Wildlife Sighted: Deer, Elk,
Moose, Fox and Black Bear
Accessible all year - CAUTION - please note that the Warm Lake
highway and FSR 474 N travel during winter
will require a 4x4 and chains to get though safely. The roads are
narrow, slick and almost always snow covered. This hot springs is
best visited during the warmer summer and fall months. The pool
occasionally submerges during spring runoff.
There is plenty of Boise National
Forest camping nearby: official and primitive - no camping at the springs.
Many soaks were enjoyed at this incredible and wonderfully unique
place this summer. Some alone, some shared. Of note was soaking with
some X-Games kayakers and a giant family of mostly rude folks that
treated Sug like their own bathtub/toilet. As you can imagine, they
were schooled with some friendly knowledge. Love. This. Place.
5 stars all the way, a little busy for this time of year but well
worth the wait. No trash was the proverbial icing on the cake.
Super-awesome soak! The water pH level was approximately 7+ (see
picture above), not bad at all! The pool temp clocked in at 106º,
where the last few times it has been between 101º and 102º.
currently heavy construction on the access road. Multiple culverts
are in the process of being replaced in addition to the closure at
Buckhorn bridge due to a mud slide. Would be great if the Boise
National Forest website denoted this. Expect delays for most of the
the elongated journey and the pool just barley keeping its head
above water, M16 delivered its typical 5 star soak. I encountered
one large family of fishermen that were friendly for the most part.
They couldn't believe people actually come out here to hike,
backpack and soak, shocker! I think they accidently stumbled upon
the pool, but looked too scared to soak.
noting, one of the lodges on nearby Warm Lake converted to a biker
bar. As such, there was an abnormal amount of motorbikes ripping
through curvaceous forest roads. Enough to bring out the fuzz, which
I've never seen out here once in the last decade. It's bad enough
already with folks and their big rigs on these tiny streets, please
be careful regardless of your mode of transport.
encountered lost street bikers on dirt forest roads miles away from
Warm Lake a couple times all the while a rainstorm lurked in the
distance. It only takes a couple minutes for these roads to turn to
mush. To be clear, Warm Lake is accessible via pavement all the way.
No complaints here.
The access road (FSR 474 N) is closed due to road construction.
Crews are currently working as fast as possible to repair the road
before snow sets in. All of the main culverts are being replaced due
to damage sustained from summer wildfires.
In spite of seeing more campers than ever before and a run on the
hot springs, we were able to squeeze in a
sweet evening soak. Just a reminder that the forest service access
road will be closed from July 30
through October 15, 2007 for repairs.
What a weird and wonderful place Idaho is. Where else can you soak
in a hot springs, get some sun and play in the snow all on the same
day? The air temperature was about 65 and the water around 104. This
was one of those rare times where there's still mountain snow on the
ground, the roads are clear and sun is warm. This is the small
window before spring runoff; which last year buried Mile-16 for one
of the first times that I'm aware of.
The soak was stellar,
and I found NO trash and a freshly filled pool to boot. Did I say
there was no trash! Awesome! M16 has some great caretakers. However,
I found tons of angler trash along the South Fork and a couple
creeks nearby. Shame on you fishermen - I've found so much angler
trash over the years. Get it together and show the land you take
from basic respect. Sheesh.
Please note, the South
Fork Salmon River Road (FSR 474/674 North) will be closed the
majority of THIS SUMMER due to road construction. So, from July 30
through October 15, 2007 all of the hot springs in this area will
get a break.
The drive in? No problem. The drive out... YIKES! It was cold on the
way in and warm on the way out; meaning the 3-4 inch thick ice
sheets on the road got slick and slushy once the air temperature
warmed up. Was it worth it? You bet. But, next time I think I'll
wait until at least March before making a run at this soak. The
drive out was just too scary. Add single track roads with oncoming
traffic to the above equation and I think you'll understand my line
of thinking. The soak was stellar, and was actually the hottest I've
ever experienced, clocking in consistently at 106 and 107. Garbage
was moderate and usage seemed low.
My backpacking partner and I enjoyed a surreal, moonlit soak at M16
after backpacking to Rice Peak Lookout. As we were arriving a family
from Montana here for Yellow Pine's annual Harmonica Festival was on
their way out after enjoying one of Idaho's best.
06.16.06 & 06.19.06
Grade A soaks, views of the North Fork of the Payette River and a
weekend battle for the hot springs. The rock walls of M16 were once
again above the flow of the river providing for a most excellent
soaking experience. I'm afraid this place is getting pretty popular,
there were more people soaking over the weekend than I've ever
witnessed. So, what's that mean? Get in line or cram in... just
great. At least I didn't find much trash to cart out. Plus, the
soaking was awesome.
Mother nature is finally giving Mile-16 hot spring a much deserved
break. I've been to this hot spring many times, and this is the
first time I've seen it underwater. It looked like there were
several unsuccessful attempts at elevating the pool walls by use of
sandbags in an effort to avoid the rampant spring runoff. I only
hope that the thin mortar-reinforced walls are able to withstand the
might of the river. One big stick is all it would take.
absence of a soak hasn't deterred trash mongers. There was more
trash here than I was prepared to deal with, complete with a nasty
diaper. What is wrong with some people? Please don't leave the city
or your local township if you don't know how to pick up after
yourself. Jeeze. What worries me more is the thought of those same
people breeding. Thank you all that do pick up after yourself,
especially those who pick up after everyone - you are the reason why
IdahoHotSprings.com exists; in the spirit of enjoying hot springs
through preservation, conservation and education.
