Deer, Elk & Cougar
Usable all year - note winter access via the only route open
(usually) can be very dangerous. Check road conditions with the
Forest Service before committing to a winter journey to this area.
There are a handful of campsites
near the hot spring, not to mention plenty of nearby National Forest
campgrounds and primitive sites. Expect wild partiers here - at
times I've even encountered multiple kegs with groups of 20+ people.
This hot springs has become a favorite party spot for young hunters
Trip Reports, Accessibility and Usage
Restoration efforts derived from local soak seekers have given way
to a soakable pool once again at Loftus. However, the current pool
is a mere shadow of the former pool's glory. Sadly, the ledge above
the upper pool has been mostly broken off no thanks to Jackhole
The pools at Loftus have been destroyed by an unknown person/group.
Efforts to rebuild the pool are currently underway.
View Additional Information and Pictures on HSG
Unless you've got a high-clearance, 4WD don't bother coming up this
road like I did and risk getting killed by crazy people driving at
high speed on a road covered in snow, slush and ice - that begins
about 5 miles before you hit Loftus. In another month this road more
than likely won't be an issue. It was also laced with a ton of
ridiculously large pot holes!! The Forest Service should keep the
road closed when it gets this bad or maintain it!! Talk about
risking motorists lives. At the very least, they could post road
condition updates on their website.
Finally... at last! A nice long soak was enjoyed at Loftus with
minimal interruption. I visited Loftus in conjunction with a number
of other hot springs along the Middle Fork of the Boise River. This
trip was actually dubbed as the "PIE" trip. I like pie, but not this
kind. Poison Ivy Eye (PIE).
in a stellar soak, making sure to stick my head (face first) into
the hot waterfall that feeds the pool from above. Afterwards,
everything seemed fine and dandy. Even hours later, all was well.
However, the next morning
it was completely swollen shut. Ironically, this was the same day KIVI wanted to chat with me on TV about the demise of the pools at
Rocky Canyon Hot Springs.
little freak out, I finally went to a doc in the box. I thought
something was stuck in it. The doc took a look, then asked if I had
been in any poison ivy. Well. I did notice a few growing above the
hot springs, where the hot waterfall originates from. As well as,
what I thought to be at the time, small clusters of oil in the
Apparently, the ivy is too diluted once it enters the pool. However
(lucky me), not the case with the waterfall. He prescribed me a $300
tube of steroid cream and was out. My eye eventually opened back up
and looked like a beast eye for a few days. KIVI let me keep my
shades on by shooting outside, and I have learned to not stick my
head into hot waterfalls.
goodness the soak was incredible. There was a friendly Asian
fellow that soaked as well, but only for about a half hour before
leaving. Who, I might add, spent more time than I in the hot
waterfall. Nearby, there was a semi-awkward hunter guy who had setup
camp at one of the primitive sites. He would wander out of his camp,
where he just stood in one place, to a knoll above the road when
vehicles passed by. Then, return to his standing position. Luckily
he wasn't visible from the pool unless he was milling about. You
see/meet all kinds out here folks.
I was just
happy that there was practically NO TRASH, and that I got enjoy a
kick*ss soak without having to pick up a bunch of trash first.
Impressive, considering the terrible condition of the entire area my
I took the Middle Fork Boise River Road off State HWY 21 near Lucky
Peak on the way into the area. On the way out, I made a bad judgment
call and took a series of forest roads up towards Morse Creek Summit
thinking it would be a quicker way back to Boise. I've taken this
route before, but only during the summer.
It was a
NIGHTMARE. Steep, slick, rutted, wash boarded, frozen and littered
with deep pot holes. I had good tires on my truck; a rear-wheel,
two-wheel drive vehicle with virtually no weight in the back. It was
one of those trips where I kept thinking "Crap. I'm pretty sure I
didn't tell anyone where I went." over and over again. Obviously, I
made it back, but not after thrashing my truck on the way out.
I almost ran over a drunken hunter guy on approach to Loftus. After
finally finding a spot amongst the myriad of partiers, I realized
that there were at least 2 kegs present. The partiers were a
combination of hunters and ATVers from Boise. It was around 10am and
most everyone was wasted and there was trash everywhere. You can
imagine how shocked I was to find the pool empty. I admit that I was
a bit skeptical though, trying not to let my mind wander about what
went on in the pool the night before. That thought alone was
probably why my soak was short. Or, it could have been the cold
looks from the inebriated, so called 'outdoor enthusiasts'.
07.28.03 Guest Briefing
The upper pool at Loftus is in
good shape except for a loose rock in the seat part. The lower pool is
very small and goobery. Lots of poison ivy in the area too so you have to
be careful. Someone built a fire next to the upper pool close enough for
burnt wood to get into the pool. We cleaned it but there is still a lot in
the pool. 2 of the 3 times we visited there were at least 10 people
The two steamy pools of
Loftus are located right off the washboard road between Boise and Atlanta along the Middle
Fork of the Boise River. We visited Loftus on a day when the high temp.
was close to 100 (out of the water). The evening felt just as hot due to the overcast
conditions and scattered T-storms. The rough road was most definitely
the worst part of the whole excursion. The upper pool is in great
condition thanks to much volunteer work. Its temperature is a bit on
the toasty side though. The lower pool sports a better soaking
temperature, but isn't nearly as nice as the pool above. Watch out for
Driving by Loftus a total of 4 times on this day (to and fro other HS in
the area) revealed that it experienced a continual stream of visitors all day and
night. Although, only 1 group was camping at the springs, many people
camping in the area or on a drive stopped by for a soak.