Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

Jerry Johnson Hot Springs are located a tad over a mile from the Lochsa River in Idaho. The hike starts with a crossing of the Lochsa River, followed by a gentle hike along Warm Springs Creek. On this day, I had the entire place to myself from parking lot to the pools themselves. The sign at the trailhead states that you may encounter the occasional nude dipper. Well, when in Rome (especially by yourself) – I shed my winter clothing and quickly plunged into the comfortably warm waters of the second of the 3 major pools.

The first Jerry Johnson Hot Spring pool - wonderfully creekside

The first Jerry Johnson Hot Spring pool – wonderfully creekside

The middle collection of pools at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

The middle collection of pools at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs

The upper pool at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs - a perfect 103 degrees

The upper pool at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs – a perfect 103 degrees

I really appreciated the solitude of this last day of 2015. Soaking au naturale in the hot water as I am surrounded by cold winter air and the sound of the rushing creek caused my mind to focus on the experience. No reason of converse with others or manage a smile at their dog’s nose firmly planted in my crotch. Just solid alone time in the steam.

Getting to the Trailhead

From Powell (home of the Lochsa Lodge, a great spot for an after-soak adult beverage), take Highway 12 west for just over 10 miles to a large pullout marked Warm Springs Trailhead. Park and hike.

Crossing the Lochsa River

Crossing the Lochsa River

Partially frozen Lochsa River

Partially frozen Lochsa River

A welcome sight

A welcome sight

The view from a burnt-out cedar along the trail

The view from a burnt-out cedar along the trail

Warm Springs Creek and a strengthening sun

Warm Springs Creek and a strengthening sun

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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