It's always nice to visit good ol M-16; this visit however was one
of my least enjoyed. Upon arrival we picked up more trash than I've
ever witnessed here. Plus, someone tinkered with the metal pipe that
delivers the hot water into the pool. They diverted the main flow
from the pipe that feeds the pool to a lower pool that can only be
usable in low-water conditions (spring runoff will destroy anything
below the mortar reinforced pool). They did a crap job; the big pool
is now below 100º when it used to be a reliable and perfect 102º,
and the new lower pool's water temperature is a mere couple degrees
above that of the river. Nice going guys. Not only was the
environment altered, trashed and trampled, but the housing in which
the main pipe 'plugs' into the source has been cracked and damaged.
I have a real strong feeling that Chinook anglers are responsible
for this as the big fishing season just ended. The anglers always
leave the area trashed - every year, never fail. I know there are
environmentally friendly anglers out there; but they are too few in
Excellent! What more could you ask for? I found out on this
particular trip that the National Forest (Payette) cleans and cares
for this hot springs on a regular basis. Please help do your part by
not bringing in glass containers, refrain from using any kind of
soap (including bio soap), pack out what you pack in and pick up any
trash you see. The law in this neck of the woods are quite liberal
and proud of it - expect a ticket if you are caught littering or
Tarps, soap and bio soap
do not break down completely in the wilderness. Instead, their
remnants grow fungus that is foreign to this type of environment.
This foreign fungus soon overtakes the natural fungus and hence
dramatically effects the waterways, fish and animals that all depend
on it. If you must use a tarp take care not to leave it behind. If
you must use soap please use bio soap, but at least wash yourself a
couple hundred feet away from any creeks, rivers, lakes, hot springs or any other
water sources or waterways.
What more good can I say about this hot springs? It's always awesome
and hot! I should mention that it was a dangerous drive in, one that
I really didn't need to risk, but once I was in the middle of it I
had no choice but to keep on plugging through, see
03.27.05 Trail Creek for more
travel details. Always bring chains!
We lucked out and had great roads all the way to the hot springs
save for a few patches of ice and snow. Be careful driving on FSR
474 N! I've driven this road tons of times and never have I come so
close to getting hit by another vehicle because they were driving
way too fast on the single-lane, ice and snow-packed road. I was
very lucky that there was room enough for me to drive off the side
of the road because I would have been hit for sure at least 1 of the
3 or 4 near misses. Oh yes, the soaking was STELLAR! M16 doesn't
disappoint in the winter months - just drive carefully! We had the
pool to ourselves and although we didn't see other soakers there was
evidence in the snow that there has been people here fairly
08.17.04 (evening) &
Ultra sweet soaking! We enjoyed M16 in the evening after returning
from a backpacking trip to Buckhorn
Hot Springs & Lake. It felt so good soaking in the perfectly
tempered water. We soaked again the in morning and bore witness to a
large Eagle making it's way south while flying above the South Fork
of the Salmon River. Low (river) water conditions allowed for a pool
to surface below the main attraction along with another pool just a
few feet away fed by a different source. The latter had a
temperature close to perfect and could sit 2 to 4 people, while the
pool below the main was roughly the same size but had luke warm to
chilly water temperatures. This is truly one of the great ones. On a
sad side-note, the nearby campgrounds were literally filled with
trash from campers that couldn't handle the rain; we found kid's
toys, brand new tarps, coolers filled with rotten food and all kinds
of other goodies.... shame on you people! Thank you so much to all
of you that are stewards of the land and pick up trash regardless if
its yours or not.
Rating A+ (despite a slight rise
in trash levels)
Excellent! We camped nearby and hiked on over to enjoy M16 2X, once in
the afternoon and once at night. We SO lucked out! Just a few miles down
the road were tons of people that were waiting for the salmon to run in
the South Fork Salmon River... at the check point we drove though on our
way up the Fish & Game representative told us that they were expecting 2
to 3 THOUSAND people to come though the area each day that the salmon
were running. Dang! We tried for a soak in the morning on the 22nd, but
the 6 vehicles scattered along the road deterred us.
Grade A Soak. What a way to spend my birthday! I don't know what more
good I can say about this HS... it's truly one of my favorites. I
actually wish it was a little harder to get to.
I've said it before and I'll say it again... "Sweet Soak". The
only noticed change since my last visit was that the temperature
increased by 1.5 degrees (which provided for optimal soaking mind you).
A local fellow was just leaving upon arrival, but beyond that this HS
was all mine.
09.05.02 - 09.06.02
Sweet soak! What more can I say about this one? We lucked out again and
had this baby all to ourselves at night and in the morning. The
only drawback is how close the paved forest road is. Only a couple
things were different since last visiting; the spout has been moved
slightly towards the river, the temperature of the pools is a couple
degrees cooler and the river itself was lower because in April spring
runoff was beginning to occur.
This was awesome! Whoever built / maintains this soak deserves a gold star and a pat on the back. We
arrived around 9am, stayed a few hours and had the place completely to ourselves. This is one of the best soaks experienced in a long while. Even better, no trash was found! We did
see some campers heading down the road on horseback towards Molly's
Tubs HS, Molly's HS and Vulcan
HS. It should be noted too that I have read a few other reports on this HS and they all tell of highly trafficked visits, which makes me think of how lucky we were during this particular outing.
Average Rating: A
Empty pullout and pool, sweet.
06.11.04 & 06.13.04
Empty pullout and pool on the 11th, two vehicles and 5 soakers on
Busy place! There were 5 trucks in Mile 16's tiny pullout.