Hike to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

Idaho Warm Spring Trailhead

Added by Meredith Baird

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, broken glass, 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
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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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Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer, Autumn, Winter

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

150 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Hot Springs
Scenic

Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

4 months ago

Like A Coors - Cool And Easy

These are sweet and super easy to hike. It only takes 20-30 minutes of hiking through some awesome forest. We went first thing in the morning in the beginning of August and we were the only ones there. The night before had a fair amount of cars parked at the trailhead though. There's a few good campsites nearby and dispersed camping along some dirt roads that offshoot the highway. Heads up: as of August 2016, the Jerry Johnson Campsite was closed. Wendover was the closest campsite. We opted for a more secluded option and did dispersed camping.

4 months ago

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