bridge to the information bulletin board. Take a right to follow Warm Springs Trail #49 south along the creek for about one mile.

The trail strolls along Warm Springs Creek and a cedar forest. There is evidence of burn from the forest fire in 2012, but plenty of new growth springing up as well. The first of three main soaking pools is at the bottom of a very steep trail, right next to the creek. It is fed by waterfalls coming out of the hillside. The second pool is a bit further down the trail. It is marked by a large boulder in the center. There are a number of smaller pools in this area, but they are not very deep and are usually colder than the main pool. The third soaking pool is further still, with a view of a meadow and nearby mountain peaks.

Try out the different pools until you find a temperature that's right for you. Be prepared to soak with strangers, some without clothing! Spend the day relaxing and taking in the beautiful scenery, then pack it all up and head out the same way you came in.

Pack List

  • Swimsuit
  • Hiking shoes (for the hike in)
  • Sandals (for soaking and easy travel to different pools)
  • Towel
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Trash bag (pack in, pack out!!!)
  • Bear spray
  • Camera
  • Good vibes
Show More
RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 150 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Forest
Hot Springs
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

I'd Go Again

I haven't been there in a few months. News reported the spring thaw washed it out. I am not sure if all the pools have been restored. I guess I should check it out. I went in the winter and had no issues as long as I stayed on the trail.

Love this hot spring!

We always go in the winter and have never needed crampons, though shoe spikes would have been helpful a couple of times. Highly recommend staying at the Lochsa Lodge a few miles north and cross-country skiing at Lolo on the way to/from Missoula!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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